qe2

The Financial Landscape: Debt Woes, Hedge Fund Regs

Politicians in both Greece and the U.S. are struggling to find the common ground necessary to keep their governments from defaulting on their debts; QE2 hasn't ended yet, and already the Fed is considering QE3; and the SEC finally starts to regulate Wall Street's hedge funds.

Nine Reasons Investors Are Nervous Now

Despite a steady six-month rally, lots of investors still haven't jumped back into equities. While plenty of official economic reports say things are getting better, these investors are following other signs -- often closer to home -- that say beware.

Can the Fed Keep Downplaying Inflation?

When a Federal Reserve committee meets Tuesday to consider the federal interest rate, it will likely revise its glum outlook into something brighter. But will it also acknowledge the U.S.'s growing inflation problem?

Why a Little Inflation Is a Good Thing for Americans

Inflation has inched higher in the past six months, but that's not a danger sign, but rather a harbinger of improving economic conditions and a strengthening recovery. And that, in turn, should lead to higher wages and more hiring in the year ahead.

The Employment Cost Index Deserves a Closer Look

The employment cost index increased just 2% in 2010, and the trend will likely continue in 2011. Those contained employee costs will help maintain a low-inflation environment that should give the Fed more time to stimulate the economy through its asset-purchase program.

Will the Fed's New Hawks Force a Change of Course?

While most analysts don't expect a major departure from the December Fed meeting, the voting lineup has changed substantially. Now, Chairman Bernanke has to deal with three new members of the rate-setting committee who have expressed reservations about quantitative easing.

Low Retail Property Prices: Trouble for Big Chains?

Although retail sales and retailer share prices have rallied back to their 2007 highs, retail property prices remain depressed -- an unusual divergence that has grown significantly since mid-2008. And a deeper look at the reasons behind that split suggest harder times ahead for major retail firms.

This Week: Major Earnings and Reports Every Day

With corporate earnings season in full swing -- watch for McDonalds, along with Catepillar, Amazon and other -- and with the Fed meeting on interest rates, the GDP estimate and housing numbers coming out -- the week ahead is expected to be quite busy.

Why Interest Rates Keep Rising, Despite QE2

The Federal Reserve is doling out billions to buy bonds in hopes of keeping interest rates low and stimulating the economy. However, several powerful forces are working against that low-rate strategy, ranging from investor psychology to global competition for capital.

Wall Street May Be a Casualty of Debt-Ceiling War

Debt and government spending are firmly at the top of the new Congress's agenda. Just the threat that the U.S. wouldn't pay its bills has traders worried and wondering if the U.S. could end up on the same chaotic economic path taken by Greece or Spain.

A Rising Economy Is Pushing Down Treasurys

Doomsayers insist the recent rapid rise in yields signals the nation's creditors finally getting fed up with financing U.S. deficits. But a stronger argument can be made for blaming the better-than-expected economic reports that have been piling up recently.

Markets Are On the Rise Since the Fed Launched QE2

Republican leaders may be worried about the Federal Reserve's second round of quantitative easing, but the stock and credit markets are not: They have improved significantly since the QE2 plan was announced, Bloomberg reported Friday. But can that rally be solely attributed to QE2?

Time to Switch From Bonds
to Stocks?

Some investment strategists say it's unwise to "fight the Fed." And right now, Chairman Bernanke wants investors to move into riskier assets, particularly stocks. But these strategists also point to pitfalls if investors aren't careful about how they shift assets.

Citing 'Insufficient' Growth, Fed Keeps Policy Steady

The Federal Reserve Tuesday kept its current accommodative monetary policy going steadily and continued its program of quantitative easing, saying that the economic recovery is continuing, but the growth rate "has been insufficient to bring down unemployment."

Will the Tax Deal Give the Fed a Helping Hand?

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to make no changes to interest rates or its bond-buying program. One reason the Fed may not have to act is that President Obama's tax deal will provide the economy with a boost the Fed couldn't have envisioned before.

How Emerging Markets Can Avoid Getting Burned by Hot Money

Foreign capital flowing into emerging markets can be dangerous, but it also has its benefits. Developing countries need to protect themselves against the risks while profiting from the dangers. But how? Here are three things they need to do.

Stocks Are Becoming the Only Game in Town

Equities have finally put up decent-enough returns on the year to make the paltry yields on bonds almost impossible to tolerate. With rates so low now, more and more investors are moving from fixed income and back into the stock market.

Greenspan: Rising Stock Markets Are Key to Recovery

The former Fed chief told CNBC Friday that the Fed's policy to boost liquidity is helping stock values. "I think we are underestimating. . .how important asset prices, very specifically equity prices, are not only to shareholders but the economy as a whole," he said.

What Happened to the 'Plan' to Devalue the Dollar?

No matter what the Fed chairman actually intended, the central bank's latest push to inject money into the economy isn't resulting in a cheaper dollar. And it's not just Europe's woes that are conspiring against the buck -- a slew of other factors are also at play.

The Fed Sees a Slower Recovery and Jobs Rebound

In its latest meeting minutes, the Fed said it now expects the U.S. economy to grow more slowly in both 2010 and 2011, with as many as six years needed to return unemployment to normal levels of 5% to 6%.

Should the Fed Worry About Unemployment?

When the economic gurus at the Fed move the levers of U.S. monetary policy, they do so with two often-conflicting goals in mind: promoting maximum employment and keeping prices stable. Many critics are now arguing that that Fed should ignore unemployment and focus solely on prices.