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What We Read Today 27 November 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

  • UPDATE 6-OPEC heading for no output cut despite oil price plunge (Alex Lawler, Amena Bakr and Rania El Gamal, Reuters) OPEC Gulf oil producers will not propose an output cut on Thursday, reducing the likelihood of joint action by OPEC to prop up prices that have sunk by a third since June. Iran sees an oil glut next year and argues that some OPEC members are battling for market share.

Read more »

Study Shows "Stimulus" Was Significantly More Contractionary Than Average During the Recovery from the Great Recession

from the Chicago Fed

Fiscal policy describes how the expenditure and revenue decisions of local, state, or federal governments influence economic growth. In this article, we create a comprehensive measure of fiscal policy called fiscal impetus, which estimates the combined effect of purchases, taxes, and transfers across all levels of government on growth. Our goal is to use this measure of fiscal impetus to examine how fiscal policy has behaved during business cycles in the past, how it responded to the most recent recession, and how it is likely to evolve over the next several years. Our analysis reveals that policy was more expansionary than average during the 2007 recession and has been significantly more contractionary than average during the recovery. By the end of 2012, fiscal impetus was below its historical business cycle average and it is forecast to remain depressed well into the future.

Read more »

While More Is Not Always Merrier, Population Growth over the Last Century Has Had Many Positive Effects

by Tim Sablik - Econ Focus, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

The 1973 science-fiction film Soylent Green may be best remembered for Charlton Heston's line about the titular food source: "Soylent Green is people!" The story takes place in the year 2022, when severe overpopulation has exhausted nearly all natural resources and people scrape by in hot, dirty, crowded cities. Outside of theater walls, that future seemed even more imminent. In 1968, American biologist Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb, which opened with the prediction that "a minimum of ten million people, most of them children, will starve to death during each year of the 1970s." In 1973, then-president of the World Bank Robert McNamara declared that "the threat of unmanageable population pressures is much like the threat of nuclear war."

Read more »

Rail Week Ending 22 November 2014: Rail Growth Slowing Continues. End of Growth Cycle or Simply Holiday Distortions?

Econintersect: Week 47 of 2014 shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) was mixed according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data. The rate of growth softened in all of the rolling averages reported below. Holiday season transport may be affected by a change in logic by shippers. This will only be known in hindsight months from now.

Read more »

Infographic of the Day: November is National Adoption Month in the United States

We wanted to focus on some of the most important issues for (potential) new parents that adopt.

Read more »

Brits and Americans Differ Hugely on the Origins of Life

from Felix Richter, Statista.com
by Niall McCarthy

According to a YouGov survey, people in Britain and the United States are light-years apart when it comes to the origins of life.

Read more »

What We Read Today 26 November 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

  • Protests Spread Across U.S. as Unrest in Ferguson Abates (Toluse Olorunnipa, Elizabeth Campbell and Esme E. Deprez, Bloomberg) Protesters snarled traffic and threw rocks and bottles at police as they marched through dozens of U.S. cities last night (Tuesday into Wednesday, 25-26 November), while Ferguson, Missouri, avoided a second day of widespread rioting. For more on Ferguson see articles listed below.

Read more »

21 November 2014: ECRI's WLI Improves Marginally But Remains in Contraction

ECRI's WLI Growth Index improved marginally but has been in negative territory for 6 weeks. This index is forecasting a slight business cycle contraction in 1Q2015. Obviously the markets do not share ECRI's view the business cycle is taking a downturn.

Read more »

November 2014 Chicago Purchasing Managers Barometer Rises and Falls Like a Rollercoaster

Econintersect: The Chicago Business Barometer declined 5.4 points after increasing 5.7 points last month, driven by a large decline in new orders.

Read more »

21 November 2014 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Worsens. We Have Been Spoiled Expecting Claims Under 300,000

Blue Line 4 Week Average

The market was expecting the weekly initial unemployment claims at 278,000 to 295,000 (consensus 286,000) vs the 313,000 reported. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 287,750 (reported last week as 287,500) to 294,000. Rolling averages under 300,000 are excellent.

Read more »

Household Debt Balances Increase as Deleveraging Period Concludes

by Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw - Liberty Street Economics, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The New York Fed released the Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the third quarter of 2014 today. Balances continued to rise slightly, with an overall increase of $78 billion. The aggregate household debt balance now stands at $11.71 trillion, up 0.7 percent from the previous quarter, but still well below the peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008.

Read more »

HSBC's Swiss Private Banking Unit Charged With Providing Unregistered Services to U.S. Clients

from the Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged HSBC’s Swiss-based private banking arm with violating federal securities laws by failing to register with the SEC before providing cross-border brokerage and investment advisory services to U.S. clients.

Read more »

Infographic of the Day: What To Do After a Car Accident

Car accidents are quite a common sight these days.

Read more »

Volcano Eruptions in Alaska could Cause Trans-Atlantic Chaos for Airlines

Planet May Be Ending an Era of Low Volcanic Activity

by Sean Pyne-O'Donnell and Britta Jensen, The Conversation

A volcanic eruption in Iceland caused massive disruption throughout Europe in 2010. A huge ash cloud grounded more than 100,000 flights and delayed 10m passengers, costing the aviation industry more than £2 billion. This wasn’t a freak event. New evidence shows such ash clouds are more common than we thought, and they can even cross the Atlantic from volcanic hot-spots in North America.

Read more »

The Charitable Causes Americans Care About Most

by Felix Richter, Statista.com

This chart shows which charitable causes Americans care most deeply about and what causes they are most likely to donate to.

Read more »

What We Read Today 25 November 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

Read more »

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Growth Weakens in November 2014

Of the five regional Federal Reserve surveys released to date, all show manufacturing expanding in August 2014. A complete summary follows. The market expected this survey index at 10 to 14 (consensus 16.0) versus the 4 actual [note that values above zero represent expansion].

Read more »

November 2014 Chemical Activity Barometer Year-over-Year Gains Still Strong

from the American Chemistry Council

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), logged a 0.2 percent gain this month, following an upward revision in October which reflected zero growth, as measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA). The year-over-year comparisons have moderated since the summer suggesting an economy continuing to face headwinds and modest gains. The CAB remains up 3.7 percent over this time last year.

Read more »

November 24 Weather and Climate Report: El Nino Races to be On Time for Christmas

Written by

NOAA acknowledges their forecast of an El Nino has been premature and they may have overestimated the intensity of such an event. They are now

more or less saying: "better late than never". Questions remain on the impact of an El Nino that will arrive late and weak but which may last longer than the NOAA Seasonal Outlook suggests.Read more »

Monetary Policy When the Spyglass Is Smudged. A Look at Gauging Economic Slack.

by Early Elias, Helen Irvin, and Oscar Jorda - FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

An accurate measure of economic slack is key to properly calibrating monetary policy. Two traditional gauges of slack have become harder to interpret since the Great Recession: the gap between output and its potential level, and the deviation of the unemployment rate from its natural rate. As a consequence, conventional policy rules based on these measures of slack generate wide-ranging policy rate recommendations. This variability highlights one of the challenges policymakers currently face.

Read more »

Infographic of the Day: Shoestring Travel Guide 2014

What are the most backpacker friendly cities in 2014?

Read more »

Average Gasoline Prices for Week Ending 24 November 2014: Lowest Since November 2010

Econintersect: Average gasoline prices fell an average of 7.1 cents nationwide this past week following the previous week's 4.7 cent fall from the week before. However, since 06 January 2014, gas prices have fallen 50.4 cents a gallon.

Average prices by region and a breakdown by grade follow after "Read more >>".

At the end of the article is a Gas Buddy graphic with access to local gasoline prices anywhere in the country.

Read more »

American Holiday Shoppers to Spend $61 Billion Online

by Felix Richter, Statista.com

The holiday season is the most important time of the year for both on- and offline retailers in the United States.

Read more »

Crash, Boom, Pop! Kickstarter Campaign Receives Major Boost

Econintersect: With three days to go the campaign to fund the comic book version of Steve Keen's "Debunking Economics"  has received a major boost.  A backer has pledged to add $2,000 for every 35 pledges received of $1 or more over the final three days of the Kickstarter campaign.  It has been 11 hours since Econintersect posted the last news article on this project and the pledges have increased by more than $1,100 from 27 individuals.  The total now stands at $20,216.  Econintersect urges readers to make pledges, even if small.  To get the pledges available from the backer needed to reach $35,000 some 200-300 additional pledges will be needed.  Go to Kickstarter.


Read more »

What We Read Today 24 November 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

  • FACT CHECK: Obama's Claims On Illegal Immigration (Alicia A. Caldwell, Associated Press, Business Insider) Obama's generalizations continue to be misleading as to specifics. He needs more analysts on his staff and fewer public relations people.

Read more »

November 2014 Texas Manufacturing Survey Rate of Growth Slows

Of the four Federal Reserve districts which have released their November manufacturing surveys, all are forecasting growth. A complete summary follows. [note that values above zero represent expansion].

Read more »

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Econintersect Analysis:

December 2014 Economic Forecast: Modestly Better Rate of Growth

Written by

Our December 2014 Economic Forecast continues to show a stable and growing economy – with a modestly better growth than last month. All portions of the economy outside our economic model - except housing - are showing expansion. There are few warning signs the economy is faltering, and few indications the economy is about to improve its rate of growth. We are truly muddling along.

Full story »

Stratfor: Iran Prepares for a Leadership Transition


Though Iran has been broadcasting pictures and videos of top state officials and noted foreign dignitaries visiting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the hospital, the health of the man who has held the most powerful post in the Islamic Republic remains unclear. The unusual public relations management of what has been described as a prostate surgery suggests Tehran may be preparing the nation and the world for a transition to a third supreme leader. Iranian efforts to project an atmosphere of normalcy conceal concerns among players in the Iranian political system that a power vacuum will emerge just as the Islamic republic has reached a geopolitical crossroads.

Full story »

October 2014 Pending Home Sales Index Declines But Continues to Show Improving Home Sales

Written by

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) seasonally adjusted pending home sales index declined marginally - but remains in expansion for the second month after a year in contraction. Our analysis of pending home sales however suggests that November 2014 existing home sales will be better than October's.

Full story »

Final November 2014 Michigan Consumer Slightly Trims Its Strong Preliminary Reading

by Doug Short, Advisor Perspectives/dshort.com

The Final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment for November came in at 88.8, a bit off the 89.4 preliminary reading but up from from the October Final of 86.9. As finaly readings go, this is a post-recession high and the highest level since July 2007, over seven years ago. Today's number came in below the Investing.com forecast of 90.2.

Full story »

October 2014 New Home Sales Soft. Large Increase In Sales Prices More than Offsetting Last Month's Decline.

Written by and

The headlines say new home sales are up. Econintersect sees the new home sales data soft this month - with the unadjusted 3 month rolling averages declining. However, the data is moving around like a Mexican jumping bean due to backward (and downward) revisions, and the median sales price significantly increased after last month's significant decline.

Full story »

October 2014 Personal Income and Expenditures Slightly Disappoint. Year-over-Year Growth of Consumer Income Is Improving

Written by

This noisy data series came in below expectations. However the news is not that bad as the year-over-year growth of income is growing faster than expenditures.

Full story »

Durable Goods Improved in October 2014. The Internals Again Were Not Good - Expectations Were Mixed

Written by

The headlines say the durable goods new orders improved. Our analysis agrees - and if you ignore defense aircraft, durable goods were again very soft month-over-month. 

Full story »

November 2014 Conference Board Consumer Confidence Drops Sharply - Well Under Expectations

Written by and

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index declined - falling for two out of the last seven months. The market expected this index to come in at 94.8 to 98.8 (consensus 96.5) versus the 88.7 reported.

Full story »

Case-Shiller Home Prices September 2014: Price Growth Continues to Decelerate

Written by

The non-seasonally adjusted Case-Shiller home price index (20 cities) for September 2014 (released today) rate of growth again declined but continues to show moderate year-over-year gain in housing prices.

Full story »

Second Estimate 3Q2014 GDP Revised Up, Corporate Profits Up Too

Written by Doug Short and

The second estimate of second quarter 2014 Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is now a positive 3.9%. This data point was +3.5% in the advance GDP estimate. The upward revision to the percent change in real GDP primarily reflected upward revisions to private inventory investment, to personal consumption expenditures, and to nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by a downward revision to exports and an upward revision to imports.


Full story »

Stratfor: The Islamic State Reshapes the Middle East

by George Friedman

Nuclear talks with Iran have failed to yield an agreement, but the deadline for a deal has been extended without a hitch. What would have been a significant crisis a year ago, replete with threats and anxiety, has been handled without drama or difficulty. This new response to yet another failure to reach an accord marks a shift in the relationship between the United States and Iran, a shift that can’t be understood without first considering the massive geopolitical shifts that have taken place in the Middle East, redefining the urgency of the nuclear issue.

Full story »

October 2014 CFNAI Super Index's Significant Backward Revision Moves the 3 Month Moving Average Into Negative Territory

Written by

The economy was growing slower in October 2014 based on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) 3 month moving (3MA) average - and the economy has marginally dropped below the historical trend rate of growth.

Full story »

Monetary Theory is Non-Ergodic

Beware So-Called ‘Long-Run’ Monetarist Correlations

by Philip Pilkington

When I ran regressions plotting the money supply against the CPI I was told that I should average them over 5 year periods because this would supposedly iron out ‘volatility’ and show long-run trends. I responded in a post saying that I was dubious of this practice because I did not believe it would show long-run trends at all. Rather I thought it was being used to screw with the data. Here is a concrete example, drawing on the M3 and the CPI, showing why it is wise to be on your guard against these sorts of aggregation.


Full story »

Oil Price Slide – No Good Way Out

by Gail Tverberg, Our Finite World

The world is in a dangerous place now. A large share of oil sellers need the revenue from oil sales. They have to continue producing, regardless of how low oil prices go unless they are stopped by bankruptcy, revolution, or something else that gives them a very clear signal to stop. Producers of oil from US shale are in this category, as are most oil exporters, including many of the OPEC countries and Russia.

Full story »

Is There a Rental Shortage - Inflation Threat?

Written by

There is an obvious relationship between supply and demand. In the rental housing market, demand is eroding supply at a rapid rate according to recent data - likely due to changing demographics and preferences. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is based 40% on housing costs - so the logical conclusion is that a rapid rise in inflation is just around the corner.

Full story »

The UAE and Saudi War on the Muslim Brotherhood Could Be Trouble for the U.S.


The UAE Cabinet approved a list of 83 designated terrorist organizations on Saturday, including al Qaeda and the Islamic State. Much more significant, though, was the inclusion of many Muslim organizations based in the West that are believed to be allied with the Muslim Brotherhood movement. Prominent among them are two American Muslim groups: the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Muslim American Society.

Full story »

October 2014 Existing Home Sales Had the Best Month in a Year

Written by

The headlines for existing home sales say that sales improved - with this is the first time in a year that home sales volumes grew year-over-year (seasonally adjusted data). Our analysis of the unadjusted data also is positive. The unadjusted three month rolling averages for sales are now only marginally negative but accelerating. Bottom line - this was a relatively good report.

Full story »

November 2014 Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey Jumps, Well Above Expectations, And Suggests Pickup in Growth

Written by

The Philly Fed Business Outlook Survey growth jumped and continues well into expansion territory for the ninth month. Key elements remain in expansion. 

Full story »

October 2014 Leading Economic Index Up Sharply, Good Growth Predicted throught the Holiday Season

Written by

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. improved sharply 0.9% over last month. The index growth has been noisy but remains in a growth trend.

Full story »

October 2014 CPI Annual Inflation Rate Flatlined at 1.7%

by Doug Short and

The Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) year-over-year inflation rate has remained constant at 1.7% for the last 3 months. Energy prices decreased whilst shelter increased countering energy's decline. The annual core inflation rate remains under the targets set by the Federal Reserve.

Full story »

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FOREX NEWS by DailyForex

Winter 2014 Holiday Trading Schedule

Check out the trading schedule for the upcoming Winter 2014 holidays here.

Aussie Dollar Continues to Slump

The Australian Dollar touched on a 4-year trough versus the greenback, falling on data which shows that the Chinese economy continues to struggle to grow as well as efforts by the Reserve Bank of Australia to purposely devalue it.

US Q3 Growth Revised Upwards

Initial estimates of economic growth are usually based on partial economic data such that they can be released promptly.

Asia Stocks Up for 4th Day

Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index heading for a fourth day of gains, as materials and health-care shares advanced, countering a decline in Japan’s index amid a stronger yen.

ECB Urged to Ease More

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development issued its statement on the global economy and said that Japan’s economy is likely to grow slower than anticipated, despite the BOJ’s numerous efforts to stimulate the economy.

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Econintersect Investing:

The US Dollar Remains Stubbornly Bullish

by Poly, Zentrader

The Dollar stubbornly refuses to fall, even though it too (like crude/bonds) is very deep into its Daily and Investor Cycle timing. Technically it is weakening, as seen within the indicators on the chart below. I believe this is a sign that the dollar has topped and is about to begin falling. When it eventually does fall, it will probably not look back for many weeks.

Read more »

Investing.com Technical Summary 25 November 2014

Investing.com Technical Analysis (as of Tue, 25 November 2014 05:00pm EDT)

by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com

Below, technical overviews and analysis for key stock indices, commodities and investing.com-logocurrency pairs, based on market activity at the close of the 25 November 2014 U.S. session. This information is a comprehensive summary derived from simple and exponential moving averages along with key technical indicators shown for specific time intervals.

Read more »

"Unloved" Pick of the Week: U.S. Silica Holdings Inc.

Money Morning Article of the Week

by David Zeiler, Associate Editor, Money Morning

Money Morning's "unloved" pick of the week is fracking sand supplier U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SLCA).

An unloved investment is one that's been beaten down - but is actually a great value. Investors then get an amazing entry point into a good long-term investment.

Read more »

S&P 500 Stretched Like A Spring

by Chris Ebert, Zentrader

Stock prices tend to act like a spring. The further they are stretched to their limits, the further they tend to snap back in the opposite direction.

Read more »

The Dismal Economy

X-factor Report 23 November 2014

by Lance Roberts, StreetTalk Live

What You Already Know

The market rallied sharply on Friday on the back of announcements that China was cutting its overnight lending rate and Mario Draghi promising to buy more bonds if necessary to ensure the return of inflation.

Read more »

Why the Plunge Protection Team Loves Fridays

by Rick Ackerman, Rick's Picks

The Plunge Protection Team has been hard at work lately, although not in the way some traders might imagine. The very name evokes the shadowy activities of a group of Svengalis believed to control the stock market through timely interventions in such key trading vehicles as the S&P 500 futures. In fact, the PPT, more blandly known as the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, was commissioned under President Reagan after the 1987 Crash to prevent meltdowns.


Read more »

Insider Trading 21 November 2014: Charles Schwab Selling

by Asif Suria

Insider buying decreased last week with insiders buying $68.12 million of stock compared to $73.83 million in the week prior. Selling increased a little with insiders selling $1.69 billion of stock last week compared to $1.67 billion in the week prior.

Sell/Buy Ratio: The insider Sell/Buy ratio is calculated by dividing the total insider sales in a given week by total insider purchases that week. The adjusted ratio for last week went up to 24.94. In other words, insiders sold almost 25 times as much stock as they purchased. The Sell/Buy ratio this week compares unfavorably with the prior week, when the ratio stood at 22.67.

Read more »

The Week Ahead: Investing in the Age of Complacency

by Jeff Miller, A Dash of Insight

The upcoming calendar has plenty of data in a holiday-shortened week. There could be OPEC or Black Friday news. In spite of this avalanche of information, I expect commentators to look for an organizing principle. In a week when many will be giving thanks, there will be scrutiny of the new market highs.

Many will ask: Are investors too complacent?


Read more »

Trefis: Highlights Week Ending 21 November 2014

Written by

Below is a summary of the activity at Trefis during the past week that Trefis thought Econintersect readers would find interesting.

Trefis is a financial community structured around trends, forecasts and insights related to some of the most popular stocks in the US. It provides the unique feature of allowing the user to model future valuation based upon projected changes in components of each business. It also provides communication capabilities among members, including consensus of member analysis compared to Trefis staff analysis and blogging opportunities for members.

Click on graphic for larger image and go to Trefis interactive page.

Click "Read more..." to see our clickable table of contents with the most covered companies (more than 1 article) of the week identified.

Read more »

Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 21 November 2014

U.S. stocks gain on Chinese rate cut, Draghi comments; Dow rises 0.51%

by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com

China's move to loosen monetary policy coupled with the European Central Bank's hints at taking similar steps to stimulate its economy sent U.S. stocks rising on Friday. investing.com-logo

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 rose 0.51%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.52%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.24%.

The S&P 500 VIX index, which measures the outlook for market volatility, was down 5.01% at 13.58.

Read more »

Precious Metals Corner:

My Secret Gold Investing Strategy

Special Report from Money Morning

by Keith Fitz-Gerald, Money Morning

Gold has taken a tremendous beating in recent weeks and is now tumbling along at four-year lows of $1,160/ounce.

Things are so bad that you can actually buy the Central Fund of Canada Ltd. (NYSEMKT: CEF) - a popular gold and silver bullion investment vehicle - at a 10% to 11% discount to the price of gold, because traders think the price of gold will drop even lower.

Read more »

Live Market Commentary:

Market Commentary: Markets Close Mixed, Sideways Trading All Afternoon

Written by

Closing Market Commentary For 11-25-2014

The averages have closed all over the place. The DOW closed flat and in the red while the small caps closed fractionally higher in the green. Volume was low for most of the afternoon with some moderate trading at the close.

By 4 pm the averages looked weak and uninspiring as we suspected would be the case as we move towards the holiday on Thursday.

Read more »

Video of the Day:

As oil prices continue to fall, the world's major producers are set to meet on Thursday in Vienna. Hear an analysis on what the Saudi Oil Minister has stated…

video of day picture

Forex Trader:

Investing.com Technical Summary 25 November 2014

Investing.com Technical Analysis (as of Tue, 25 November 2014 05:00pm EDT)

by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com

Below, technical overviews and analysis for key stock indices, commodities and investing.com-logocurrency pairs, based on market activity at the close of the 25 November 2014 U.S. session. This information is a comprehensive summary derived from simple and exponential moving averages along with key technical indicators shown for specific time intervals.

Follow up:

Econintersect Opinion:

U.S. Immigration

Written by

Here is the latest news on immigration: Obama signs executive orders delaying deportations for millions of illegal immigrants. Is it a big deal? Yes!

Read more »

What does the Health Care Debate Reveal About Us, and Our Future?

by Fabius Maximus, FabiusMaximus.com

Summary: Today we have a glance at the debate about one of the most important domestic public policy debates of our time, repeated in every generation since 1945, that illuminates the moral and intellectual nature of America at this point in time. The photo below captures it perfectly, the aggressive ignorance resulting from generations of skillful propaganda on a weak people. Renewal is an inherent capacity of individuals and societies; we desperately need it (more on how to do this in another post). This is the second of two posts today.

"Of course we want to have universal health care! We aren't barbarians!"

- attributed to Margaret Thatcher, said in 1993 at Washington, DC (hat tip to Delong)

This is America today

Read more »

Five Good Reasons Saudi Arabia Will Not "Swing" and Why $80 Is the New Normal

Written by

Now the dust from the Shock & Awe of the 30% drop in oil prices has started to settle, two things are clear: (a) Saudi Arabia did not engineer anything (b) they don't have a Machiavellian plan to stick one up the wildcatters in North Dakota, or the Russians...the Iranians...the Venezuelans, or even the genius from The Daily Telegraph who was bemoaning the fact that if oil prices go down it will be hard to import inflation into U.K.

Read more »

Handing More Control to Patients Could just be Cost-Cutting in Disguise

by Lisa Kidd, The Conversation

In Austerity Britain, few cutbacks capture the public ire like those directed towards the beloved NHS. In the public consciousness at least, it seems the NHS must remain outside the whims of party politics. As such, few policies are as divisive as the rationing of healthcare. Often perceived solely as an economic measure, many objective observers would argue it has no place in the health professional’s toolkit.

Read more »

George Friedman: An Understated Problem and Possible Consequences

Written by

Random Thoughts from the High Desert

A "Failed Presidency" sounds like bad news for the President. In this case, however, we may be seeing the demise of the U.S. as we have known it.

Imperial President

Of course it would not be appropriate in an initial article on the subject for George Friedman to go that far, but I am not constrained by multiple client contracts so I can state the obvious.

Read more »

Chinese-style Globalization Resumes

by LEAP/Europe 2020, Leap2020.eu

This month a number of international events show us what Chinese-style Globalization means in terms of global governance:

Read more »

No Cut in Rates? Will Rajan Bite The Bullet?

Written by Sunil Chandra

All the Clamor for a Rate Cut...

As he gets ready to present the Fifth bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, Governor Rajan must be wondering about the clamor for an interest rate cut from all corners of the country.

Read more »

Australia and China after their FTA

Report from the East Asia Forum

by Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The past week has seen big breakthroughs in Asia Pacific economic diplomacy. At the APEC summit, Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe broke the diplomatic ice in the China-Japan relationship. The United States and China paved the way towards extending the successful International Technology Agreement through the WTO. They also did a game-changing deal that will entrench deep cuts to carbon emissions through to 2025-30. China brought trans-regional (as opposed to Eastern and Western Pacific) integration back to centre stage in APEC's quest for open regionalism. And in Brisbane, the G20 summit has crafted a global recovery strategy around broad-based cooperation on productivity-enhancing reforms and infrastructure investment, re-focused on the WTO and brought climate change back into play.

Read more »

Ideological Foundations of Mainstream Neoclassical Economics: Class Interests as “Economic Theory”

by Prof. Ismael Hossein-Zadeh

This appeared originally at Global Ressearch, 12 November 2014.

There is now a widespread consensus that mainstream/neoclassical economists failed miserably to either predict the coming of the 2008 financial implosion, or provide a reasonable explanation when it actually arrived. Not surprisingly, many critics have argued that neoclassical economics has created more confusion than clarification, more obfuscation than elucidation. Economic "science" has, indeed, become "an ideological construct which serves to camouflage and justify the New World Order" [1].

Read more »

Common Currency: A Forex Scandal that Epitomises the Blindness in the Banking Crisis

by Andre Spicer, The Conversation

The biggest open secret in the financial world has been confirmed. Regulators in the UK, the US and Switzerland have announced massive fines for some of the world’s largest banks for a manipulation of global currency markets that in its callous ubiquity says so much about the banking behaviours that sparked the global financial crisis.

Read more »

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