MarketWatch top 10 stories May 23-27
But the few investors who hadn't left early for the long Memorial Day weekend helped markets close with modest gains on Friday as the indexes found some technical support after a slew of mixed economic reports. Read more on U.S. stocks in Market Snapshot.
For the week, the Dow (DJIA) lost 0.6%, while the the S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) both fell 0.2%.
For more on what's coming next week, please watch our Week Ahead videos for Asia, Europe and the U.S.
— Greg Morcroft, assistant managing editor
Asia Week Ahead:India GDP, China PMI
Europe Week Ahead euro-zone inflation in focus
U.S. Week Ahead:Light trading expected in holiday-shortened week
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Tuesday cut its growth forecast for China and predicted inflation will accelerate, citing weaker data, higher oil prices and supply-side constraints. The U.S. investment bank cut its 2011 and 2012 growth forecasts to 9.4% and 9.2% respectively, from previously forecast 10.0% and 9.5%. The bank raised its CPI forecasts to 4.7% and 3.0% for the period from 4.3% and 3.0%. "This is both a sharper and more extended slowdown than we had previously," said Goldman Sachs in a note, with the bank continuing to keep a view of overweight on China within the Asia region. Read about Goldman's China call on MarketWatch
Once the domain of elite, sophisticated Wall Street traders, it's never been easier for the average Joe to start making big money in the hedge-fund world. Once you've set up your hedge fund, you'll need investors. But to attract investors, you'll need a compelling investing strategy to lure in the cash. And here's where we get to the meat of the matter. Today, there are three main strategies in the market. Read David Weidner's Writing on the Wall commentary at MarketWatch
Bank profits rose substantially in the first quarter and institutions reported their best quarterly results since the second quarter of 2007, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Tuesday, even as the industry still is experiencing troubles as the number of problem banks in the U.S. continue to rise. Banks insured by the FDIC reported a profit of $29 billion in the quarter ended March 31, a big 67% increase from the first quarter of 2010. It is the seventh consecutive quarter that industry earnings have registered year-over-year gains, the agency said. Read about banking sector's latest profit, on MarketWatch
The Fed is serious about freezing its balance sheet starting in June. They will continue to buy Treasurys as issues mature and are replaced. But, the momentum of money growth will slow down and that is the key to understanding what will then happen. If Treasury rates do not take off, then my assumption about domestic and foreign demand for Treasurys will be correct. If they do take off, it will be an indication of a shrinking money supply, which will lead to economic stagnation or even a market bust. On the other hand, I don't believe the Fed will play "chicken" during an election year, and when things turn ugly they will announce QE3 and that will kick the can down the inflationary road. QE3 may be the last installment of this monetary madness. Read QE3 commentary from Jeff Harding, on MarketWatch.
CNBC anchor Mark Haines, a constant presence on business television for more than 20 years, died suddenly Tuesday evening, the business network said on its website Wednesday morning.He was 65 years old. Haines died at his home, CNBC said. He helped to create the cable channel's morning program, "Squawk Box," and served as its founding anchor. Read about the death of Mark Haines, on MarketWatch
Among the many challenges for Yahoo Inc. Chief Executive Carol Bartz as she faced Wall Street analysts on Wednesday was convincing some that the embattled Internet company is worth more than the sum of its parts. In particular, some investors are wondering if Yahoo should just sell off its now-controversial Asian assets — which include a sizable ownership stake of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba — and find something to do with the rest of the business. Read about the debate over Yahoo!, on MarketWatch
As the U.S. stock market enters its historically weakest six-month stretch between now and October, investors are seasoning portfolios with companies that promise steady, predictable earnings without gut-churning volatility. But don't give up all the spice. Some of the market's most risky stocks also offer investors the best earnings growth potential. These companies have seen big ups and downs, taking shareholders on a financial and emotional roller coaster, but catching them when Wall Street is looking for a safer, if not smoother, ride is worth considering. Here's a closer look at five high-risk, high potential stocks. See full story from MarketWatch on high risk stocks for your portfolio
It must be the excessive sun that the brokers on Wall Street get during their Memorial Day trek to the Hamptons.How else to explain that, like clockwork starting every year right after the holiday, they will start talking about something that is pure fantasy: A "Summer Rally." To be sure, there is no consensus among the sunburned Wall Street analysts about how precisely to define it. For purposes of analyzing the data for this column, I looked at the stock market's gain from the end of May to its highest close during the subsequent three months—through Aug. 31. Read Mark Hulbert commentary on the myth of the "Summer Rally"
The leaders of the Group of Eight nations ended their summit Friday in Deauville, France, saying relatively little about the economic challenges they face other than to promise to cut their debt burdens."The global economic recovery is gaining strength and becoming more self-sustained," the G-8 said in a closing statement. "However, downside risks remain, and internal and external imbalances are still a concern." The G-8 singled out the sharp rise in commodity prices as a headwind to the recovery. Read MarketWatch story on the G-8 summit
The New York Mets' months-long search for a minority investor appears close to an end, with the team saying Thursday that it's in exclusive talks with hedge-fund manager David Einhorn. A deal between the Mets and Einhorn would see him pay $200 million for a minority, non-operating investment. Further details weren't disclosed; the Mets didn't return a call seeking clarification. See MarketWatch coverage of Einhorn and the Mets