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Jan 25, 2012

MarketWatch | Personal Finance Daily: Tax rules that could trip you up


MarketWatch

Personal Finance Daily
JANUARY 25, 2012

Wednesday's Personal Finance Stories

By MarketWatch



Don't miss these top stories:

Got taxes? Yes, you probably do. And it's time to start thinking about preparing your 2011 tax return. So today, MarketWatch launches its Early-bird Tax Guide.

Andrea Coombes, our personal finance editor, writes about tax changes that could trip you up, such as new rules and a new form for reporting cost basis for stocks sold in 2011, new rules for reporting financial assets overseas, and information on IRA conversions.

We also have a column from Eva Rosenberg comparing some of the top online tax preparation services and highlighting how to find useful tools and good answers to tax questions.

We'll have more TaxWatch columns, news tools and tips in coming weeks.

Anne Stanley , Managing Editor, Personal Finance

TAXES

Big tax mines that could blow up your return

Most people don't have tax returns as complex as Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich or Barack Obama, but even if you aren't reporting a Cayman Island account or many millions in S-corp. profits or book sales, there are brand-new pitfalls to watch for as you go to do your 2011 return.
Read more: Big tax mines that could blow up your return.


Top tax sites online: How to choose

Which tax software provider is the best? MarketWatch's Eva Rosenberg looks at five of the top providers to compare the services they offer — and how much it all costs.
Read more: Top tax sites online: How to choose.


INVESTING

Investing: Keep it simple for best returns

Complex structured investments may not be worth the headache, while simpler investments may pay off just as well — or better.
Read more: Investing: Keep it simple for best returns.


A leading indicator of a higher market?

It's easy to see why the bulls are advancing the notion that the financials sector is a leading market indicator: Since the October lows, the sector has gained nearly 30%, handily outpacing the 20% gain for the S&P 500 index.
Read more: A leading indicator of a higher market?


ECONOMY & POLITICS

Obama calls for economy ‘built to last'

President Barack Obama uses his State of the Union address Tuesday to describe specific plans to move toward an economy that is "built to last."
Read more: Obama calls for economy ‘built to last.'


What SOPA-like regulations would mean

SOPA is off the table for now. But it did not disappear; it may very well come back under a different name.
Read more: What SOPA-like regulations would mean.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Forget Greece; it's Portugal that'll destroy euro

A Portuguese default will trigger a whole-scale retreat from the euro-zone — and right now that looks like the trigger for the collapse of the system, writes Matthew Lynn.
Read more: Forget Greece; it's Portugal that'll destroy euro.


Japan posts first annual trade deficit since 1980

Japan posts its first annual trade deficit since 1980, with December's trade gap wider than expected, with analysts divided over how long it will take to return to surplus.
R

NYT Global Update: U.S. Forces Rescue Two Hostages From Somali Pirates

Global Update

 
 
TOP NEWS

U.S. Forces Rescue Two Hostages From Somali Pirates

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN, ERIC SCHMITT, THOM SHANKER
American commandos - drawn from the same Navy unit that killed Osama bin Laden - staged a raid to free two hostages, including an American woman, who had been held for months.

Fed Signals That a Full Recovery Is Years Away

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM
The Federal Reserve said it was not likely to raise interest rates until the end of 2014, adding 18 months to the expected duration of its response to the slump.

Economic Reports Surprise in Britain and Germany

By JULIA WERDIGIER
The U.K. economy shrank more than expected in the fourth quarter, while German business confidence rose in January, indicating the economy is growing.
World

Video: Reflections on an Unfinished Revolution

A year the first protests in Tahrir Square, young Egyptians look back at the promise of the Arab Spring as well as the reality many revolutionaries failed to foresee.
Opinion

Latitude

India's Political Blasphemy

By DAN MORRISON
Indian politicians find a new way to milk the old outrage over Salman Rushdie and ''The Satanic Verses.''
WORLD

Egyptians Gather on First Anniversary of Revolt

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
In a mix of celebration and agitation on Wednesday, tens of thousands of Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square, the crucible of the revolution that overthrew former President Hosni Mubarak.

Economic Crisis Adds Dangers on Egypt's New Political Path

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and MAYY EL SHEIKH
With mounting debts, negligible growth and dwindling foreign reserves, Egypt's military rulers and the new Islamist-led Parliament face a crisis that could undermine the political transition.
The Lede Blog

Egyptian Activists Say Their Revolution Remains Unfinished

By ROBERT MACKEY
As Egyptians prepare to mark the first anniversary of the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak but left them under the rule of his top generals, two activists explained why they plan to protest, not celebrate.
BUSINESS

Saudi Arabia Issues Its First Sovereign Islamic Bond

By SARA HAMDAN
At 15 billion riyals, or $4 billion, the sukuk was oversubscribed three times; its proceeds will be used to finance the expansion of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jidda.

Iran Currency Freefall Forces President to Allow Rise in Interest Rates

By RICK GLADSTONE
Iran's president reversed himself on Wednesday and allowed bank interest rates to rise sharply in an effort to stop a slide that has depressed the currency to a relentless string of record lows.

United Arab Emirates Promotes Alternative Energy

By SARA HAMDAN
One of the world's biggest oil exporting regions is also trying to make strides in the production and sale of alternate energy sources.
TECHNOLOGY

Apple's Profit Doubles on Holiday iPhone 4S Sales

By NICK WINGFIELD
Though neither iPhones nor iPads existed five years ago, they account for 72 percent of Apple's total revenue.

Yahoo's Income Drops 5% in Struggle for Market Share

By NICOLE PERLROTH
The company's fourth-quarter income met Wall Street's expectations of 24 cents a share.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Awaits Its Moment in the Middle East

By DANIA SAADI
Joichi Ito, the new head of the Media Laboratory at M.I.T., says that the Middle East and North Africa are on the cusp of creating their own Silicon Valley experience.
SPORTS

A Final Four With a Familiar Look on Men's Side

By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic won their matches Wednesday, meaning the top four men will play in the Australian Open semifinals.
On Soccer

Some Rules May Change, but Fair Play Shouldn't

By ROB HUGHES
Two different leagues - the English Premier League and La Liga in Spain - took different routes in dealing with, or ignoring, violence on the field by players with top teams.

Lendl Finds a Comfortable Fit in Coaching Murray

By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY
Ivan Lendl's big goal in helping the Scottish tennis player is getting him to conserve his energy at the Australian Open and work on his composure.
U.S. NEWS

For a Disabled WWII Veteran, a Payment Is Long in Coming

By JAMES DAO
Leroy MacKlem, who took part in the Army invasion of Sicily, received disability payments until they were taken away in 1950. Now he is getting the money back.

Obama Returns to Familiar Theme in Case for 2nd Term

By JACKIE CALMES
The president is framing the 2012 election as a choice between a sense of shared responsibility and a survival-of-the-fittest approach to reshaping the nation's economy.

In Address, Obama Makes Pitch for Economic Fairness

By HELENE COOPER
With an election year ahead, President Obama set forth a long list of domestic economic proposals, many of which centered on jobs and changing the tax code.
OPINION
Op-Ed Contributor

Nigeria's Insistent Insurrection

By JOHN CAMPBELL
The Boko Haram revolt can only be subdued by genuine reform of Nigeria's political economy.
Op-Ed Contributor

A Europe-Iran War

By MARK A. HELLER
The European Union's embargo on Iranian oil imports could very well result in military hostilities.
Op-Ed Contributor

Upbeat, Un-French Movie

By CHRISTINE OCKRENT
A story with a happy ending, in these times of political squabbling and economic uncertainty, is a welcome surprise.

The Washington Post | Politics afternoon Edition: FACT CHECKER: Obama stretches some facts in State of the Union

The Washington Post

Politics Afternoon Edition

HEADLINES

  1. FACT CHECKER: Obama stretches some facts in State of the Union

    We examine 11 claims made by President Obama in his State of the Union address that were misleading or lacking context.
    » Read full article
  2. Gabrielle Giffords resigns from House

    Through her tragedy, Giffords brought a brief moment of unity to one of the most bitterly partisan and contentious Congresses in modern history.
    » Read full article
  3. Gingrich mocks Romney on immigration

    Former House speaker Newt Gingrich on Wednesday mocked as an "Obama-level fantasy" Mitt Romney's plan to deal with illegal immigration by encouraging "self-deportation."
    » Read full article
  4. NSA to spooks: Report overseas trysts

    NSA instructs its overseas staff to report contact with foreigners - including the intimate kind.
    » Read full article
  5. George Washington: Richer than Romney

    Mitt Romney wouldn't be the richest president in American history.
    » Read full article

Gold ends atop $1,700, first time in over 6 weeks | Gold MarketWatch Dispatch

By Myra P. Saefong

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Gold futures finished higher Wednesday as the Federal Reserve's decision to extend its pledge to hold interest rates at an exceptionally low level buoyed the metal's attractiveness as an inflation hedge. Gold for February delivery GC2G +0.56% rose $35.60, or 2.1%, to settle at $1,700.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the first close above $1,700 for a most-active contract since Dec. 9 and the biggest one-day percentage gain Jan. 3. "It looks like someone awoke to the fact that loose monetary policy will eventually impact the value of the dollar and allow gold to move higher," said Jeffrey Wright, managing director at Global Hunter Securities.

NYT Afternoon Business News: Facebook Chat About the 'iEconomy' Series




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BUSINESS

J.C. Penney to Revise Pricing Methods and Limit Promotions

By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD
Ron Johnson, the company's chief executive, said the company would adopt a three-tiered pricing structure and cut down on promotions.
DealBook

European Banks Raise $53 Billion to Appease Regulators

By MARK SCOTT
Since the third quarter of last year, financial institutions have raised at least 40.7 billion euros, or $52.8 billion, in new capital toward a combined target of 115 billion euros, according to Citigroup estimates.
DealBook

Hedge Funds Scramble to Unload Greek Debt

By LANDON THOMAS Jr.
Hedge funds that in the last month or so have purchased an estimated $5.2 billion of beaten down Greek bonds that mature on March 20 are now trying to unload their positions.

Economic Reports Surprise in Britain and Germany

By JULIA WERDIGIER
The U.K. economy shrank more than expected in the fourth quarter, while German business confidence rose in January, indicating the economy is growing.
DealBook

British Regulator Fines Einhorn in Insider Trading Case

By JULIA WERDIGIER
The Financial Services Authority says that David Einhorn and Greenlight Capital used inside information in the trading of the shares of the British pub chain Punch in 2009.

DFealBooK | DealB%k Afternoon Edition: British Regulator Fines Einhorn in Insider Trading Case


TOP STORY
British Regulator Fines Einhorn in Insider Trading Case
British Regulator Fines Einhorn in Insider Trading Case The Financial Services Authority says that David Einhorn and Greenlight Capital used inside information in the trading of the shares of the British pub chain Punch in 2009.
  • DEALBOOK »
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    DEALBOOK HIGHLIGHTS
    Merrill Lynch Fined $1 Million For Bonus Clawbacks The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority sanctioned Merrill Lynch for forcing former brokers to settle disputes over "retention bonuses" in New York state court instead of Finra arbitration panels.
    Andreessen Is Said to Seek $1.5 Billion in Fund-Raising The venture capitalist Marc Andreessen is seeking $900 million for Andreessen Horowitz's main fund and $600 million for a parallel fund, according to two people briefed on the matter.
    European Banks Raise $53 Billion to Appease Regulators Since the third quarter of last year, financial institutions have raised at least 40.7 billion euros, or $52.8 billion, in new capital toward a combined target of 115 billion euros, according to Citigroup estimates.
    As I.P.O. Looms, Facebook Halts Clearing of Trades On Wednesday, Facebook's law firm, Fenwick & West, halted the clearance of trades for Facebook shares on the secondary market.
    Activists Call for Breakup of Bank of America If it ever became necessary to unwind Bank of America, federal authorities would be dealing with an institution more than three times bigger than Lehman Brothers.
    Deal Professor: The Chink in Illumina's Defense Steven M. Davidoff details how the Swiss drug giant Roche may be able to prevail in its $5.7 billion hostile takeover bid for Illumina, a provider of genetic analysis services.
    Soros Promotes Crisis Plan for Europe At the World Economic Forum in Davos, the billionaire George Soros said policy makers should work on saving the rest of the euro bloc rather than focusing on Greece.
    Davos Potpourri: Day One The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland officially began Wednesday, where mega-machers are discussing sluggish economic growth, the sovereign debt mess in Europe and the merits of fur-lined boots.
    A Who's Who of Davos Absentees A close comparison of the World Economic Forum guest lists of 2011 and 2012 provides something of a chronicle of the scandals, disasters and corporate ousters that have taken place in the last 12 months.
    Rubenstein Defends Romney's Tax Rate At the World Economic Forum, David M. Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, said during a debate on the future of capitalism that the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was just following the tax laws.
    Hedge Funds Scramble to Unload Greek Debt Hedge funds that in the last month or so have purchased an estimated $5.2 billion of beaten down Greek bonds that mature on March 20 are now trying to unload their positions.
    BUZZ TRACKER
    Gorman to Whiners: "Life's Too Short" In an interview from Davos with Bloomberg TV, James P. Gorman, the chief executive of Morgan Stanley, was asked whether his firm's uncharacteristically low year-end compensation, which included cash bonuses capped at $125,000, had hurt morale among his employees. "If you put your compensation in a one-year context to define your overall level of happiness, you've got a problem which is much bigger than the job," Mr. Gorman said. He added, "If you are really unhappy, just leave. I mean, life's too short."
    Braving the Snow at Davos Even Mother Nature seems to have gotten into the spirit of quantitative easing. Solutions to the world's economic woes may be in short supply, but Eric Pfanner reports on the I.H.T. Rendezvous blog that there is plenty of one thing: snow.
    LOOKING AHEAD
    Economic Reports Data released on Thursday will include weekly jobless claims, durable goods for December, new-home sales for December and leading economic indicators for December.
    Corporate Earnings Companies reporting on Thursday will include 3M, AT&T, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Caterpillar, Colgate-Palmolive, JetBlue Airways, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, United Continental, Amgen, Eastman Chemical and Starbucks.

Stocks and Markets in the News | Wall Street at Close: U.S. stocks rally on Fed vow; Apple lifts Nasdaq

By Laura Mandaro

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks closed sharply higher Wednesday, reversing after the Federal Reserve surprised many with a pledge to keep interest rates near zero percent until at least late 2014. Also, surging earnings from Apple Inc. AAPL -0.03% , the largest market-cap stock in the world, drove the Nasdaq Composite higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.64% rose 83.10 points, or 0.7%, to 12,758.85. The S&P 500 SPX +0.87% gained 11.41 points, or 0.9%, to 1,326.06; out of 16 trading sessions this year, it's risen for 13. The Nasdaq Composite COMP +1.14% jumped 31.67 points, or 1.1%, to 2,818.31.

Fed set to push back timing of eventual rate hike: Reuters Latest News

 

          
LATEST NEWS
Fed set to push back timing of eventual rate hike
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve looks set to keep monetary policy on hold on Wednesday, even as it releases forecasts expected to show interest rates will be near zero for at least two more years. | Full Article