April 15, 2021

Investors Parse Fed Report And a 4-Day Rally Fizzles

The Dow slipped and the Standard Poor’s 500-stock index edged up less than a point on Wednesday, interrupting a four-day rally as investors tried to gauge when the Federal Reserve might scale back its economic stimulus.

Minutes from the Fed’s June policy meeting, which were released on Wednesday afternoon, showed that some members of the governing board wanted more reassurance that the labor market was improving before reining in stimulus measures. Even so, consensus built within the Fed that there probably was a need to begin pulling back soon on its monthly bond buying.

The three major stock indexes recovered some ground immediately after the release of the minutes. But those gains were short-lived as investors parsed the details of the minutes.

The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 8.68 points, or 0.06 percent, to end at 15,291.66. The S. P. 500 index inched up just 0.30 of a point, or 0.02 percent, to finish at 1,652.62. The Nasdaq composite index gained 16.50 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 3,520.76.

Investors appeared to be more encouraged by a speech from the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, that was delivered after the market closed. Mr. Bernanke said highly accommodative monetary policy was needed for the foreseeable future and that the unemployment rate at 7.6 percent may be overstating the job market’s health.

His comments sent stock index futures higher. The central bank has said it will continue buying bonds until the labor market outlook improves substantially.

“That is calming market fears,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, N.Y., referring to Mr. Bernanke’s comments. “Speculation that the tapering could be from September is now turning into, ‘Maybe the Fed is going stay longer.’ ”

Mr. Bernanke spooked investors last month when he said the economy’s expansion was strong enough for the central bank to start slowing the pace this year of its monthly purchases of $85 billion in bonds, known as quantitative easing.

Some in the market have pegged September as time when the Fed could start pulling back, but the minutes suggested that was not a foregone conclusion.

The S. P. 500 has risen more than 2 percent over the last five sessions, nearing its high of 1,669.16, reached May 21.

Analysts expect earnings at S. P. 500 companies to grow 2.6 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, while revenue is forecast to increase 1.5 percent, Thomson Reuters data shows.

In government bonds, the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell 9/32 to 92 2/32, sending the yield up to 2.67 percent, from 2.64 percent late Tuesday.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Emerging Asian Economies on Track for Solid Growth, Development Bank Says

HONG KONG — The economies of developing Asia appear to have settled into a new growth path that will allow the region to expand by between 6 percent and 7 percent a year — a pace that is significantly slower than that seen before the global financial crisis, yet represents a firm trajectory that could last over the next decade.

“It looks like we’re in a new trend,” said Changyong Rhee, the chief economist of the Asian Development Bank, which on Tuesday released its new forecasts for emerging Asia. The region spans developing countries like China, India, Indonesia and Thailand, but not Japan.

After relatively muted growth last year, when the region expanded by 6.1 percent, developing Asia is expected to pick up speed again with growth of 6.6 percent this year and 6.7 percent next year, according to the bank’s projections.

“The era of double-digit growth is over,” Mr. Rhee said. But, he added in an interview in Hong Kong, the United States is showing signs of recovery, and the euro zone likely to “muddle through” its debt crisis for the foreseeable future. That backdrop leaves developing Asia enjoying a relatively stable growth that was not yet visible just six months ago, when the development bank made its last projections for the region.

Faster growth in China — by far the region’s largest economy — and what Mr. Rhee called the “remarkable” resilience of southeast Asian economies have been the main drivers of growth there growth, lifting domestic consumption and intraregional trade, and in the process also reducing the region’s reliance on the world’s advanced, and slower-growing, economies.

Growth, however, will be very uneven, with China likely to grow at between 7 percent and 8 percent; the Asean region, comprising countries like Thailand and Malaysia, growing around 5 percent; and more developed economies like Hong Kong, Singapore or Taiwan expanding at little more than 3 percent.

Moreover, events in other parts of the world continue to pose major potential risks to Asia.

Among them, the development bank said, are the wrangling over the U.S. debt ceiling and the struggles to implement austerity measures in Europe. Border disputes within Asia, potential asset bubbles inflated by the monetary stimulus efforts of the world’s developed economies, and the possible reversal of capital inflows once that monetary stimulus ends also represent risks to Asia.

The Asian Development Bank also issued a stark warning on Asia’s rapidly growing energy needs. The region, the bank said, is moving along a “dangerously unsustainable energy path” that “could result in environmental disaster” and increase the region’s reliance on the oil-exporting nations of the Middle East.

“Asia could be consuming more than half the world’s energy supply by 2035, and without radical changes carbon dioxide emissions will double,” Mr. Rhee said. “Asia must both contain rising demand and explore cleaner energy options, which will require creativity and resolve, with policymakers having to grapple with politically difficult issues like fuel subsidies and regional energy market integration.”

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/10/business/global/emerging-asian-economies-on-track-for-solid-growth-development-bank-says.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

DealBook: S.E.C. Chief Who Overhauled Agency to Step Down

Mary L. Schapiro, right, and Elisse B. Walter at a meeting of the Securities and Exchange Commission last year.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesMary L. Schapiro, right, and Elisse B. Walter at a meeting of the Securities and Exchange Commission last year.

11:42 a.m. | Updated

Mary L. Schapiro, who overhauled the Securities and Exchange Commission after the financial crisis, announced Monday that she was stepping down as chairwoman of the agency.

In recent days, the S.E.C. informed the White House and Treasury Department that Ms. Schapiro planned to leave Dec. 14, becoming the first major departure from the Obama administration’s team of financial regulators. Ms. Schapiro will also relinquish her position as one of the five members of the agency’s commission, the group that oversees Wall Street and the broader financial markets.

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The White House announced on Monday that President Obama was naming Elisse B. Walter, a commissioner at the S.E.C., as the new chairwoman. In a somewhat surprising move, Ms. Walter will not step into an interim post, but will take over the top spot for the foreseeable future.

Ms. Walter’s appointment does not require Congressional approval because the Senate previously confirmed her as a commissioner. Eventually, the White House is expected to nominate another agency chief, according to a person briefed on the matter.

Ms. Schapiro’s departure, which follows a bruising four-year tenure, was widely telegraphed. Ms. Schapiro, 57, has confided in staff members for more than a year that she was exhausted and hoped to leave after the November elections.

“It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to work with so many dedicated S.E.C. staff who strive every day to protect investors and ensure our markets operate with integrity,” Ms. Schapiro said in a statement. “Over the past four years we have brought a record number of enforcement actions, engaged in one of the busiest rule-making periods, and gained greater authority from Congress to better fulfill our mission.”

In 2008, Mr. Obama nominated Ms. Schapiro, a political independent, to head the S.E.C. at a time when extreme economic turmoil had shaken investor confidence in the country’s securities regulators.

The agency was faulted for its lax oversight of brokerage firms like Lehman Brothers, which failed in 2008 and contributed to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Just weeks before Ms. Schapiro started as chairwoman, the Wall Street investor Bernard L. Madoff was accused of running a large Ponzi scheme, further damaging the credibility of regulators like the S.E.C., which missed crucial warning signs about the fraud.

“When Mary agreed to serve nearly four years ago, she was fully aware of the difficulties facing the S.E.C. and our economy as a whole,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “But she accepted the challenge, and today, the S.E.C. is stronger and our financial system is safer and better able to serve the American people – thanks in large part to Mary’s hard work.”

Ms. Schapiro, a lifelong regulator who previously ran the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, quickly gained a reputation as a consensus builder determined to repair the agency’s reputation. A tireless preparer and self-described pragmatist, Ms. Schapiro overhauled the agency’s management ranks, revived the enforcement unit and secured more money and technology at a time when other agencies were being asked to cut back. She also helped craft new rules for Wall Street oversight, as part of the Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul.

“The S.E.C. came back from the brink,” said Harvey L. Pitt, a former chairman of the agency under President George W. Bush. “I give her enormous credit for that.”

Consumer advocates and other critics, however, say she failed to grab the bully pulpit at a time the country needed a vocal critic of Wall Street. Since the financial crisis, the agency brought few enforcement cases against the Wall Street executives at the center of the crisis.

The S.E.C. notes it has brought a record number of cases over the last two years. While no top banking executives have been charged, the agency has filed actions against 129 people and firms tied to the crisis.

Ms. Walter, a Democrat who became an S.E.C. commissioner in 2008 and briefly served as the agency’s acting leader a year later, is a longtime ally of Ms. Schapiro. They overlapped at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Finra, where Ms. Walter was a senior regulator and lawyer. At the S.E.C., Ms. Walter was often the only reliable vote for Ms. Schapiro’s rule-making efforts and is now expected to carry out a similar agenda as chairwoman.

While Ms. Walter will take over, she may not serve the whole term. Among the other people that Mr. Obama may consider naming as agency chief include Mary J. Miller, a senior Treasury Department official, a person briefed on the matter said. Sallie L. Krawcheck, a former top executive at Citigroup and Bank of America, is also in the running, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The agency’s enforcement chief, Robert Khuzami, is a long-shot contender.

As for Ms. Schapiro, few expect her to follow her predecessors and move into private legal practice, where she would defend the banks she has spent years regulating. Instead, they say she is more likely to seek out a position at a university or research group.

Article source: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/11/26/schapiro-head-of-s-e-c-to-announce-departure/?partner=rss&emc=rss