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Democratization of markets
  Average investors are big beneficiaries of morphing markets, financial technology (fintech) and more market information than at any point in history.  For ordinary investors, trading is more analytically sophisticated, faster and cost-effective ever. Markets are democratizing. Back in the day, average investors pretty much stuck to the stock market, or maybe a bond here or there. Their key strategy:…
December 'could well be' the time for a rate hike -- depending....
Capital Markets
From the October meeting minutes of the Federal Open Markets Committee released Wednesday afternoon in Washington, D.C. (boldface added for emphasis): During their discussion of economic conditions and monetary policy, participants focused on a number of issues associated with the timing and pace of policy normalization. Some participants thought that the conditions for beginning the policy normalization process had already…
Daily Scan: Stocks rise; ISIS claims responsibility for Russian plane crash
Capital Markets
November 18, 2015 Stocks are up Wednesday, with the S&P 500 gaining 0.75% by midday. The Dow added more than 0.7% as well, and the Nasdaq was up nearly 0.9%. European bourses pared losses.  Airline stocks fell as terrorist threats continue to shake the sector: Two Air France planes were forced to divert flights Tuesday in response to bomb threats and in…
The note making waves today: Goldman adds Apple to 'Conviction Buy' list
Capital Markets
The share price of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) have appreciated 3 percent year-to-date, although the shares have been volatile all through the year. Goldman Sachs’ Simona Jankowski has maintained a Buy rating on the company, with a price target of $163. While adding the stock to Goldman Sachs’ Conviction Buy List, Jankowski mentioned that Apple was currently trading at a…
Daily Scan: Looming IPOs spook China investors; ongoing terror threats inspire caution
Capital Markets
Updated throughout the day November 18, 2015 Asian markets remained cautious today as the continuing terror crisis grips Europe. China investors are also worried that an upcoming backlog of initial public offerings could soon divert liquidity from the market. China’s Shanghai Composite index was down 1.01%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.34%. Japan's Nikkei 225, however, was…
Citigroup firing decision sets a precedent
Capital Markets
A former Citigroup currencies trader won his case for unfair dismissal on Tuesday. A London employment tribunal decided that Perry Stimpson was unfairly dismissed by the U.S. bank last year when it was mired in a forex scandal. Part of the tribunal's reasoning is peculiar: it seems to conclude that Stimpson shouldn't have been sacked because he was behaving no differently from his…
US Treasurys? Follow the money (out)
Capital Markets
There really is no need to agonize over those Delphic utterances by Fed officials. Investors paralyzed by trying to second-guess interest rate policy just have to follow the big money: "The top buyers of U.S. government debt are shedding their holdings at the fastest pace in months," reports The Wall Street Journal (paywall). "China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasurys,…
Shhh! Goldman is holding a conference with its favorite startups
Capital Markets
Goldman Sachs is hosting its annual by-invitation-only startup conference in Las Vegas at the Bellagio on Tuesday and Wednesday, reports ReCode. Goldman Sachs is a bit of an also-ran in Silicon Valley. This conference is its stab at gaining street cred. And the companies that present are usually their faves or firms they would like to be clients, says ReCode.…
Daily Scan: Stocks fall flat; Germany ends soccer game after bomb threat
Capital Markets
Updated throughout the day November 17, 2015 U.S. stocks ended the day flat after an initial boost early on. Wal-Mart's earnings beat expectations, sending its shares up 3.5% Tuesday. The U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% in October, as expected. But industrial production fell 0.2% in October, after expectations it would remain flat. The meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve's October…
Overheard on Twitter: Where all this M&A activity is leading us
Capital Markets
From Dealogic: US targeted M&A volume has reached $2.03tr in 2015 YTD, up 55% from $1.31tr announced in 2014 YTD. This marks the first time on record any country has passed $2tr in targeted M&A volume in a calendar year To which, Twitter responds: @firstadopter named Berkshire Hathaway — Bob Brinker (@BobBrinker) November 17, 2015 Photo: thetaxhaven