Money
Associated Press/Photo by Richard Drew

Dollars and Sense: The Fed speaks, and the markets barely notice

Money
by Warren Cole Smith
Posted 3/23/15, 10:10 am

Yellen speaks. The big news last week was a two-day Federal Reserve meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. Fed-watchers were on the lookout for a single word: “patient.” Past statements from the Fed said the central bank would be “patient” about raising interest rates. The markets interpreted that to mean as long as the word “patient” was in the statement, an interest rate hike was still off in the future. But when the Fed eliminated the word patient, it would signal interest rate hikes could come soon.

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Associated Press/Photo by Michael Probst

Dollars and Sense: Europe starts quantitative easing, fears of a correction loom

Money
by Warren Cole Smith
Posted 3/16/15, 11:15 am

Another volatile week. The markets were volatile again last week. After a five-year rally without a serious correction, sometimes news the markets think could throw a wet blanket on the fire causes a big drop. Then, the fire burns through the blanket anyway and the markets rise again. That cycle causes big drops and then—usually within a day or two—big gains again take us back to where we started.

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Associated Press/Photo by Alan Diaz

Dollars and Sense: Stop worrying about jobs, start watching inflation

Money
by Warren Cole Smith
Posted 3/09/15, 08:35 am

Focus on jobs. Once a month we have a week during which we get a lot of employment related data, and last week was that week for March. On Wednesday, payroll processor ADP said private employers hired 212,000 workers in February. The number was slightly below expectations, but still considered decent. On Thursday, we got the report for first-time claims for unemployment benefits. First-time claims rose by 7,000 to 320,000, the highest number since last May.

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