Yellen Signals Growing Likelihood of December Rate Hike

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress Thursday that economic conditions appear to be improving enough for policymakers to raise interest rates when they meet in two weeks — as long as there are no major shocks that undermine confidence. Yellen said that even after the...
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Market Wrap: S&P 500 Posts Big Drop as ECB Disappoints

NEW YORK — The S&P 500 suffered its biggest drop since late September on Thursday as the European Central Bank disappointed market hopes for greater stimulus. The ECB move triggered a spike in the euro that caught investors by surprise, forcing them to shift positions that hit most...
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Service Sector Slows; Labor Market Remains Resilient

WASHINGTON — U.S. service sector activity slowed in November but remained at levels consistent with a steady pace of economic growth for the fourth quarter, a business survey showed Thursday. Other data reported a small increase in first-time applications for unemployment benefits last week, but planned job cuts...
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Alibaba Unlikely to Be Interested in Yahoo’s Core Business

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding is unlikely to be interested in buying Yahoo’s Internet business, The Wall Street Journal reported. Yahoo’s board, in a three-day meeting that started Wednesday, is weighing a sale of the struggling business, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing a source. The business isn’t attractive,...
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Why Defensive Stocks Aren’t Safe Anymore

Nervous investors should think twice before diving into so-called defensive stocks, especially those securities with high dividends. You might end up putting more risk into your portfolio than you realize. Stocks that have less volatility than the overall market and pay higher dividends than most other stocks are...
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Market Wrap: Stocks Surge on Strong U.S. Jobs Data

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks rallied Friday, giving the S&P 500 its biggest gain since early September, as employment data suggested the economy was strong enough to sustain a Federal Reserve rate hike this month. Financials, which benefit from higher borrowing costs, led the rally. The S&P financial...
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How to Avoid Holiday Season Credit Card Rip-Offs

“Buy now, pay later” is the modern way of life. Credit cards are a highly profitable business for the companies that issue them, so it’s no surprise that banks continue to inundate consumers with credit card offers, especially during the shopping frenzy of the holiday season. These come-ons...
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3 Consumer Stocks to Covet in 2016

Describing 2015’s stock market returns is like offering up reactions to toast with butter. [Meh. Yawn.] While 2015 had some cringeworthy moments — like when China’s market took a dive this summer — for the most part, stocks are ending the year close to where they began, showing...
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3 Risks of Investing in Annuities

Investing can be scary, especially in the short term. When you retire, it’s hard to watch the value of your lifetime of savings fluctuate as financial markets bounce up and down. Fear is a powerful sales tool. Immediate annuities are an insurance product that prevents you from losing...
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