Financial
GOP, Obama line up behind modest budget deal PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 07:18

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Republicans and President Barack Obama are lining up behind a modest but hard-won bipartisan budget agreement that seeks to replace a portion of tough spending cuts facing the Pentagon and domestic agencies.

The deal to ease those cuts for two years is aimed less at chipping away at the nation's $17 trillion national debt than it is at trying to help a dysfunctional Capitol stop lurching from crisis to crisis. It would set the stage for action in January on a $1 trillion-plus spending bill for the budget year that began in October.

The measure unveiled by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and his Senate counterpart, Patty Murray, D-Wash., blends $85 billion in spending cuts and revenue from new and extended fees — but no taxes or cuts to Medicare beneficiaries — to replace $63 billion in cuts to agency budgets over the coming two years.

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U.S. ban on high-risk bank trades approved PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARCY GORDON, AP Business Writer   
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 15:44

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. banks will be barred in most cases from trading for their own profit under a federal rule approved Tuesday.

The Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. each unanimously voted to adopt the so-called Volcker Rule, taking a major step toward preventing extreme risk-taking on Wall Street that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis.

Three other regulators were expected to follow suit Tuesday.

Congress instructed regulators to draft the rule under the 2010 financial overhaul law.

The rule was agreed to after three years of drafts, debates and lobbying by Wall Street banks.

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Pay gains for young women; inequality still seen PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by HOPE YEN, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 07:15

WASHINGTON (AP) — About 75 percent of young women believe the U.S. needs to do more to bring about equality in the workplace, a new study finds, despite a narrowing pay gap and steady employment gains for women at higher levels of business and government.

Those women remain as pessimistic as their mothers and grandmothers regarding gender equality in the workplace, according to the report released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

The study finds that women under 32 now make 93 percent of what young men earn, aided by women's higher rates of college completion. But the analysis of census and labor data also shows the gender pay gap will widen for women by their mid-30s, if the experience of the past three decades is a guide.

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Once-frothy Nasdaq tries to reach dot-com peak PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KEN SWEET, AP Markets Writer   
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 15:43

NEW YORK (AP) — It takes a long time to recover from a bad hangover, especially when you party like it's 1999.

The Nasdaq Composite is up 35 percent this year, but while other major indexes like the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 have celebrated all-time highs again and again, the Nasdaq remains 20 percent below its dot-com peak of 5,048.62.

That's a good thing because the biggest beneficiary of the late 90s internet mania was also its biggest victim. After cresting on March 10, 2000, the index lost nearly 80 percent of its value over the next two years, touching bottom on Oct. 9, 2002 at 1,114.11. The Dow fell 27 percent over the same period, and the S&P 500 dropped 44 percent.

Even as it soars faster than other indexes, the Nasdaq isn't what it was. While still tech-heavy, it's more diverse, reasonably valued and loaded with profitable companies, investors say.

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