Asian markets higher after Fed minutes but dollar weakens
The latest Federal Reserve monetary policy minutes yesterday led to the US stock market’s biggest one-day gains so far this year and the positive outlook has spread across the world. Asia’s major markets reacted well to the Fed’s dovish tone and Wall Street gains and most major markets in the region are higher; even Australia where unemployment figures continue to raise concern. Europe is also in positive territory so far despite new data showing a slump in German exports in August; the biggest monthly dip since January 2009. The US dollar is weaker against the yen, oil has rebounded slightly and gold is at a two-week high. US stock futures are mostly edging higher.
US jobless claims figures are released at 8.30am ET
Wholesale trade figures due at 10am ET
Family Dollar and PepsiCo report earnings today.
Budget deficit falls, for now
The Congressional Budget Office says that the deficit has fallen to $486 billion as revenues grew 9 per cent year-over-year. Higher employment and wage increases have boosted tax incomes and will continue to do so as the economy grows. However the CBO is predicting that after a further drop in the deficit next year it will trend higher due to an ageing population. These latest figures are preliminary estimates and the Treasury is expected to release the final budget data next week. Read the full story.
Fidelity Investments were victims of JP Morgan hackers
The cyber attack that put the contact details of more than 80 million JP Morgan customers at risk also affected Fidelity Investments. The attacks in the summer are known to have hit a number of financial institutions but JP Morgan is the only firm that has confirmed stolen data. Fidelity says they have no indication that any customer information was stolen in the attack on their systems. Read the full story.
HealthCare.gov ‘won’t crash’ says Obama administration
Officials from the Obama administration have promised that the healthcare.gov website won’t crash during this fall’s enrolment. Those using the site for the first time will find a simplified registration process with 16 screens to click through rather than the 76 that had to be worked through last year. The site has also been adapted for use on smartphones. Those who are already enrolled will automatically continue on their current or similar health plan if they decide not to shop around for cover. For those who struggled with proving their identity and immigration process last time there is little suggestion of any changes there; the contractor Experian will be using the same process to check data this year. Read the full story.
Seniors are struggling
Those aged 65 and over are having a hard time making ends meet according to new figures from interest.com. The site’s analysis of Census Bureau data shows that most seniors in 49 states are living on 60 per cent of the typical income of 45-64 year olds, below the 70 per cent that’s recommended in retirement. Seniors in Nevada and Washington DC do better, while those in Hawaii, Arizona, Mississippi and Florida are almost at the 70 per cent mark. These more positive figures are skewed by union or federal pensions and greater percentages of wealthy retirees. Read the full story.