Business events scheduled for the coming week
Commerce Department releases personal income and spending for December, 8:30 a.m.; Commerce Department releases construction spending for December, 10 a.m.; President Barack Obama sends his 2011 budget proposal to Congress.
NEW YORK — The Institute for Supply Management releases its manufacturing index for January, 10 a.m.
WASHINGTON — National Association of Realtors releases pending home sales index for December, 10 a.m.; Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testifies about the president’s new budget request before the Senate Finance Committee; White House budget director Peter Orszag testifies about the president’s new budget request at a separate hearings before the Senate Budget Committee and the House Budget Committee; Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the president’s proposal financial overhaul. Witnesses include Paul Volcker, chairman of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. [Read the full article]
The economy boomed at the end of 2009, growing at the fastest rate in more than six years. Now if only it could keep it up.
The economy expanded at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter, the second straight quarter of growth. But analysts warn it’s unsustainable.
Consumer spending, chilled by double-digit unemployment and scant wage gains, remains weak. And the benefits of government aid and higher company output to feed stockpiles will dwindle.
Many analysts predict gross domestic product will expand at a rate closer to 2.5 to 3 percent in the current quarter and 2.5 percent or less for the year.
That won’t be enough to significantly reduce the unemployment rate, now 10 percent. In fact, most analysts expect the rate to keep rising for months and to remain close to 10 percent through year’s end. [Read the full article]
American International Group Inc. on Friday disclosed details of the toxic securities that helped trigger a massive taxpayer rescue of the giant insurer.
In a public filing, AIG listed the securities held in its Maiden Lane III business, which the company and the government created to purchase toxic assets, repay debt and provide capital for some of AIG’s operations after its $182.5 billion federal bailout.
The Federal Reserve had previously resisted disclosing details on the securities. It argued that doing so could disrupt the market for those assets, possibly making it harder to sell or unwind them.
But AIG disclosed the details in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday, two days after Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., released the same information to the media as part of a congressional probe into the AIG bailout. Issa is the top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. [Read the full article]
Stocks ended a disappointing January with a loss as investors questioned whether the economy will be able to sustain its big fourth-quarter growth rate. Downbeat earnings at technology companies also pulled stocks down.
The Dow Jones industrials fell 53 points Friday to close the month down 3.5 percent. Just 10 days earlier, the average was at a 15-month high. Investors who are increasingly uneasy about the economy, earnings and politics have been pulling money out of the market over the past week.
January was the worst month for the market since last February. Many market watchers believe January sets the tone for stocks for the rest of the year, and historical data backs that up. Since 1950, the Standard & Poor’s 500’s full-year direction has matched its January performance more than 90 percent of the time, according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac. [Read the full article]