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Weighing The Week Ahead: Can Earnings Season Spark A Big Year-End Rally?

Weighing The Week Ahead: Can Earnings Season Spark A Big Year-End Rally?

Finance
Shutterstock photoBy Jeff Miller :After last week's avalanche of economic data, the calendar is back to normal. More important is the onset of earnings season. Recent data have reassured many observers about the health of the U.S. economy. The period of seasonal weakness is ending. Expect people to be asking:Can this earnings season lead to a big year-end rally?Last Week RecapMy expectation for last week concerned the relationship between economic and stock market strength. That discussion might come another day, but last week's attention was focused on Las Vegas.The Story in One ChartI always start my personal review of the week by looking at this great chart from Doug Short via Jill Mislinski. She notes the gain of 1.18% on the week, as well as other key comparisons. Once again, it was a...
Equifax breach: 6 things Congress can do to help

Equifax breach: 6 things Congress can do to help

Finance
Elizabeth Warren to Equifax: You're making millions off this screwupAfter members of Congress grilled former Equifax CEO Richard Smith at four hearings this week, one thing is clear: There is outrage on both sides of the aisle over the massive data breach. But what will they do about it? The three major credit rating agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, aren't going away. They are an integral part of the U.S. credit system, and it would be difficult for consumers to get a mortgage, a loan, or even a credit card without them. Some Democrats are calling for a total overhaul of the industry because credit rating agencies don't currently have an economic incentive to help protect consumers' data. "Equifax won't be losing any business as a result of its failures... And that's because...
Why aren't credit freezes free for all?

Why aren't credit freezes free for all?

Finance
Freezing your credit after Equifax hack...not so easyConsumer advocates agree that a credit freeze is the strongest protection against new account identity theft -- exactly the kind of fraud that might happen to the 145 million victims of the Equifax data breach, in which Social Security numbers, addresses, names and birth dates, among other information, were accessed by hackers. But the only people who get a free credit freeze in every state are those who are already victims of identity theft. As for the rest of us who want to protect ourselves and prevent ID theft, credit freezes probably aren't free. Approximately 158 million consumers between 18 and 65 years old in 42 states and the District of Columbia must pay a fee to get credit freezes, ranging from $ 2 to $ 10, according to the U...
Can major league home runs and strikeouts really track the stock market?

Can major league home runs and strikeouts really track the stock market?

Finance
Why in the world would Major League Baseball home run statistics track the U.S. stock market?It's tempting to dismiss such a finding as a wild coincidence or a fluke, but as you can see in the chart, the relationship between the two has persisted for nearly 150 years. What's more, it gets even stronger if you add strikeouts into the mix. Most hitters and pitchers don't check stock tickers before swinging and flinging, and most stock investors don't check baseball stats before buying and selling. So what's the connection? The simplest explanation is that society's overall mood influences performance in both arenas.For example, on Friday, June 2 of this year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average set a new all-time high for the first time in three months. The next day, confidence wafted on the br...
End-of-year hiring should bring joy to job seekers

End-of-year hiring should bring joy to job seekers

Finance
Whether you're looking for permanent employment or a seasonal gig around the holidays, CareerBuilder's latest forecast predicts an uptick in both jobs and pay.Between August and September, CareerBuilder surveyed more than 2,250 hiring managers and human resources professionals as well as 3,700 full-time workers.About 43 percent of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in the fourth quarter, up from 34 percent in 2016, and 73 percent plan to increase wages.Target is one employer increasing wages. Last week, the big-box chain announced it was raising pay to $ 15 an hour.Higher wages couldn't come too soon. A single worker will soon need to earn at least $ 15 an hour just to afford the basics, recent research shows. CareerBuilder found that 35 percent of employers expect to hi...