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The Battered Bull Market Is Limping Into 2019

U.S. stocks are stumbling into the new year following a blistering fourth-quarter retreat by investors that shows little sign of slowing and threatens to upend the nearly 10-year bull market. Although most investors agree the U.S. economy will likely continue to expand in 2019, the broader backdrop for the stock market has darkened in recent months in the face of a Federal Reserve intent on unwinding its easy-money policies, a continuing trade dispute between Washington and Beijing, weakening corporate profit growth and a partial government shutdown. Those concerns contributed to ...

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The unexpected moneymaker in 2018: euro zone government bonds

Economic optimists have for years been misguidedly predicting the twilight of the boring, safety-first bond market. And the year gone by was another one that proved them wrong, particularly in the euro zone. Investors who bought government bonds from euro zone countries — with the admittedly large exception of Italy — at the start of 2018 booked a healthy profit if they held them to the end of the year. Even with the European Central Bank dialling back its stimulus, the dulling of a once-rosy growth outlook and political tensions ...

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Uncertainty Hounds Stocks Going Into 2019

Stock investors are heading into the new year with a sense of wariness after contending with sharp reversals across much of the market in the fourth quarter. Technology shares that had soared in prior years retreated late in 2018, hurt by worries about valuations and signs of slowing sales growth among industry giants such as Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. Energy shares slid with oil prices, while shares of trade-sensitive manufacturers and auto makers lost ground as Beijing and Washington fought over trade policy. After rising 9% through the first ...

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Global Stocks Rise to End Turbulent 2018

Global stocks rose Monday, capping a volatile year for markets amid signs of progress in trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.2% in early morning trade following an upbeat session in Asia. Some markets across the world were closed for the New Year’s Eve holiday. Oil prices also gained while the dollar was stable. On Wall Street, futures pointed to opening gains of 0.8% for the S&P 500. Still, U.S. stocks were on course to record their worst December since 1931. Over the weekend, ...

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The message investors are missing in the stock market’s wild swings: The economy is still solid

So now the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 1,000 points in one day during a slow Christmas week, after falling sharply for four straight sessions. Is it OK to come out of the bunker? Not really, if you’re thinking in the short term. Both the Dow DJIA, +1.14% and the S&P 500 SPX, +0.86% are giving back a good chunk of Wednesday’s gain. The market’s heartburn naturally has refocused attention on the state of the economy — and it continues to be basically solid. Yes, 2019 earnings growth looks a ...

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Why the stock market is so worried about corporate America

The stock market has had an ugly last few months. Through the close on Monday, stocks were down 20% from their late-September highs. Wednesday’s historic rally that saw the Dow log its largest single-day point gain on record while the S&P 500 had its biggest one-day increase since 2009 will alleviate only some of the recent market stress. Recent weeks have seen a torrent of explanations trying to peg the sell-off on one cause — Trump’s tweets, the trade war, the Fed, the global economy, and so on. None of ...

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Wall Street’s Late Rally Drives Global Stocks Higher

Global stocks rallied on Friday, adding to a week of seesaws on Wall Street that captured the uncertainty gripping investors heading into 2019. The Stoxx 600 European benchmark was up 1.7%. France’s CAC 40 and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 1.7%, too. In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 0.1% and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.4%. The holiday period has been defined by wild market swings, with U.S. stocks slumping Thursday before staging a dramatic comeback just before markets closed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average swung from an ...

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Global stocks cautiously follow Wall Street’s surge

Stocks in Europe and Asia rose cautiously on Friday after Wall Street ended a volatile session with big gains, but fears of further price swings and worries about U.S. politics kept safe-haven currencies such as the yen and Swiss franc in demand. European shares opened in positive territory after Thursday’s 1.7 percent retreat and were up about 1.4 percent at 0920 GMT, with most bourses and sectors in the black. They have not matched a two-day surge on U.S. indexes that saw the benchmark S&P 500 index gain 5.9 percent, ...

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Markets Are Already Volatile. A Long Shutdown Could Make It Worse.

A short government shutdown will likely have little impact on the overall U.S. economy, but a protracted budget fight during a time of heightened market volatility could worsen an already murky outlook. The partial U.S. government closure entered its fifth day Wednesday as President Trump and Congress remained at an impasse over his demand for more funding for a border wall, leaving 800,000 workers furloughed or working without pay. The initial economic effects are likely negligible, despite the hardships for individual employees, because the shutdown initially fell on two weekend ...

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US stock market meltdown a departure from economic reality

The New York Stock Exchange went into the Christmas break in its biggest market retreat in a decade, down about 20 per cent in three months. If it recovers some ground after reopening, that will be welcome but it remains to be seen when the volatility will end. This raises the question: what is there not to like in a domestic economy enjoying a low in unemployment, strong consumer sentiment after buoyant Christmas shopping sales and robust business expansion going by surveys of business supply managers? Yet the stock market ...

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Buying and holding volatility usually hurts; then came 2018

The big uptick in stock market gyrations this year has made a surprise winner out of a trade that has rarely delivered a win – buying and holding volatility. Stock market ructions over the last decade have been few and fleeting, requiring great feats of timing to generate profits from volatility buying. Not so this year. Frequent bursts of market gyrations have kept things lively in the volatility space and has made betting on enduring turmoil hugely profitable. While the S&P 500 is getting crushed to a degree not seen ...

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Wall Street surge lifts world stocks off 22-month low

World stocks bounced off a near two-year low on Thursday, lifted by a dramatic Wall Street surge, though a fall in Chinese industrial profits and renewed Italian banking worries offered a sobering reminder of the problems weighing on the world economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged more than 1,000 points for the first time on Wednesday, leading a broad Wall Street rebound, after a report that holiday sales were the strongest in years helped mollify concerns about the health of the economy. Stocks in Asia and Europe took their ...

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Euronext Makes $712 Million Takeover Offer for Oslo Bourse

Euronext NV is making a 625 million-euro ($712 million) takeover offer for Oslo Bors VPS Holding ASA after winning an auction by some of the Norwegian stock exchange operator’s biggest shareholders. The owner of stock markets in Paris and Amsterdam approached the board of Oslo Bors at the weekend after securing the backing of 49.6 percent of the firm’s shareholders, Euronext Chief Executive Officer Stephane Boujnah said in a telephone interview. The company is offering 145 Norwegian kroner ($16.53) apiece for the remaining shares, according to a statement Monday. That’s ...

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Markets not merry as stock losses extend into 8th day

A gauge of stocks worldwide posted an eighth straight decline on Monday as investors ignored Trump administration attempts to reinforce confidence and the U.S. president called the Federal Reserve the “only problem our economy has.” Investors, also facing the likelihood of a prolonged U.S. government shutdown, fled to the relative safety of bonds and gold during the first day of a week of trading shortened by the Christmas holiday. Oil prices, meanwhile, tumbled more than 6 percent on Monday to the lowest in over a year. On Sunday, President Donald ...

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It’s Bear Markets Galore as Year to Forget for Bulls Rounds Out

The depth and breadth of the market sell-off is claiming new victims, with U.S. tech stocks and Japanese equities among the latest to hit the less than gratifying milestone: a bear market. Typically defined as a tumble of 20 percent or more from a high, bear markets arrived for Japan’s Topix index and the Nasdaq Composite last week. Here’s a look at some other notable moves from Italian shares to natural gas, with the date circled on the charts to mark the crossing of the threshold. FANG FLU Stocks that ...

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