Driving along Route 28 in the Catskills Mountain, five days after Tropical Storm Irene devastated the region, can be deceptive. It’s a beautiful sunny day. Some leaves are starting to turn yellow and crimson. But if you stop in the towns along the way — Boiceville, Phoenicia, Margaretville — it’s another story all together.
As clean up efforts continue in the Catskill towns severely damaged by Tropical Storm Irene, residents of New York City are helping out.
Speaking in the Catskills community of Prattsville, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday that he expects damage from Tropical Storm Irene to reach $1 billion as the flood waters receded from rural communities in the mountainous region upstate and elsewhere to reveal the extent of the destruction.
The slow down of the nation's economy does have at least one silver lining for anyone trying to get a mortgage or refinance an existing one. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed loan is now 4.43 percent according to HSH.com, a website that tracks mortgage lending across the country.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 520 points Wednesday on a day that concern over the weakening economy continued to percolate on Wall Street and send stocks tumbling.
How closely tied are the financial markets to the economy at large? In reaction to the country’s credit rating downgrade on Friday the markets had their worst day since the 2008 financial crisis yesterday as the Dow Jones dropped about 635 points and the Nasdaq was down 175. But do these numbers affect our country’s ability to create jobs? Do they have any meaningful relationship to consumer confidence, the arguable engine of our economy?
The Dow Industrial Average opened down 226 points, or two percent, as U.S. markets reacted to the unprecedented downgrade of the federal government's credit rating by Standard and Poor's. S&P's decision has drawn sharp rebuke from the Obama administration. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said S&P showed "terrible judgement." Stocks in Asia and Europe fell despite an announcement from the European Central Bank that it would buy Spanish and Italian debt to keep the debt crisis from spreading.
U.S. stock markets fell quickly Monday morning after Standard and Poor's cut the nation's credit rating. After opening Monday, the Dow Jones was down nearly 350 points — or more than 3 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were down by nearly 4 percent. With big drops like this, how much does the Dow need to fall before trading is stopped?
Credit ratings agency Standard and Poor's downgraded the U.S.'s credit rating for the first time in history on Friday, causing jaws to drop across the country, and raising the blood-pressures of leaders worldwide as many held emergency meetings to fend off any backlash this news might create. President Obama will be preparing this week for his upcoming bus tour to reconnect with voters in the Midwest. Meanwhile, News Corp. will release their fourth quarter results on Wednesday, the PGA Championship kicks off on Thursday, and Dennis Rodman will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.
The stock market opened higher than expected this morning, as markets reacted to the strongest jobs report since April. A report from the Labor Department showing that the economy added 117,000 jobs in July, bringing the unemployment rate down to 9.1 percent is buffering the U.S. stock market so far against the sharp sell offs around the globe yesterday. Yesterday was the worst day on Wall Street in three years.
There was a glimmer of good news Friday morning in the U.S jobs report, which beat many forecasters’ estimates. Speaking in Washington, President Barack Obama said “We are going to get through this. Things will get better and we are going to get there together.”
Thursday was a bad day for the markets as the Dow fell 513 points, or more than 4 percent. Why? Continued worries about Europe, Italy and Spain in particular, plus some sell-off that could be attributed to the monthly jobs report due out Friday.
Despite Congress finally passing a debt deal and President Obama signing off on the plan yesterday, the national mood was not celebratory. It's been a bad week for the economy, and it appears that it will only get worse. Last Friday, G.D.P. data showed disappointing economic activity in the nation's second quarter, and this week the Commerce Department released a report showing consumer spending fell in June. New employment figures, the economic indicator used to gauge growth, will be released Friday, and many are expecting them to be dismal.
The August 2 deadline for Congress to agree on a budget deal and avoid defaulting is looming uncomfortably close. Last night, President Obama and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said tonight that congressional leaders of both parties have agreed on a plan to lift the debt ceiling. They will present the plan to their caucuses this morning, and hope for the measure to pass through votes by both the House and Senate, in order to avoid a U.S. default by August 2.
As Congress continues the debate raising the nation's debt ceiling, executives at the nation's largest banks are meeting with Treasury officials at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
According to new data from Commerce Department Friday, the U.S. economy grew at a dismal rate of just 1.3 percent, significantly lower than the 1.7 percent that had been expected. The new figures show the weakest period of growth since the recession officially ended. Some economists fear that the debt ceiling debate in Congress will produce cost-cutting measures that will slow the economy further. As the August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling approaches, it is unclear whether Congress will be able to pass a plan.
The methodical killing of over 90 people by a gunman in Norway over the weekend has gripped the world with horror. The accused, Anders Behring Breivik, is currently in police custody, and has said he acted alone. Marcus Mabry, editor-at-large of The International Herald Tribune, the international edition of The New York Times, believes this tragic event has made Europe aware of a different kind of threat that they never knew was out there - extremist right-wing groups.
This week marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Bill into law. A key component of that bill was the establishment of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which will open its doors on Thursday. Yesterday, Obama announced Elizabeth Warren — the progressive icon who was charged with setting up the CFPB — will not be heading the new agency. In other news, the first legal same-sex marriages will take place in New York next weekend, and the nation's biggest banks will release their latest quarterly earnings statements.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened an investigation into allegations that News Corp.'s U.K.-based tabloid News of the World tried to hack into the phones of victims of September 11, 2001, a law enforcement official confirms the investigation to WNYC.