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Financial 411: U.S., China Talk Economics

Monday, May 09, 2011

Oil Prices Rising, Again

Oil prices rose sharply Monday, reversing much of last week's big drop. A barrel of oil rose more than $5 and is back over $100. Analysts suggest there hasn't been any particular change in the oil markets and that these wild swings could be the result of speculators. Whatever the cause, gas prices are still hovering just below $4 a gallon according to the Energy Department.

Nasdaq, Intercontinental Exchange Battle Over NYSE

The fight over ownership of the New York Stock Exchange continues as the the Nasdaq and Intercontinental Exchange reached out directly to shareholders of the exchange's parent company. The two companies have made an unsolicited bid to buy the iconic Wall Street stock market for $11 billion. Their offer has been rejected in favor of a previously agreed to bid from Deutsche Boerse.

Markets

The Dow Jones gained 46 points, to close at 12,685.
The S&P 500 gained six points, ending at 1,346.
The NASDAQ added 16 points, to finish at 2,745.

Federal Funds Slated for Rail Projects

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced nearly $800 million in projects to improve rail service in Northeast at New York's Pennsylvania Station on Monday. Most of the money will go to make trains run more reliably from Washington, D.C. to Boston.

Appeals Court Lifts Stay on Cigarette Tax Collection

A federal appeals court has lifted stays that blocked New York's effort to collect taxes on cigarette sales by Indian-owned businesses to non-Indians. The state estimates it could collect as much as $500,000 a day in additional revenue. The president of the Seneca nation said the tribes will fight to protect their treaty rights and tobacco business.

U.S., China, Talk Economics


Monday kicked off the third round of what's called the "Strategic and Economic Dialogue" between the U.S. and Chinese governments. Topics include trade, foreign policy and defense. 

Damien Ma is an analyst with Eurasia Group, a political research and consulting firm. He discusses the significance of these talks between two high-level decision makers, what's on the agenda from both sides, and what steps, if any, we can expect as a result.

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