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Financial 411: A Review of This Week's Economic News, with Some Thoughts From Business Journalists

Friday, October 01, 2010

It looks like the Federal Reserve is not done with efforts to get the economy back on track. Speaking in New York today, an influential member of the central bank's policymaking group said more action by the Fed is likely.

That's the word from William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He said the pace of economic growth has been disappointing, and if the economy doesn't improve, he's worried about deflation.  The Fed wants Americans to spend more money, so it's considering buying more government debt to force down rates on mortgages and other loans.  

FLASH CRASH

Federal regulators said today that a trading firm's use of a computer-generated sell order triggered the May 6 stock market dive, which sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging nearly 1,000 points in less than a half an hour.

A report by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has determined that the so-called "flash crash" happened when a trading firm executed a computerized selling program during an already stressed market.

The report does not name the trading firm. But only one trade that day fit the description in the report--and the Kansas-based firm Waddell & Reed has acknowledged making such a trade that day.

MARKET UPDATE

Stocks started October with moderate gains, after some encouraging signs in manufacturing.  Shares of companies including Boeing and GE rose today after the Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index showed that factory activity was still expanding in September. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 42 points, or four-tenths of a percent, to close at 10,830. The S&P 500 index also rose 0.4 percent, to 1,146, and the Nasdaq was up one-tenth of a percent, at 2,371.

BUSINESS JOURNALISM

WNYC's regular guest, Greg David, is the organizer of Friday's conference of business journalists at the CUNY Journalism School in midtown Manhattan, where he's the chair of the Business & Economics Reporting program. He joined Brian Zumhagen on today's Financial 411 to analyze how business journalists are writing about the nation's economy.

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