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For investors, the last few months have been dominated by two words: fiscal cliff. The combination of automatic expiring tax breaks and across-the-board government spending cuts scheduled to become effective on January 1, 2013, has sent a shiver down the spine of market participants.  [click to continue…]

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Equity markets turned south on Wednesday as lackluster earnings on the home front paved the way for profit taking pressures. With no economic data releases to overshadow earnings, major indexes oscillated in red territory throughout most of the trading session, broadly finishing the day lower. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was the worst performer, shedding 0.63% on the day, while the Nasdaq proved most resilient, losing 0.37% as the closing bell rang [see Free Report: Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].

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Bearish pressures prevailed on Wednesday as major equity indexes on Wall Street fell victim to profit taking after a less-than-stellar durable goods data release. The Dow Jones Industrial Average led the way lower for a second trading session in a row, shedding 0.54% on the day, while Nasdaq and S&P 500 tied, each losing 0.49% […]

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The first half of 2011 is officially in the books, and many investors find their portfolios in approximately the same place as they were to start the year (though a furious rally in the final week of the quarter gave a nice boost at an opportune moment). Most major equity indexes are up slightly on […]

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According to the ancient Mayan calendar, the world will end in December 2012. If banking analyst Meredith Whitney is right, the beginning of the end might be around the corner. Whitney, who rose to prominence after a pessimistic report on Citigroup issued in late 2007 later proved to be painfully accurate, has been zeroed in […]

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After witnessing an impressive run-up through the first three quarters of the year, more and more investors are now expressing concern over a bubble in bond markets. Reaction to the recent announcement of another round of QE has skewed towards the negative, as economists both in the U.S. and around the globe have predicted that […]

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U.S. equity markets surged to start the week, as solid retail sales helped to boost optimism in the markets early in Monday trading. However, stocks eventually slumped and finished the day close to breakeven, as the Dow managed to gain just 0.1% while the S&P 500 lost 0.1% and the Nasdaq fell by 0.2%. Commodity […]

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After lingering in the background of the ETF industry for the last several years, fixed income funds have stepped up in recent months to become one of the primary drivers of growth. Through the first seven months of 2010, cash inflows to ETFs totaled $49 billion. Of this amount, more than $23 billion has been […]

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Massive budget deficits brought on by years of reckless spending and low taxes have put many cash-strapped nations such as Greece and Spain in impossible positions. These countries now find themselves searching for ways to cut fat from their bloated budgets and get their fiscal houses in order and avoid the financial devastation that comes […]

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With interest rates near record lows and expected to remain there for the foreseeable future, many investors have begun searching for alternatives to Treasuries that offer more attractive yields (see Five Bond ETFs For Yield-Hungry Investors). Junk bonds and closed-end funds have been popular choices, but some investors in higher tax brackets have embraced municipal […]

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Perhaps no area in the U.S. (with the possible exception of Michigan) has felt the pinch of the recession worse than the Golden State. California, the most populous state (home to eight of the country’s 50 largest cities) and third-largest by land area, has seen tax revenues plummet and unemployment skyrocket over the past 18 […]

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