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Topic - Ben S
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday shook global markets, cutting back once again on its economic stimulus program and signaling that a recent softening of job gains and turmoil in emerging markets will not deter it from ending its extraordinary easing measures this year.
Citing underlying strength in the recovering U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve surprised world financial markets Wednesday by cutting back its bond purchase program by $10 billion a month in 2014.
The Dow Jones industrial average held at a record high on Wall Street on Monday.
President Obama's nomination of Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen to become the next Fed chairman faces the threat of significant delays at a delicate time for the U.S. economy as a result of a recent move by Sen. Rand Paul to hold up the nomination to try to force a vote on auditing the central bank.
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Thursday praised the Federal Reserve's decision this week not to tap the brakes on its bond-buying program to stimulate the U.S. economy, saying it was still too soon to start the widely expected "tapering" operation on the Fed program.
The U.S. economy has fared better than expected this year after widespread fears that $85 billion of automatic spending cuts and sharp increases in taxes imposed at the beginning of the year would snuff out growth.
Mining companies and banks helped the stock market overcome some disappointing quarterly performances on Monday.
The Federal Reserve might put off its plans to stop infusing cash into world financial markets in the middle of next year if Congress enacts further deep budget cuts that prevent a pick-up in economic growth, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told a congressional hearing Wednesday.
While the U.S. economy is healthy enough for the Federal Reserve to consider ending the extraordinary cash infusions it has pumped into world markets since 2008, such a change of course would pose big challenges for Europe's debt-strapped economies and for many of the world's developing countries.
The stock market nudged higher Tuesday, putting it on track for a fourth day of gains, as investors waited for more quarterly results from companies.
Encouraging news about the U.S. jobs market trumped rising oil prices and worrying developments in Europe's simmering debt crisis on Wednesday.
U.S. buyers snapped up new cars and trucks in June at a pace not seen since before the recession.
U.S. consumers spent more in May as their income rose — encouraging signs after a slow start to the year — but spending was weaker in April, February and January than previously estimated.
U.S. stock indexes moved higher for a second day Wednesday as the bond market recovered from a slump. Traders also were encouraged by an upturn in Europe.U.S. stock indexes moved higher for a second day Wednesday as bond yields fell, easing worries that higher interest rates could upset the economy.
U.S. stocks rose in midday trading Tuesday, pushed higher by a trifecta of encouraging economic reports.
The Fed also should not concern itself unduly with the turmoil in emerging markets, he said, in particular because it is actually aiding U.S. consumers by lowering U.S. interest rates as investors worldwide dive into U.S. Treasury securities as a safe haven from the storm.