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By David A. Clarke Jr.
Blame Washington's intelligence failure, not lack of police
Topic - Jeffrey Kleintop
The Dow Jones industrial average on Tuesday surged convincingly past its previous record and landed at an all-time high of 14,253.77, fueled by record corporate profits and the loose money policies of global central banks.
With only weeks to go, American businesses are bracing for the impact of the "fiscal cliff" in major ways.
The Old World's worries are not necessarily bad news for the New World's economy — at least in the short term.
Bank stocks turbocharged a rally across the financial markets Tuesday, and all three major stock indexes posted their biggest gains of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 218 points and closed at its highest level since the end of 2007.
Stock indexes crept lower Wednesday after Europe edged closer to a recession that would hurt corporate profits at home. The first earnings reports from American companies didn't add much encouragement.
China's economy is struggling for a second time in four years to avoid being dragged under by a receding tide of ebbing growth and financial crises elsewhere in the world.
The U.S. Treasury next month will go back to relying on the kindness of strangers like never before to purchase the nation's burgeoning debts — and taxpayers may have to pay higher interest rates to attract enough foreign investors, analysts say.
The death of Osama bin Laden improved President Obama's re-election prospects and strengthened his hand in negotiations with congressional Republicans, raising hopes in financial markets that it will be easier to cut defense spending and make progress tackling the budget deficit in coming weeks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, boosted by strong profits, yesterday hit the 14,000 barrier barely two months after breaking through 13,000 for the first time.
“Weak income growth and hiring is keeping a lid on consumer spending power,” with higher payroll taxes and gas prices “adding to the drain” this year, he said.
Although consumers are being nicked by the loss of some government services with the latest round of budget cuts, they could take an even bigger hit at the end of the month if the stalemate in Washington results in a full-scale government shutdown, he said.