Shares finish flat in late rally on GreeceNEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks erased losses to end little changed on Tuesday after a Greek government source said the conservative party leader was expected to deliver a letter of commitment to the country's international lenders. A sign of Greece's commitment to the tough austerity measures demanded by euro zone leaders was a catalyst for buyers to jump into the stock market late in the session.Retail sales point to underlying strengthWASHINGTON...Read Full Story
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks fell on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on pace for its first weekly decline in the past six, after another snag in negotiations for a financial bailout package for Greece.All 10 S&P sectors were negative and the S&P 500 energy, financials and materials sectors were each down about 1 percent. The CBOE Volatility index <.VIX>, often referred to as Wall Street's "fear index," jumped 11 percent, its biggest percentage gain in three months.Investors have anxiously awaited...Read Full Story
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. economy grew a bit faster than initially thought in the fourth quarter on slightly firmer consumer and business spending, which could help to allay fears of a sharp slowdown in growth in early 2012.COMMENTS:ROBERT DYE, CHIEF ECONOMIST, COMERICA, DALLAS"This is continuing the theme of economic performance at the end of the fourth quarter and into the first quarter. But we are not going to see the Q1 GDP above 2.5 percent because we are not going to see the...Read Full Story
BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Central Bank is exploring alternatives to its controversial bond-purchase program but has yet to decide on any replacement policy tool, ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny told a German website in comments published on Tuesday.Nowotny, who is also Austria's national central bank chief, said there was skepticism on the policymaking Council about the bond-buy program "because we fear the market imperfections that we want to correct with this could emerge...Read Full Story
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Banks took 530 billion euros at the European Central Bank's second-ever offering of 3-year funding on Wednesday, essentially in line with market expectations.Following are analysts' and policymakers' comments on the operation.SLOVAK FINANCE MINISTER IVAN MIKLOS"To sum up it will have a positive impact in the short run, but there are questions about medium-term impacts. The ECB's ability to pull back these funds will be important."ANDERS MATZEN, NORDEA"This is an...Read Full Story
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