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Our real-time advice on how market shifts and news impact you and your money

Planning - All posts in category Planning

  • Sep 25, 2012
    9:46 AM ET

    The Devil in the House Price Data

    Home prices are rising, experts say, but not as much as some reports may suggest. And to maintain a realistic view of any real-estate recovery, it may be wise to err on the conservative side.

    Prices rose by 1.2% in July over the year-earlier period, and 1.6% over the previous month, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released Tuesday. Housing analysts are generally greeting this as good news, but it looks pallid compared to the most recent National Association of Realtors survey, which came out last week. That report estimated that the median sales price of existing homes rose 9.5% in the 12 months to August 2012, strongest increase since January 2006. July’s NAR report showed a similarly large gain.

  • Sep 19, 2012
    11:12 AM ET

    Canceled Contracts Dog Real-Estate Recovery

    A housing recovery may be underway, but there’s an obstacle that appears to be slowing down the rebound: the unusually high number of buyers who walk away from their contracts.

    An average of nearly 18% of signed contracts on existing home sales were canceled during the three months ending July, according to data released this month by Capital Economics, an independent research firm. That’s the highest all year and the most since May 2010, when that figure reached 23%; in the five years before the housing slump started, the average never went higher than 10%. Separately, 36% of realtors are reporting some kind of problem with a contract, including cancelations, delays and renegotiations of the sales terms, according to August data by the National Association of Realtors. That’s up from 30% earlier this year.

  • Sep 6, 2012
    12:22 PM ET

    Is a Hiring Boom on the Way?

    Since the recession, companies avoided hiring new employees by pushing existing staff to work longer and harder. But experts say employers may have squeezed everything they can out of their workforce — and now have no choice but to start hiring.

    Early Thursday, the markets were already anticipating good news on the hiring front: The Dow rose more than 200 points Thursday morning after Automatic Data Processing reported that private businesses added 201,000 jobs in August.

  • Aug 22, 2012
    3:31 PM ET

    Trading Caps and Gowns for Mops

    After four years of college, many graduates are ending up in jobs that only require the ability to operate a cash register with a smile.

    After commencement, a growing number young people say they have no choice but to take low-skilled jobs, according to a survey released this week. And while 63% of “Generation Y” workers — those age 18 to 29 — have a bachelor’s degree, the majority of the jobs taken by graduates don’t require one, according to an online survey of 500,000 young workers carried out between July 2011 and July 2012 by PayScale.com, a company that collects data on salaries, and Millennial Branding, a research and management consulting firm.

  • Aug 22, 2012
    9:12 AM ET

    Will Short Sales Hit Home Prices?

    Could a new government program to help distressed homeowners wipe out recent gains in home prices?

    On Tuesday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced new guidelines that are supposed to make it easier for homeowners to sell their home in a short sale. In a short sale, a home sells for less than the borrower owes on the mortgage. In addition, the new guidelines, which kick in on Nov. 1, allow homeowners with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage to pursue a short sale even if they haven’t fallen behind on their mortgage payments but have a hardship, such as a job loss or divorce.

  • Aug 21, 2012
    10:55 AM ET

    What Aetna Merger Means for You

    By snapping up competitor Coventry Health Care, Aetna became the latest insurer to consolidate costs — and coverage — in response to the nation’s health care reform. It’s a trend experts say will likely accelerate in coming months, and one that could have far-reaching impact on consumers and investors.

    Announced Monday, the Aetna deal is the third acquisition by a large insurer over the past year: WellPoint said in July that it would buy Amerigroup, and last October, Cigna agreed to buy HealthSpring. But analysts and investors say this is only the first wave. “I think it will be more of a trend going forward,” Lou Stanasolovich, president of Legend Financial Advisors in Pittsburgh, says of the acquisitions. “It changes the playing ground a little bit.”

    For large insurers, the mergers are a way to grow membership and lower costs — which could be a boon for investors. For consumers, there will likely be fewer health care providers to choose from, but experts say that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Here is a look at how consolidation of the health insurance industry could impact you.

     

  • Aug 15, 2012
    3:42 PM ET

    Why You’re Not Getting a Raise

    Didn’t get a raise this year? Blame inflation.

    American wages didn’t budge last month, according to Labor Department data released Wednesday. And with inflation remaining at near zero, experts say it could be quite a while before many workers see their next raise.

  • Aug 7, 2012
    5:54 PM ET

    Student Debt: What the Fed Report Misses

    A Federal Reserve report released Tuesday shows Americans are on the hook for $471 billion in student loans. If only the true number were that small.

    As college tuition continues to rise, students and their parents have been signing up for federal student loans at a rapid pace. By the end of September, borrowers are expected to owe a whopping $840.5 billion in federal student loans, according to an analysis of federal budget data by FinAid.org. That’s up 10% from a year prior. Tack on capitalizing interest—most borrowers don’t start paying back these loans right away and in most cases interest continues to accrue—and the figure balloons even higher.

  • Jul 31, 2012
    4:50 PM ET

    America’s New ‘Construction Belt’

    The Rust Belt. The Bible Belt. Now, the “Construction Belt?”

    With the U.S. housing market still limping along, new data reveals a building boom of sorts stretching from the Carolinas and Tennessee to Texas and Colorado – and leaving large swaths of the Midwest, Florida and Northeast in the dust. Among the country’s top metro areas for new residential building permits for the first half of 2012, many are in the South, according to analysis of U.S. Census data by online real estate marketplace Trulia. Those include Austin, which tops the list with 13.5 permits per 1,000 existing housing units, followed by Raleigh (11.5) and Charleston (9.8). The new construction, of course, bodes well for these cities and their states, since “markets with construction are those that have long-term growth potential, room to build, and lower vacancy rates,” says Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia, which is based in San Francisco.

  • Jul 20, 2012
    10:51 AM ET

    Can Bankruptcy Solve Student Loan Woes?

    A federal agency is asking Congress to consider letting people wipe out some of their student debt by filing for bankruptcy protection. Consumer advocates, however, say the move will do little to help the vast majority of families struggling with college loans.

    Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, suggested  the change to the bankruptcy rules Thursday in conjunction with a report criticizing private lenders. A 2005 law preventing borrowers for wriggling free of private student loan debt in bankruptcy failed to prompt lenders to lower rates as promised, he said during a press call.

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MarketWatch - Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News
Bulletin
Investor Alert

New York Markets Close in:


Dow up more than 250 points
Old-line industrial stocks set a brisk Thursday pace

NEED TO KNOW
Yelp faces 'growing pains': Stifel analyst
Coca-Cola names new chief marketing officer
Dunkin' Brands warns over sales target
Under Armour apparel, footwear sales up 29%
Not-so-bad PMIs lift European stocks
FTSE rides Europe optimism, but Tesco slumps

trading deck
Even today, your bear-market fear is not so absurd

Burton Malkiel’s advice on October’s rough ride: Hang on
Using volatility, Fed data to call the next trend
Forget the news, just read the tape
Decouple from dodgy global growth
Who will win in stocks, the bulls or the bears?

Soros calls Putin a threat to the EU’s survival

Ebola battle takes further tentative steps forward

Here’s how Amazon
can be profitable, in 6 charts
What to look for in Amazon’s earnings
What to expect from Pandora’s earnings
Camel cigarette maker bans smoking in offices

NOAA Fisheries
Here’s a Long Island fish tale that ends in the slammer

Holiday shoppers can come to aid of stocks

Jobless claims stay below 300,000 for sixth week
U.S. economy picking up: Chicago Fed index
Spain's unemployment rate falls to 23.7%
Leading economic indicators on rise in Sept.
U.S. manufacturing PMI hints at softness
Eurozone PMI surprise with October pick-up

Hold off on Social Security if you love your spouse
Estate planning: It’s never too early to start
Social Security checks to increase 1.7% in 2015

Elizabeth Warren may be having presidential thoughts
Bear hunting with doughnuts on ballot in Maine
Swing-state Georgia has highest joblessness
Need to know about the midterm elections

Facebook’s Zuckerberg give his Chinese
a workout

15% of homes still seriously underwater

Housing inflation hottest since 2008
5 real estate mistakes retirees make

The Fed is deliberately stealing from savers
opinion
The Fed is deliberately stealing from savers

Goldman Sachs: Don’t freak out over global slowdown
Goldman: Don’t freak out over global slowdown
What would it take to trigger the ‘Fed put’?

Falling oil price is an investment opportunity

Air-bag recalls trigger new scrutiny

100% of economists dead wrong about yields

Student-loan worries undercut homeownership
Europe stress tests could lead to more bailouts
/conga/frontpage.html 323800

Markets »

43.96MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 88.69M
Unchanged
147
Decliners
1387
Advancers
4854
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,729 +268 1.63%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,465 +82 1.88%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,957 +30 1.56%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,466 +14 0.57%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/635641/delayed 1,229 -16 1.31%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2237085/delayed 81.48 +0.96 1.19%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,419 +19 0.30%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 9,047 +107 1.20%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,158 +53 1.28%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 19,435 +169 0.88%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 10,334 +84 0.82%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 328 +2 0.66%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 3,022 -6 0.19%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 15,139 -57 0.37%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 23,333 -71 0.30%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,302 -24 1.04%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 26,851 +64 0.24%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 3,237 +34 1.05%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/4867933/realtime/sampled 1.26 0.00 0.00%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/4868099/realtime/sampled 108.23 +1.07 1.00%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/4867886/realtime/sampled 1.60 0.00 0.07%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/4867876/realtime/sampled 0.88 0.00 0.18%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 85.86 +0.11 0.13%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/9625991/realtime 77.78 +0.23 0.30%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.29 +0.07 3.04%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.86 +0.03 3.62%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 2.51 +0.00 0.06%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.21 +0.01 0.65%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 2.25 +0.06 2.66%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.48 -0.01 1.44%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2237085/delayed 81 +1 1.19%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/635641/delayed 1,229 -16 1.31%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/3098927/delayed 360 +7 1.84%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/25835223/delayed 16,647 +222 1.35%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/21588523/delayed 1,950 +25 1.29%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/635603/delayed 17 0 0.35%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 80.54 2.17 2.77%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 104.99 2.00 1.94%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/30194416/composite 545.51 12.80 2.40%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 16.71 0.31 1.89%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 51.77 1.07 2.11%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 14.44 0.31 2.19%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 33.55 -0.95 -2.75%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 42.23 0.67 1.60%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 25.65 0.46 1.83%
Visit the quote page and your most recently viewed stocks will automatically be displayed here.
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World News from MarketWatch

Rates »

5 yr CD
1.5%
2 yr CD
0.9%
1 yr CD
0.7%
MMA $10K+
0.4%
MMA $50K+
0.6%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 10.37% 10.37% 10.37%
Business 12.80% 12.80% 12.80%
Balance Transfer 12.82% 12.82% 12.64%
Student 13.14% 13.24% 13.27%
Cash Back 14.98% 14.98% 14.84%
Reward 15.05% 15.05% 14.96%
Airline 15.46% 15.46% 15.30%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.73%
Instant Approval 28.00% 28.00% 28.00%
Source:CreditCards.com
Trending Tickers
  • /quotes/zigman/87598/composite NFLX-0.12%
  • /quotes/zigman/245230/composite VSR+65.24%
  • /quotes/zigman/714403/composite SPY-0.68%
  • /quotes/zigman/76117/composite EBAY-0.69%
  • /quotes/zigman/25397339/composite XIV-1.57%
X
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MarketWatch - Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News
Bulletin
Investor Alert

New York Markets Close in:


Dow up more than 250 points
Old-line industrial stocks set a brisk Thursday pace

NEED TO KNOW
Under Armour apparel, footwear sales up 29%
Dunkin' Brands warns over sales target
FTSE rides Europe optimism, but Tesco slumps
PMI data lift European stocks out of the red
Dollar rises against yen | Oil prices subdued


Soros calls Putin a threat to the EU’s survival

Ebola battle takes further tentative steps forward

Here’s how Amazon
can be profitable, in 6 charts
What to look for in Amazon’s earnings
What to expect from Pandora’s earnings
maybe i'm being geotargeted
Camel cigarette maker bans smoking in offices

NOAA Fisheries
Here’s a Long Island fish tale that ends in the slammer

Holiday shoppers can come to aid of stocks

Jobless claims stay below 300,000 for sixth week
U.S. economy picking up: Chicago Fed index
Spain's unemployment rate falls to 23.7%
Leading economic indicators on rise in Sept.
U.S. manufacturing PMI hints at softness
Eurozone PMI surprise with October pick-up

Hold off on Social Security if you love your spouse
Estate planning: It’s never too early to start
Social Security checks to increase 1.7% in 2015

Elizabeth Warren may be having presidential thoughts
Bear hunting with doughnuts on ballot in Maine
Swing-state Georgia has highest joblessness
Need to know about the midterm elections

Christian Bale is the next Steve Jobs

Facebook’s Zuckerberg give his Chinese
a workout
Chinese data paints mixed picture for factories
China’s slowing sparks some worries
Stephen on Hong Kong and fear of the poor

15% of homes still seriously underwater

Housing inflation hottest since 2008
5 real estate mistakes retirees make

The Fed is deliberately stealing from savers
opinion
The Fed is deliberately stealing from savers

Goldman Sachs: Don’t freak out over global slowdown
Goldman: Don’t freak out over global slowdown
What would it take to trigger the ‘Fed put’?

Falling oil price is an investment opportunity

Air-bag recalls trigger new scrutiny

100% of economists dead wrong about yields

Student-loan worries undercut homeownership
Europe stress tests could lead to more bailouts

trading deck
Michael Gayed: Is the Last Great Bubble bursting?

Using volatility, Fed data to call the next trend
Forget the news, just read the tape
Who will win in stocks, the bulls or the bears?
/conga/frontpage.html 323794

Markets »

38.82MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 88.69M
Unchanged
164
Decliners
1382
Advancers
4803
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,705 +244 1.48%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,454 +72 1.63%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,953 +26 1.36%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,463 +11 0.47%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/635641/delayed 1,229 -17 1.36%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2237085/delayed 81.43 +0.91 1.13%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,419 +19 0.30%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 9,047 +107 1.20%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,158 +53 1.28%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 19,435 +169 0.88%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 10,334 +84 0.82%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 328 +2 0.66%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 3,022 -6 0.19%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 15,139 -57 0.37%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 23,333 -71 0.30%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,302 -24 1.04%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 26,851 +64 0.24%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 3,237 +34 1.05%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/4867933/realtime/sampled 1.26 0.00 0.02%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/4868099/realtime/sampled 108.25 +1.09 1.02%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/4867886/realtime/sampled 1.60 0.00 0.09%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/4867876/realtime/sampled 0.88 0.00 0.22%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 85.85 +0.10 0.11%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/9625991/realtime 77.77 +0.22 0.29%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.29 +0.07 3.28%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.86 +0.03 3.62%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 2.51 +0.00 0.06%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.21 +0.01 0.65%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 2.25 +0.06 2.66%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.48 -0.01 1.44%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2237085/delayed 81 +1 1.13%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/635641/delayed 1,229 -17 1.36%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/3098927/delayed 358 +5 1.27%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/25835223/delayed 16,628 +203 1.24%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/21588523/delayed 1,947 +22 1.14%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/635603/delayed 17 0 0.21%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 80.23 1.86 2.37%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 104.95 1.96 1.90%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/30194416/composite 545.02 12.31 2.31%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 16.69 0.29 1.77%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 51.61 0.91 1.80%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 14.40 0.27 1.92%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 33.53 -0.97 -2.81%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 42.17 0.61 1.48%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 25.56 0.37 1.46%
Visit the quote page and your most recently viewed stocks will automatically be displayed here.
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World News from MarketWatch

Rates »

5 yr CD
1.5%
2 yr CD
0.9%
1 yr CD
0.7%
MMA $10K+
0.4%
MMA $50K+
0.6%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 10.37% 10.37% 10.37%
Business 12.80% 12.80% 12.80%
Balance Transfer 12.82% 12.82% 12.64%
Student 13.14% 13.24% 13.27%
Cash Back 14.98% 14.98% 14.84%
Reward 15.05% 15.05% 14.96%
Airline 15.46% 15.46% 15.30%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.73%
Instant Approval 28.00% 28.00% 28.00%
Source:CreditCards.com
Trending Tickers
  • /quotes/zigman/87598/composite NFLX-0.12%
  • /quotes/zigman/245230/composite VSR+65.24%
  • /quotes/zigman/714403/composite SPY-0.68%
  • /quotes/zigman/76117/composite EBAY-0.69%
  • /quotes/zigman/25397339/composite XIV-1.57%
X
Powered by StockTwits
Link to MarketWatch's Slice.

As of July 2, 2013, the SmartMoney content you loved now lives on MarketWatch.

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  • Personalized news and quote email alerts
  • Editorial e-newsletters about personal finance, mutual funds and market-specific coverage
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