Posted: 12/01/2013 - 2 in horse-drawn Amish buggy killed in Pa. crash... Villagers rush to aid rural Alaska crash survivors... Trinity network: Televangelist Paul Crouch dies... Thanksgiving takes more Black Friday sales... White House: On track for health care website goal... Pioneering offshore wind project faces deadlines... You can trust us on this, but you probably won't - Only 2 percent say they trust the government to do what's right nearly all of the time...
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A top Federal Reserve official who is sometimes seen as a bellwether for U.S. monetary policy on Monday offered his voice to a growing contingent at the central bank that has argued for reducing the Fed's bond buying at a meeting next week. The remarks from St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard voicing support for a "small taper" were unexpected. But he said reducing the bond buying at the December 17-18 meeting would acknowledge the vast improvement in the job market since the program began last September, while still giving the central bank the flexibility to reverse course if inflation continues to linger too far below the Fed's 2 percent target. Bullard said investors would probably not be caught off guard if the Fed started to wind down the purchases in the near future.
By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks edged higher on Monday, with the S&P 500 closing at a record high, as traders awaited more clues from the Federal Reserve on whether the U.S. central bank would soon begin winding down its economic stimulus. Speeches from a number of policymakers on Monday suggested that the Fed may be closer than previously thought to trimming its $85 billion a month in bond purchases. A recent string of strong economic data, however, has removed some of the market's anxiety about the eventual ending of the Fed's quantitative easing program. A Reuters poll showed on Monday that economists expect the Fed to begin trimming its quantitative easing program in March, but some are warming up to the idea that it will do so as early as this month or at the January meeting.
The Federal Reserve will begin trimming its monthly asset purchases in March but some economists are warming up to the idea that it will do so as early as this month or at the January policy meeting, a Reuters poll showed on Monday. Another month of strong U.S. hiring and an unexpected drop in the jobless rate reported on Friday prompted several economists to bring forward their expectations for when the Fed will begin paring back its $85 billion of monthly bond buying. Nearly half, 29 of 63 economists, think the taper will happen in either December or January, before Janet Yellen is expected to take over from Ben Bernanke as chair of the Fed. Nine say it will happen at the U.S. central bank's Dec 17-18 meeting; In a poll taken just over two weeks ago, 16 of 62 economists were calling for a taper in January, and just three said December, with the rest saying March or later.
The U.S. government sold its last shares of General Motors Co on Monday, leaving taxpayers saddled with a total shortfall of about $10 billion on the automaker's 2009 bailout. "With the final sale of GM stock, this important chapter in our nation's history is now closed," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said. The government's exit could benefit GM in several respects. The company has carried a certain stigma since taking $49.5 billion in government money four years ago.
By Dinesh Nair and David French DUBAI (Reuters) - Three state-owned Gulf firms are considering a joint bid for a minority stake in Occidental Petroleum Corp's Middle East and North Africa (MENA) unit, a deal that could be worth between $8 billion and $10 billion, three banking sources said. Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Co , Qatar Petroleum and Oman Oil Co have formed a consortium and have picked Citigroup to advise them, the sources with knowledge of the matter said on Monday. Occidental, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, said in October it planned to sell a minority stake in its MENA operations as part of a restructuring meant to lift its valuation. Occidental and Qatar Petroleum were not immediately available for comment, while Citi and Mubadala declined to comment.