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BUSINESS
By JULIUS WESTHEIMER | May 16, 2001
IN THE WAKE of the Federal Reserve's unsurprising decision yesterday to reduce short-term interest rates by another half-point, its fifth this year, some observations: Writing in Money magazine, June, financial writer Michael Sivy says, "The bull is back! By slashing interest rates several times this year, the Fed has all but guaranteed a powerful recovery for the stock market." MORE ON RATES: "Now is the time to be more aggressive in buying stocks on corrections. This year's rate cuts reduce the risk for both the economy and the stock market."
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BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay and Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | May 7, 2010
Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. is seeking to raise its distribution rates, a move that would add about $22 to electric bills and $48 to gas bills annually for the average residential customer. The request, which must be approved by state regulators, would be the first increase in 17 years for electricity distribution rates, which make up a portion of utility bills. But with worldwide commodity prices taking a dive — leading to much lower utility bills overall in the next few years — consumers aren't likely to notice the increase.
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BUSINESS
By JULIUS WESTHEIMER | March 21, 2001
NOW THAT the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates for the third successive time, many people wonder, How will this action affect my stock market holdings? For clues, lets look back: "There were 13 periods since 1921 in which the Fed made three rate cuts in succession," says Ned Davis Research, "and the market was almost always higher a year after the third rate cut. "Other than 1930, the start of the Depression, the Dow gained an average of 21 percent in the 12 months after the last of the Fed's reductions.
SPORTS
By Jamison Hensley and Jamison Hensley,jamison.hensley@baltsun.com | February 6, 2009
Ray Lewis told the NFL Network on Wednesday that he wouldn't give the Ravens a hometown discount in free agency and considered the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets as attractive options. A 10-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker, Lewis would become an unrestricted free agent in three weeks if the Ravens don't sign him to a new contract or use the franchise tag on him. At the end of the season, owner Steve Bisciotti and linebacker Terrell Suggs brought up the possibility that Lewis might take less money to stay.
BUSINESS
By Gilbert A. Lewthwaite and Gilbert A. Lewthwaite,Washington Bureau of The Sun | February 5, 1992
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan opened the prospect of a further cut in interest rates yesterday, even as he predicted a sustained recovery starting in this year's second quarter.In testimony to the House Budget Committee, Mr. Greenspan said, "We expect the amount of monetary ease in the pipeline is adequate to turn the economy onto the path of sustained recovery."But, noting that assessing the economy is "extraordinarily difficult" now, he added, "We are, of course, continuing to evaluate whether some additional insurance in the way of further monetary ease would be appropriate."
BUSINESS
By Bloomberg Business News | February 2, 1993
NEW YORK -- Stock prices closed higher yesterday after reports of possible interest rate cuts in Europe. Lower European interest rates would spur faster economic growth and make dollar-denominated assets more attractive, traders said.Shares also got a boost from reports that U.S. industrial output expanded in January to its highest level since July 1988, traders said.The Dow Jones industrial average rose 22.15, to 3332.18, led by American Express Co. The stock rose $1.50, to $24.75, after James Robinson III resigned as chairman and head of the Shearson Lehman Bros.
BUSINESS
By Kelley Holland and Kelley Holland,American Banker | January 14, 1992
NEW YORK -- Interest rate cuts may well prove to be the right medicine for the ailing economy, but they could also carry some side effects for the nation's banks.Overall, bankers are generally delighted that rates have fallen so dramatically. Their hope, of course, is that loan demand will be stimulated, reinvigorating the economy. Investors, using the same logic, have pushed up bank stocks in recent weeks.The discount rate, after five cuts in the last year, now stands at 3.5 percent, its lowest level since 1964.
BUSINESS
By Kevin G. Hall and Kevin G. Hall,McClatchy-Tribune | September 19, 2007
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve delivered a surprisingly large half-point cut to its benchmark interest rate yesterday, sending stocks soaring even as the Fed signaled that recent financial turbulence menaces the broader economy and that recession is now a greater threat than resurgent inflation. The rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee announced it was lowering the benchmark federal funds rate to 4.75 percent from 5.25 percent, the first such cut since June 2003. The Dow Jones industrial average responded by recording its largest one-day jump in nearly five years.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | June 27, 1997
The state's HMO trade group told hospital rate-setters yesterday that they do not have legal authority to craft a "political compromise" on a plan to squeeze hospital rates.David M. Funk, a lawyer for the Maryland Association of Health Maintenance Organizations, said at a public hearing before the Health Services Cost Review Commission that it must go ahead with a plan to reduce hospital rates by nearly 4 percent, since the law creating the commission requires it to keep hospital costs reasonable.
BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | July 8, 1995
Tokyo stock prices jumped 6.3 percent yesterday, lifted by an unexpected cut in interest rates and investor hopes that the government would take stronger measures to aid Japan's sagging economy. But some analysts said they doubted the market's buoyancy would last.The Bank of Japan surprised financial markets by announcing yesterday that it would lower a key short-term interest rate. The announcement gave further momentum to the stock market, which had risen during the three prior sessions.
BUSINESS
By Tribune Washington bureau | January 7, 2009
Consumers might welcome the prospect of falling prices. But widespread price declines would actually accelerate the economic downturn - and it turns out that fear of possible deflation was one reason the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to near zero last month. According to minutes released yesterday of the December Fed meeting at which governors made the historic decision to slash interest rates to less than 0.25 percent, it was fear of deeper economic catastrophe that persuaded them to open the monetary spigot as wide as they could go in an effort to keep the failing economy from running completely aground.
NEWS
October 12, 2008
President Bush's tepid Rose Garden reassurances Friday that the government is addressing the economic crisis notwithstanding, Washington still hasn't tamed the Wall Street beast. Try as it might, the administration's combination of moves hasn't stopped the free-fall or lessened the fear gripping the nation's investors. The moves have been many, from interest rate cuts and the takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the $700 billion rescue plan and last week's decision by the Federal Reserve to loan money directly to corporations.
NEWS
By Gadi Dechter and Gadi Dechter,gadi.dechter@baltsun.com | August 30, 2008
The private auto insurance industry objected yesterday to a rate-lowering proposal from the state's insurer of last resort, arguing that the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund's plan to make coverage more affordable puts the private sector at unacceptable risk. After a 2 1/2-hour hearing in Baltimore, insurance Commissioner Ralph S. Tyler delayed his decision to give both sides more time to provide written information, according to officials with the Maryland Insurance Administration. Tyler's decision is expected within several weeks.
BUSINESS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,Sun reporter | August 14, 2008
A major Wall Street firm cut Constellation Energy Group's credit rating yesterday after the Baltimore-based company recently revised its estimate of how much collateral it would need to address such a downgrade. Corporate credit rating agency Standard & Poor's cut Constellation's rating from BBB+ to BBB and gave it a "stable" outlook for maintaining the rating. It previously had a negative outlook for the higher rating. The rating downgrade triggers about $106 million in collateral requirements from certain company contracts.
BUSINESS
By Paul Adams and Paul Adams,SUN REPORTER | August 1, 2008
Maryland's biggest medical malpractice insurer yesterday proposed a 2 percent cut in premiums, continuing a gradual drawdown in rates that doctors said was needed for them to avoid financial disaster. The proposed change comes as payouts for medical claims are holding steady after spiking unexpectedly more than four years ago, igniting a furor that led to a special legislative session in late 2004. The reduction proposed by the Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society of Maryland comes on top of an 8 percent rate cut the insurer agreed to in December.
BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | June 26, 2008
Caught between inflationary pressures and a weakening economy, the Federal Reserve's policymakers voted yesterday to deal primarily with the weakening economy by keeping interest rates at their present level. The decision to hold at 2 percent the key short-term federal funds rate - which affects what consumers pay for mortgages, car loans and other credit - brought to a halt a stream of rate cuts since August, reductions that brought the fed funds rate to its lowest level since November 2004.
BUSINESS
By JANE BRYANT QUINN | January 14, 2001
OK, investors, what now? Has the Fed ignited a new bull market, despite its shaky start? Or are we being head-faked? Maybe the market is wickedly sucking us in, so we can lose even more money in another dive. No one knows for sure. But I'm interested in the thinking of investment analyst James Bianco of Barrington, Ill. His strategy turns on a particular market-based clue. That clue is encouraging him to buy certain stock and bond groups, aggressively. Bianco keeps his eagle eye on a market you probably haven't heard of - the futures contracts for federal funds on the Chicago Board of Trade.
BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | May 1, 2008
WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve, mixing concern about the feeble economy with worries about rising inflation, reduced short-term interest rates yesterday for the seventh time since September, while signaling a pause in any additional rate cuts for now. The Fed's action brought the federal funds rate - the rate it charges banks for overnight loans - to 2 percent, from 2.25 percent, the lowest level since November 2004. It defended that step as necessary to counter the ailing housing sector and the "considerable stress" shadowing financial markets.
NEWS
By William Neikirk and William Neikirk,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | March 18, 2008
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve is poised to aggressively lower interest rates again today, perhaps by as much as 1 percentage point, as it continues its efforts to ease a major credit crunch and serve as a virtual safety net for Wall Street investment bankers. With fear gripping Wall Street, the Fed is trying to stave off a repeat of the collapse of investment banking giant Bear Stearns Cos., which prompted an emergency rate cut Sunday and the move to help arrange a deal to sell the well-known firm to JPMorgan Chase & Co. at the rock-bottom price of $2 a share.
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