Mark Hulbert: The stock market’s low VIX ‘fear gauge’ is misleading you

What does it mean that the VIX is only barely higher than average, even as the stock market is experiencing remarkable volatility? The VIX VIX, -6.61% is the CBOE Volatility Index. Though its calculation is complex — derived from the implied volatilities of S&P 500 SPX, +0.28%  options maturing over the subsequent month — it […]

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Capitol Report: Bipartisan bill proposes putting proxy firms under SEC’s authority

The story has been updated to say more about the activities and positions of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. Six U.S. senators introduced a bipartisan bill on Wednesday to put proxy advisors under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Corporate Governance Fairness Act, co-sponsored by […]

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Economic Report: Households remain far less in debt than they were during the recession

Households remain far less in debt than during the recession, according to new data released Friday. The New York Fed on Friday released its third-quarter household and credit report, and comparing the aggregate household debt balance to the Commerce Department’s disposable personal income shows that the ratio rose slightly, to 86.54% from 86% at the […]

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The Moneyist: My lawyer doesn’t want me to set up a college trust fund for my grandchildren — should I take his advice?

Dear Moneyist, I’m 74 and want to create a family educational trust for current and future generations. This is stated in my will and what assets will and/or should be used. I want a number of restrictions in the trust like only 90% of the income can be used so the trust will grow over […]

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Capitol Report: There’s now a scooter lobby: A startup hopes to influence infrastructure bills

While scooter startups are mostly regulated by cities, they have started to zip around Washington, D.C., in hopes of influencing any upcoming federal action on the country’s infrastructure. Shared-scooter company Lime disclosed in a recent filing that it has hired a heavyweight lobbyist firm, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, for work on “policies supportive […]

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Currencies: Dollar takes dive after Fed’s Clarida strikes dovish tone

The U.S. dollar sold off versus its major rivals early Friday in New York, after Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida offered some dovish comments. The ailing buck gave more room to rebound to the British pound, which recovered from its worst one-day performance in more than two years on Thursday. Clarida said in an […]

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Bond Report: Treasury yields edge lower ahead of data

Treasury yields ticked lower on early Friday, extending their weeklong decline, ahead of an update of the manufacturing industry’s health, as traders view the report as one read of the pressures of higher wages and tariffs, which could factor in inflation. The 10-year Treasury note yield TMUBMUSD10Y, -1.12% was down 1.1 basis points to 3.107%, […]

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Personal Finance Daily: Here are the real bargains when buying a home and 5 ways to close the generation gap

Happy Thursday, MarketWatchers! Here are the top personal finance stories of the day. Personal Finance Betsy DeVos sued to get rolling on student loan forgiveness The Department of Education says it’s ‘moving quickly’ to find borrowers eligible for the debt relief. 5 cool ways people are closing the generation gap Here are some great ideas […]

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The Tell: Stocks turn positive, so here are 7 brutal charts for the pessimists

You probably don’t need a bunch of charts to tell you just how sketchy the stock market’s behavior has been of late, but we’ll give them to you anyway. We won’t even include the obvious one: The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.75%  took it on the chin during that nasty October stretch and hasn’t […]

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Stock and bond markets represent the biggest threat to financial stability, Treasury says

Getty Images The Treasury Department’s OFR isn’t entirely sunny on the outlook to financial stability. The biggest threat to financial stability comes from the elevated level of the stock market and the sensitivity of bond prices to interest rates. That is the conclusion of the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research, which on Thursday published […]

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