The recent rise in the S&P 500 is either predicting a much better economy ahead than most economists expect, or a worse market.
FORTUNE -- In a perfect market, the economy would be doing a lot better.
Last week, investors cheered the surprisingly good jobs report, which showed that employers had added 236,00 workers to their payrolls in February. The market climbed on the news -- it's now up 13% in the MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - Mar 12, 2013 2:08 PM ET
Just as $85 billion worth of sequester cuts kick in, some states are seeing budget surpluses for the first time in years.
FORTUNE -- This week, Congress began focusing on a March 27 deadline to adopt a new spending bill or else face a government shutdown. As lawmakers painstakingly negotiate a deal, they may try to scale back the sequester cuts that kicked in on Friday.
The $85 billion worth of cuts MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Mar 5, 2013 9:45 AM ET
Rather than be shocked into comprehensive action, look for Congress to come up with some temporary Band Aid for the sequester. While better than doing nothing, this is not a great solution.
By Mohamed El-Erian
FORTUNE -- My short trip to Europe this week served as a vivid reminder of how accustomed we have become in America to Congressional dysfunction. Back on U.S. soil, it took just a few minutes of listening MOREMar 1, 2013 9:43 AM ET
Critics of Obama's minimum wage hike say it will make it harder for employers to hire. Not too long ago, some of the biggest employers actually supported higher wages.
FORTUNE – In Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Obama promised (again) to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 from $7.25, which would boost pay for the nation's cashiers, janitors, and other low-wage workers.
Judging by failed efforts in the past, MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Feb 14, 2013 11:06 AM ET
Even if the economy continues to recover, the markets are in for a rough patch.
By John Cassidy, contributor
FORTUNE -- Pity the poor economic forecaster. Following the resolution of the fiscal-cliff crisis and the Republicans' decision not to push the U.S. government to the brink of default, at least for now, things appeared to be looking up. Retail sales and factory orders were decent, job growth was steady, and the MOREFeb 11, 2013 5:00 AM ET
The labor market had a groundhog day.
FORTUNE -- Different report, same numbers.
Squint at January's job numbers and you might think you are looking at the stories from a month ago. Employers added 157,000. The initial report from December was 155,000. (It has since been revised up.) Unemployment rate: 7.9%. In December: 7.8%.
At the start 0f 2012, the unemployment rate was falling pretty rapidly. In the four month period from October MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - Feb 1, 2013 11:39 AM ET
It's easy to predict gloom and doom for the U.S. economy. But strong growth and job recovery are no pie-in-the-sky fantasies.
By Geoff Colvin, senior editor-at-large
FORTUNE -- In your sleep you can name 10 reasons 2013 will be lousy for business and the economy. So can I. But analyzing only the downside is a bad habit; missing a boom is at least as dangerous as missing a bust. So let's MOREJan 18, 2013 5:00 AM ET
It doesn't take a math genius to understand that this grand compromise to avoid the dreaded fiscal cliff is highly inadequate.
By Cyrus Sanati
FORTUNE -- The "fiscal cliff" may have been averted but the nation's debt problems remain very much alive, setting the stage for yet another fiscal mini-crisis in the very near future. The agreement hammered out over the last two days between Republicans and Democrats raises a trivial MOREJan 2, 2013 11:03 AM ET
Is the Federal Reserve's stimulus effort holding back the economy instead of helping it?
FORTUNE -- The Federal Reserve may soon steal a catch phrase from Buzz Lightyear: To infinity and beyond.
The Federal Reserve is meeting this week, and it looks likely that Bernanke & Co. will announce that it will boost its latest bond buying effort, which has been dubbed QE Infinity. So called quantitative easing, which is what happens MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - Dec 11, 2012 5:00 AM ET
If uncertainty were the issue it would already be slowing hiring. It's not.
FORTUNE -- Earlier this year, economists seemed convinced that even the very threat of the fiscal cliff would send the U.S. plunging into recession. Less than a month away, the economy still appears to be climbing.
The best piece of evidence yet that the fiscal cliff - the massive mix of tax increase and spending cuts that are set MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - Dec 7, 2012 1:43 PM ET
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