• U.S. recovery, rest in peace

    The recovery is over.

    So says UCLA economist Ed Leamer. He notes that May brought the first year-over-year decline in the Pulse of Commerce Index of domestic diesel fuel use since the end of 2009 – the latest yellow flag to be raised over the sputtering U.S. economy.

    The index, which indirectly tracks industrial production via trucking mileage, has now declined in four of the five months this year and in eight of MORE

    - Jun 8, 2011 11:28 AM ET
  • Why companies are about to start hiring

    In a nutshell, it's because they don't have much choice.

    The bright spot in a drab employment picture is that workers have been stretched so thin during the past couple years that companies are going to have to (gasp!) hire more.

    You may be understandably suspicious. Corporate America has been raking in massive profits – they flooded in at a record $1.68 trillion annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2010 MORE

    - May 6, 2011 6:32 AM ET
  • Credit gains drive Citigroup profit

    Citigroup's unlikely recovery continued Monday, as the bank beat Wall Street estimates with its fifth straight quarterly profit.

    Citi (C) made $3 billion, or a dime a share, for the first quarter of 2011. That compares with a year-ago profit of $4.4 billion, or 15 cents a share. Revenue fell to $19.7 billion from $25.4 billion a year earlier.

    Wall Street analysts were calling for a 9-cent profit on revenue of $20.6 MORE

    - Apr 18, 2011 8:12 AM ET
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  • Slow recovery keeps on truckin'

    The economy may not be as vulnerable to $110 oil as you might imagine.

    That's one message out of the latest Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index. The index rose 2.7% in March, wiping out declines in the first two months of 2011 and suggesting a modest economic recovery remains on track, in spite of the soaring price at the pump.

    The index tracks U.S. diesel fuel use and as such is a MORE

    - Apr 12, 2011 1:00 PM ET
  • CEO overconfidence alert

    Are America's optimistic CEOs getting a little carried away?

    The Business Roundtable's CEO outlook index hit its highest level on record in the first quarter, the trade group said Wednesday. The 9-year-old index, measuring expected sales, capital spending and hiring trends, hit 113 – a full 7% above than the previous high water mark.

    A survey of 142 chief executives showed 92% expect sales to rise in the next six months, and MORE

    - Mar 30, 2011 11:28 AM ET
  • Jobs can't save the zombie stock market

    The economy is finally starting to move forward. But don't be shocked to see stocks go the other way.

    Friday's jobs report shows welcome evidence that the struggling real economy is starting to catch up with our roaring, Fed-backed financial markets. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 192,000 jobs in February, the biggest gain since last May.

    The news seems like it should rev up investors who have almost casually sloughed off news of surging oil MORE

    - Mar 4, 2011 11:35 AM ET
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  • Problem bank list hits new high

    The economy may be on the mend, but the nation's banks are still looking a little green in the gills.

    The number of banks at risk of failing rose for the 17th straight quarter to 884, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Wednesday. That means 1 in 9 FDIC-insured institutions is at risk of collapse – which is the highest proportion in at least two decades.

    The latest rise in the problem MORE

    - Feb 23, 2011 10:33 AM ET
  • Don't sweat rising mortgage rates

    Will rising interest rates slam the door on a fragile housing recovery?

    No -- though that only underscores just how grim the housing picture is.

    The rate on the 30-year conforming mortgage has risen to a recent 5.1% from 4.2% last October (see chart, right), tagging along behind an even larger rise in the yield on the 10-year Treasury note over that period.

    The jump in the mortgage rate has added around $50 to MORE

    - Feb 15, 2011 6:34 AM ET
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  • Paulson cashes in on Citi comeback

    Taxpayers aren't the only ones benefiting from the recovery at Citigroup.

    Hedge fund manager John Paulson has made $1 billion on his bet on Citi (C), he said in his year-end letter to investors. Paulson, who made a fortune betting on the collapse of the housing bubble, started betting on big U.S. banks in mid-2009.

    At the time, few people were banking on any economic recovery, even one as weak as this one, which MORE

    - Jan 25, 2011 10:06 AM ET
  • Weak quarter for Citigroup

    Citigroup reported its fourth straight quarterly profit, but its shares fell in premarket trading as revenue fell far short of estimates.

    Citi (C) made $1.3 billion, or 4 cents a share, for the fourth quarter. That reverses a year-ago loss of $7.6 billion, or 33 cents a share, but falls 4 cents short of the Wall Street analyst consensus estimate.

    The bank said the latest quarter was hit by $1.1 billion of negative MORE

    - Jan 18, 2011 8:21 AM ET
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