Financial & Business News
Last Update on December 10, 2013 18:16 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. banks will be barred in most cases from trading for their own profit under a federal rule approved today.
The Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. each have voted unanimously to adopt the so-called Volcker Rule, taking a major step toward preventing the extreme risk-taking on Wall Street that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis.
Three other regulators were expected to follow suit later today.
Congress instructed regulators to draft the rule under the 2010 financial overhaul law.
The rule was agreed to after three years of drafts, debates and lobbying by Wall Street banks.
The final version is stricter than many had expected and is intended to prevent risky trading that required taxpayer-funded bailouts during the crisis. But the rule still provides some exemptions.
At its heart, the rule seeks to ban banks from almost all proprietary trading. The practice of trading for their own profit has been very lucrative for big banks like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup. The rule also limits banks' investments in hedge funds.
The largest U.S. banks will be required to comply by July 2015.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. employers advertised the most job openings in more than five years in October, and the number of people quitting also reached a five-year high. The figures are an encouraging sign for the unemployed.
The Labor Department says job openings rose 1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.93 million. That is the highest figure since March 2008, three months after the Great Recession began.
And the number of workers who quit rose 2.5 percent to 2.39 million, the most since October 2008. A rising number of workers quitting can signal a healthy job market, because it means most of these people likely either have a new job or are confident they can find one.
Total hiring, though, slipped 2.6 percent to 4.5 million after reaching a five-year high in September.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. wholesale businesses boosted their stockpiles sharply in October as sales rose, encouraging signs for economic growth in the final three months of the year.
The Commerce Department says wholesale stockpiles grew 1.4 percent in October. That's nearly triple the 0.5 percent gain in September. Sales at the wholesale level increased 1 percent in October after a 0.8 percent gain in September.
Rising stockpiles boost growth because it means factories have produced more goods. Robust restocking drove roughly half of the 3.6 percent annualized economic growth in the July-September quarter.
Some economists had predicted that growth would slow in the October-December quarter as companies reduced their inventory building to meet demand. But the strong rise in October suggests businesses expect to see solid sales in the coming months.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrats have used the Senate's newly eased filibuster procedures to clear the way for confirmation of the man President Barack Obama wants to become a top housing regulator.
The Senate voted 57-40 today to end Republican delaying tactics against Rep. Mel Watt.
Until Democrats forced through changes last month, it took 60 votes to end filibusters -- a margin Democrats cannot achieve without support from some of the chamber's 45 Republicans.
In May, Obama picked the veteran North Carolina Democrat to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency. It oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own or guarantee about half of all U.S. mortgages.
Until now, the nomination had languished because of Republican complaints that Watt is unqualified. Democrats say that is untrue.
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