Business News in Brief

By The | Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), January 23, 2016 | Go to article overview

Business News in Brief


The, Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)


Central banks urged to aid economies

WASHINGTON - The world's central banks are under pressure to do something about slumping economies and panicky stock markets. The question is, can - or will - they do much that would help?

The head of the European Central Bank signaled this week that there's "no limit" to how far it would go to restore the health of the continent's economy. The Bank of Japan is considering expanding its easy-money policies to fight feeble growth and low inflation. And many economists believe the Federal Reserve might have to rethink its plans to raise U.S. interest rates.

So far, the global economy has benefited modestly at best from the cures central banks have offered.

Energy stocks lead a broad rally

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks made their biggest gain in more than a month on Friday as oil prices surged, lifting energy stocks. Tech stocks also climbed as Apple jumped the most since August.

Energy companies soared after the price of U.S. crude jumped 9 percent. Oil prices reached their lowest level in 12 years earlier this week, but they jumped the past two days.

The gain Friday, combined with a smaller increase the day before, gave the market its first weekly advance after three weeks of declines.

Stock tumble could damage pension funds

The slide on Wall Street could damage public employee pension funds around the country, most of which haven't even recovered from the Great Recession, and the burden could end up falling on taxpayers.

Stocks have been tumbling in the first weeks of 2016. If there's a quick rebound, the slump won't make much difference. If the tumble continues, it could be bad news for pensions.

Somewhere down the line, states might have to either cut benefits - which can be legally or politically difficult - or pump more tax dollars into their pension funds to make sure retirees get what they were promised. …

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