Business

Rising Markets Lift Hedge Funds to Huge Gains
Business

Rising Markets Lift Hedge Funds to Huge Gains

As stock markets soared in 2023, so did the fortunes of many of the world’s biggest hedge funds.The 20 best-performing hedge funds made $67 billion in gains last year, triple what they reported in 2022, according to data released by LCH Investments, a so-called fund of funds that ranks the top 20 firms based on lifetime gains, after fees.The strong performance by elite financiers follows the rally that stock markets have enjoyed over the past year. The S&P 500, Wall Street’s most widely followed benchmark, hit a record last week. That has benefited hedge funds, especially those that make focused bets on individual stocks. Many in the industry have invested heavily in the “magnificent seven” tech stocks — Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia and Tesla — though some on Wall S...
War Has Already Hurt the Economies of Israel’s Nearest Neighbors
Business

War Has Already Hurt the Economies of Israel’s Nearest Neighbors

In the Red Sea, attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militants on commercial ships continue to disrupt a crucial trade route and raise shipping costs. The threat of escalation there and around flash points in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and now Iran and Pakistan ratchets up every day.Despite the staggering death toll and wrenching misery of the violence in the Middle East, the broader economic impact so far has been mostly contained. Oil production and prices, a critical driver of worldwide economic activity and inflation, have returned to pre-crisis levels. International tourists are still flying into other countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.Yet for Israel’s next-door neighbors — Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan — the economic damage is already severe....
Stocks Are in a Bull Market. What Does That Mean?
Business

Stocks Are in a Bull Market. What Does That Mean?

The S&P 500 index closed at a record on Friday, crossing above its old high-water mark, set in early 2022. The gains show that investors have overcome fears of rising interest rates and panic about a recession that had governed stock trading for much of the past two years.Instead, they’re now betting that a drop in rates will help expand corporate profits, while the economy stays on a relatively solid footing.Even though the S&P 500 had struggled to push into the record — having bumped up against it for weeks before finally crossing above with jump on Friday — the record high should also put an end to a debate on Wall Street about whether the recent run-up in shares reflected a lasting shift in sentiment, or if it was just a rebound that would fade as fear over the outlook for the ...
A Fed Governor Reiterates That Rate Cuts Are Coming
Business

A Fed Governor Reiterates That Rate Cuts Are Coming

A prominent Federal Reserve official on Tuesday laid out a case for lowering interest rates methodically at some point this year as the economy comes into balance and inflation cools — although he acknowledged that the timing of those cuts remained uncertain.Christopher Waller, one of the Fed’s seven Washington-based officials and one of the 12 policymakers who get to vote at its meetings, said during a speech at the Brookings Institution on Tuesday that he saw a case for cutting interest rates in 2024.“The data we have received the last few months is allowing the committee to consider cutting the policy rate in 2024,” Mr. Waller said. While noting that risks of higher inflation remain, he said, “I am feeling more confident that the economy can continue along its current trajectory.”Mr. Wa...
4.3 Million Watched the Emmys, a New Low
Business

4.3 Million Watched the Emmys, a New Low

The Emmy Awards ratings collapse continues.An audience of 4.3 million people watched the Emmys on Fox on Monday night, the lowest viewership since records have been kept, according to preliminary Nielsen data. In 2022, the Emmys garnered 5.9 million viewers, the previous low.The ratings have put the Emmys dangerously close to the Tony Awards, which for decades has drawn a significantly smaller audience. But in June, 4.3 million people tuned into the Tonys, an increase from its previous ceremony.The final Emmy numbers, which will be released on Wednesday, will probably increase somewhat from the preliminary figures.The Emmys had a lot going against it. The ceremony had been delayed by four months because of last year’s screenwriter and actor strikes, the most significant postponement for th...
Supreme Court to Hear Starbucks Bid to Overturn Labor Ruling
Business

Supreme Court to Hear Starbucks Bid to Overturn Labor Ruling

The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear a case brought by Starbucks challenging a federal judge’s order to reinstate seven employees who were fired at a store in Memphis amid a union campaign there.Starbucks argued that the criteria for such intervention by judges in labor cases, which can also include measures like reopening shuttered stores, vary across regions of the country because federal appeals courts may adhere to different standards.A regional director for the National Labor Relations Board, the company’s opponent in the case, argued that the apparent differences in criteria among appeals courts were semantic rather than substantive, and that a single effective standard was already in place nationwide.The labor board had urged the Supreme Court to stay out of the case, whose ou...