Latest Blogposts

  • The great reformation: Pope Francis' push to clean up church finances

    Excitement is building for Pope Francis’ inaugural visit to America. As interest in his trip grows ahead of his arrival, we decided to take a closer look at the sweeping financial reforms he has attempted to put in place.

    He may be the "Pope of the Poor," but Pope Francis is also an elite manager who is working to reform the Vatican’s troubled finances.

    Fortune Magazine’s Editor-at-Large, Shawn Tully, says Pope Francis is much more hands-on than any previous pope in his managerial style, “He’s a very pragmatic manager. The Vatican has had big deficits for a long time and a lot of the money that was supposed to be earmarked for charity has gone for operating expenses. He wants to make sure that never happens again.”

    Tully says to serve his higher calling as a pope of the people, Francis knows he must keep one eye on the bottom line.

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    After spending two weeks in Rome last year, researching and writing about how the Pope is

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  • The 3 biggest misconceptions about 529 plans

    Most parents have every intention of saving for their child’s college education – and as early as they can. But putting money aside for an expense that’s years away can easily be bumped lower on the list of priorities, especially when you’re confused about the best way to go about it.

    Of the parents that do try to save, many are bogged down by misconceptions that are costing them. As a result, too many are stowing money away in their savings accounts and 401(k)s rather than using 529 plans that reduce the amount you lose to taxes.

    In a recent survey by T. Rowe Price, nearly half of parents said they are using a regular savings account to save for college. And while 31% said that they are using a 529 account, 28% said they don’t even know what a 529 plan is.

    If you’re among those not in-the-know, here’s the deal: 529 plans are investment accounts that let savings grow tax-free, and earnings are completely tax-free if withdrawals are used for qualified college expenses; these plans have

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  • Here are some of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be watching for you today.

    Apple (AAPL) Marketwatch reports the tech giant is getting some love from RBC Capital Markets.  RBC says because of a shift in the calendar, it expects sales of the new iPhone 6S to go up an additional 2 - 2.5 million units in the December quarter.  RBC notes that should allay fears of some investors that those sales might be weak. Meantime, Reuters is reporting a large number of Apple customers are complaining that their mobile devices are crashing as they try to download the new IOS 9 operating system.

    Adobe Systems (ADBE) The maker of Acrobat, Photoshop and other software is reporting a beat on both the top and bottom lines in the fiscal third quarter. However, Adobe's forecasts for both profit and revenue in the current quarter are below what analysts had been looking for.  In addition, the company announced a management shakeup, including the resignation of its Digital Media chief.

    Get the Latest

    Read More »from Apple sales & glitches; Adobe forecast; Qualcomm job cuts; La Quinta shakeup
  • Investors crave a new story line as the Fed waits

    Everyone said it was a close call, and that any move would make little real difference. So why all the confusion and overheated talk after the Fed declined to raise rates yesterday?

    Maybe because it leaves the market stuck.

    Even before the S&P 500 (^GSPC) reversed a quick rally attempt on the Fed’s dovish statement focused on global risks and low inflation, the index sat exactly halfway between the record high of a few months ago and the panic low in late August.

    Investors also remain stuck without a fresh story line about the economy and interest rates. Disappointing growth and market tantrums have repeatedly interrupted the narrative of an improving economy that calls for higher, more so-called “normal” Fed policy in the past few years.

    Yet the fact that investors (and journalists) are tired of this story and impatient for a new one shouldn’t be reason enough for Janet Yellen to bump rates higher, and yesterday it wasn’t.

    The absence of a stronger signal that the Fed is intent on

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  • Donald Trump's big vulnerability has surfaced

    He might not flame out the way establishment pundits predict, but Donald Trump isn’t invulnerable either—and his weaknesses are beginning to appear.

    Trump has obviously surprised everybody (but himself) by surging to the head of the polls despite jarring statements about Mexican rapists, our stupid political leaders and Carly Fiorina’s face. Trump’s undoing, however, might be hiding in plain sight—the four corporate bankruptcies his companies have declared.

    Trump says these Chapter 11 filings are nothing more than a shrewd businessman using “the laws of this country” to his advantage. It’s true that bankruptcy is considered a legitimate way to restructure a troubled company and give it a second chance, instead of just liquidating it. But it’s also a last-resort option when all else has failed, and it is hardly a mark of success.

    More importantly, there’s not really a Chapter 11 equivalent when it comes to government, especially the federal government. While a few municipalities and one

    Read More »from Donald Trump's big vulnerability has surfaced
  • ETF 101: What is an Exchange-Traded Fund?

    ETFs are investment vehicles you may be hearing a lot about as they become ever more popular with investors. ETFs have been around since the 1990s and by some estimates, the investment vehicle will surpass mutual funds in assets within the next decade.

    Just over the past 12 months, more than 250 new ETFs have launched. So what are Exchange-Traded Funds?

    - In some ways, they look a lot like mutual funds, holding a pool of investments anyone can own.

    - ETFs also mimic an index fund, designed to track an index of commodities, bonds or other assets. Investors get the diversification of an index fund.

    - But they are much more flexible, allowing investors to trade them like stocks by buying and selling them on an exchange at any time during market hours.

    - ETFs also have low fees and are attractive to some tax conscious investors, since their structure allows capital gains tax to hit less often than traditional mutual funds.

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App


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  • Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins -  Bruce Bennett/Getty ImagesSidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins - Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Learning to play sports is a great way instil a love of exercise, understand teamwork and cooperation, and learn how to win and lose gracefully. Great stuff, if thats your only motivation.

    One of Canadas most famous athletes, Sidney Crosby was on the ice at age three, and was likely a better hockey player than most of us at five. With his $12-million (U.S.) salary and lucrative endorsement deals, its no wonder that hockey parents see his success as a reason to push their kids to succeed, despite the odds.

    What are the chances of getting into the NHL?

    Not great. There are 30 National Hockey League teams, with a total of about 600 players. Seven of those teams are in Canada, with about 140 players in total. (Teams have between 20 and 23 players on their rosters). Is professional hockey player a rare profession? Canada has about 35 million people, so NHL players account for just 0.0004 per cent of us.

    So what do Canadians do for a living?

    A salesperson talks with a visitor in Seoul - REUTERS/Kim Hong-JiA salesperson talks with a visitor in Seoul - REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

    We cant all play hockey in the big

    Read More »from Five jobs that are rarer than being an NHL hockey player
  • Following the conclusion of a closely watched meeting, the Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates at record lows, citing a weak global economy, low inflation and instability in financial markets.

    "Recent global economic and financial developments may restrain economic activity somewhat and are likely to put further downward pressure on inflation in the near term," the FOMC said in a statement released at the conclusion of its latest two-day meeting.

    In a press conference following the statement's release, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said "the situation abroad bears close watching," an acknowledgement of the recent flare up of volatility in global markets, such as in China.

    There has been debate recently over how closely the Fed is watching foreign developments, particularly after Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer in August said, "the Fed's statutory objectives are defined in terms of economic goals for the economy of the United States, but I believe that by meeting those objectives, and so

    Read More »from Fed holds rates unchanged amid low inflation, financial tumult
  • David Stockman is not a fan of the Fed. In fact he claims that the Fed is on a “jihad” against retirees and savers.

    The former Reagan budget director and author of “The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America” visited Yahoo Finance ahead of the Fed announcement to discuss his predictions and the potential impact of today’s interest rate decision. “80 months of zero interest rates is downright crazy and it hasn’t helped the Main Street economy because we’re at peak debt,” he says.

    Businesses in the U.S. are $12 trillion in debt. That’s $2 trillion more than before the crisis, but “all of it has gone into financial engineering—stock buybacks, mergers and acquisitions and so forth,” according to Stockman. “The jig is up; [the Fed] needs to get on with the business of allowing interest rates to find some normalized level.”

    While Stockman believes that the Fed should absolutely raise rates today, he isn’t so sure that they will. But even if they do, he says they’ll muddle

    Read More »from Stockman: Markets in store for huge correction if Fed doesn't raise rates
  • Traders await Fed decision, Expedia merger clears hurdle, and Uber vs. Lyft

    Happy Fed Day! Janet Yellen and company will soon unveil their decision on interest rates. The three major indices (^DJI, ^GSPC, ^IXIC) are fairly flat ahead of the historic decision on monetary policy.

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    Here are some of the other stories the Yahoo Finance teem is keeping an eye on today:

    Expedia-Orbitz deal gets Justice Dept. approval

    Expedia (EXPE) is one step closer to its takeover of rival travel business Orbitz (OWW) . The Justice Department granted antitrust clearance to the $1.3 billion deal, noting that the merger would be unlikely to hurt competition.

    Uber's rivals band together

    Uber's rivals have formed an international alliance. San Francisco based Lyft and Chinese startup Didi Kuaidi are banding together to allow users of each app to hail rides from the other's app while traveling to the other country. Didi has also reportedly invested $100 million in Lyft.

    Best college majors: Kiplinger

    As we start the school

    Read More »from Traders await Fed decision, Expedia merger clears hurdle, and Uber vs. Lyft
  • Time for your daily dose of trending tickers, the stocks you're following based on your Yahoo Finance ticker searches.

    Rite Aid 

    Rite Aid (RAD) tumbled after reporting a mixed quarter. The drug store chain missed profit expectations by 2 cents at $0.02 a share and cut its earnings guidance for the full-year. Rite Aid did post revenue above forecasts. Same-store sales also increased 2.1%.

    Verizon Communications 

    Verizon Communications (VZ) was the Dow's biggest decliner. Shares fell after its CEO said earnings next year may quote "plateau." The telecom giant is struggling with consumer demand disruptions as the communications and cable businesses continue to evolve. Verizon is also dealing with a pending sale of operations to Frontier Communications (FTR).

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App


    Cablevision (CVC) surged after sealing a deal to be bought. The cable operator is being acquired by French cable company Altice for $34.90 a share, that's a

    Read More »from Verizon earnings to 'plateau'; Altice buys Cablevision; Rite Aid misses and cuts
  • How a China slowdown could mess with the Fed’s plans

    While the market’s focusing on the Federal Reserve’s rate decision, China is still looming. And with a big White House visit by President Xi planned for next week, Donald Trump, Scott Walker and others made sure to mention the China effect at Wednesday night's debate.

    China's volatile stock marketChina's volatile stock marketWhile the rhetoric is rising in the U.S. concerning China, its economy’s slowing. And Kathy Boyle, President of Chapin Hill Advisors, tells Yahoo Finance that's a concern for more than just Beijing.

    “China is weighing on the market. They have 1.3 billion people - it's a very large economy, they are going to continue to grow; however, they have a very big split between very small number of people with money and a very large population with no money and no access,” notes Boyle. “[China’s] economy, even if it slows, is still going to grow at 5 - 6%,” she predicts, but despite that growth figure, “they are trying to keep their markets from falling apart.”

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    In the

    Read More »from How a China slowdown could mess with the Fed’s plans
  • Here are some the stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be watching for you today.

    Cablevision Systems (CVC) The New York-area cable provider is being bought by the Netherlands-based cable firm Altice for $17.7 billion. Altice is making a strong bid to be a player in the U.S. market.  Back in May, it purchased regional cable system Suddenlink...and failed in an effort to gobble up Time Warner Cable (TWC).

    Oracle (ORCL) The computer technology provider is reporting a fiscal first quarter profit that beat estimates by a penny...but revenue came in light. As we've heard from many other companies this year, Oracle blames the strong dollar for the shortfall.  However, the company says it got a boost from a 29% increase in sales of its cloud-based products.

    Herman Miller (MLHR) The furniture retailer handily beat quarterly estimates on both its top and bottom lines. Herman Miller says its profit rose despite being hurt by unfavorable exchange rates, thanks to strong demand in North America.

    Read More »from Cablevision sold; Oracle hurt by dollar; Rite Aid miss; Manchester United surprise
  • Fed decision looms; Cablevision goes euro; the China effect

    It's one of the most important days in the financial world in years.  This afternoon Federal Reserve policymakers will announce whether they will raise interest rates for the first time since 2006..and lift them up from the basically zero level the Fed put them at in December, 2008 in an effort to head off a potential global market collapse because of the financial crisis.  

    Kathy Boyle, President of Chapin Hill Advisors, tells Yahoo Finance she doesn't believe Janet Yellen and company will move today.

    "If the Fed raises it a quarter point, it's so low and has been so low it's not going to make a difference," she argues. "But what's more important is what they're going to do going forward."

    Boyle feels stocks (^GSPC) will be affected much more by the statement and Yellen's post-annoucement news conference.

    "If they say they are going to continue to raise, I think we're in for a negative reaction in the market," she says. "If they're in the dovish camp, we may just get a party again."

    Read More »from Fed decision looms; Cablevision goes euro; the China effect


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