All posts by lucyren7

Sandor predicts a U.S. water futures market

By Lucy Ren

Known for his invention of  financial futures and carbon trading, environmental economist Richard Sandor predicted on Tuesday that Western drought will lead to the launch of a U.S. water futures market as soon as the next year.

Scarce resources like water and air will replace crude oil as the most important commodities of the 21st century, Sandor said at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago, during a presentation about his new book, Sustainable Investing and Environmental Markets: Opportunities in a New Asset Class.

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Despite 6 years of underperformance, hedge funds still popular among University endowments

By Lucy Ren

Despite scrutiny over hedge funds’ underperformance since the financial crisis, large university endowment funds like that of Northwestern University are still holding on to — if not raising — their stakes in “alternative investments,” which are usually prone to high risk but often perform better than equities.

Under the backdrop of soaring global equities markets and still stagnating interest rates, Northwestern University’s endowment achieved a lofty return of 16.8 percent in the fiscal year ended August 31, 2014, during which the market value of the primary fund grew by a historic level of 24 percent to $9.7 billion. The fund is now the eighth largest university endowment by net assets in the country.

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Experts: recent spikes in stocks to further boost interest in China funds

By Lucy Ren

Despite recent slowdowns in the Chinese economy’s growth rate and persisting market vulnerability, the Chinese stock market has rallied to a seven-year high. Market experts anticipate greater momentum for growth and interest in the Chinese market despite its irrational nature.

In May the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index bounded up 8.3 percent to 4657.6, the highest level since December 2007. The Hong Kong benchmark Hang Seng Index soared almost 13 percent in April, marking the largest monthly gain since April 2009. By contrast, the Hong Kong index experienced just moderate fluctuation in May, closing at 27992.8 on Friday.

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High profile ‘spoofing’ cases put traders on edge

By Lucy Ren

Traders are on notice and looking for ways to avoid even the appearance of being market manipulators as prosecutors and regulators crack down on spoofing, an illegal practice that was blamed in part for setting off a “flash crash” in 2010.

Spoofing involves pushing a market price in one direction by entering large numbers of orders, then quickly canceling them. This tricks other investors into buying or selling at artificially high or low prices.

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Experts divided on whether oil ETFs could exacerbate oil price swings

By Lucy Ren

Oil exchange-traded funds, a type of marketable security that mostly invest in oil derivatives, has gained immense popularity from recent rounds of oil price swings. However, market experts are still unsettled about whether the rising popularity of oil ETFs could have exacerbated the fluctuations in the price of oil.

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Oil price rebound continues despite boost in oil supply

By Lucy Ren

Oil prices rose slightly on Wednesday despite a government report showing a spike in oil supply in the U.S. in the most recent week.

U.S. crude inventory rose by 5.3 million barrels to 489 million in the week ended April 17, marking the highest level of supply in at least the last 80 years, according to the Energy Information Administration report. Oil inventory has risen 28 percent since January,

Analysts differ on the long-term outlook for oil prices.

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Is it time for portfolio managers to hedge?

By Lucy Ren

Shirley Luo, 29 years old, has been with Goldman Sachs since 2007. A vice president in the distressed-debt trading group, Luo recently quit the prestigious company this year, to join a start-up hedge fund.

Luo’s career change is not unique in the investment banking industry. She said six or seven in her group have quit the New York-based company recently. The main reason? Tighter regulations on the industry, Luo said.

It’s the feared Volcker Rule, finally kicking in. Continue reading

Stocks hold onto gains after FOMC minutes

By Lucy Ren

Stocks rose Wednesday as minutes from last month’s Federal Reserve policy meeting revealed little that would change expectations on interest rates.

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Video: Do we need another t-shirt printer? Yes!

By Lucy Ren

Within three years of operation, Lucky Prints LLC, a custom apparel printing shop located in the industrial district in Nearwest Chicago, has expanded its production line to twice as large, and increased its revenue by 25 percent last year.

“It’s a pretty competitive industry, surprisingly,” said Adam Smith, co-founder of Lucky Prints. The company is currently run by Smith, an operations manager and a production manager. The other co-founder left the company last year for graduate school.

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Change of auditor delays earnings results for ITT Educational

By Lucy Ren

Lagging behind in releasing its earnings for two consecutive quarters, ITT Educational Services Inc., one of the largest for-profit education providers in the country, is under a cloud that obscures its corporate outlook.

Michael Tarkan, analyst at Compass Point Research & Trading, said his firm suspended its target price recommendation for ITT right before the second quarter earnings report, due to “lack of information” from the company. “The Q2 earnings report was for several quarters ago,” Tarkan said. “Theoretically they should be reporting their fourth quarter 2014 results a couple of months ago.”

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