Difference Makers: 2 Chicago nonprofits helping families with child care, child loss

Xavier Llamas holds his father’s leg and runs around Almost Home Kids in Naperville, Illinois.

By Julia O’Leary Medill Reports  Xavier and Damian Llamas were born prematurely with medical complexities. After spending 10 months in the NICU, the twins received care at Almost Home Kids for three months. Their mother, Francennett Llamas, received training and practiced providing care in the home-like setting.  Kasey Macha and Kristi Noonan both experienced stillbirth […]

Rena Sternberg: Collecting from the heart

By Qingwei Chen and Shanshan Wang Rena Sternberg’s living room is “decorated” with artworks such as Frog Substitute,Yellow, Henning Bohl’s sculptural mural featuring a yellow bike helmet. “It was purchased in 2010 from the Casey M. Kaplan Gallery in New York,” said Sternberg, who remembers the source of every work from 40 years of collecting. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

Panelists: British high-speed trader could not have caused ‘Flash Crash’

By Brian MacIver and Lucy Ren Bloomberg columnist Matt Levine raised eyebrows Friday at the annual conference for the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, saying that everyday Americans don’t need to understand the internal workings of the financial markets. Speaking during a panel discussion, Levine responded to a question from NPR’s Marilyn Geewax who […]

University of Chicago economists don’t see Fed raising rates before Sept.

By Lucy Ren and Ryan Sachetta The Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise interest rates before its September meeting and instead will wait into the summer to get a better assessment of the economy before making any decisions, according to two University of Chicago economists. Former Federal Reserve governor and University of Chicago professor Randall […]

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 […]