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A new era of monetary policy is starting to hit investors in the face after previously beliefs that any tightening would be limited and gradual. FOMC minutes released on Wednesday showed that officials were fully on board with a faster scale back of the central bank's asset purchase program, which would give it greater flexibility to raise interest rates.  Stocks tanked on the news, with the Nasdaq ending the day down more than 3% for the worst start to a calendar year since the financial crisis.  Investors are showing a preference for businesses that actually make money, a positive for us all.

Products worth $112B-$114B could be returned to U.S. retailers after the holiday season, up from $100B in 2020 and $95B in 2019, according to a forecast from liquidation inventory company B-Stock Solutions. UPS also estimates it will handle more than 60M return packages through Jan. 22, a 10% increase from the previous year.

Investors poured a record $330bn into private start-ups in the US last year, almost double the total from 2020, in a flurry of dealmaking that rapidly inflated company valuations and gave leverage to founders as venture capitalists competed with other deep-pocketed investors for deals.

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