World News

    US & Japanese Stocks Soar in 2013

    U. S. and Japanese stock markets posted strong gains in 2013, as investors were encouraged by central bank efforts to make it easier to buy homes, equipment and other goods by pushing down interest rates and promising to keep them there for a while.

    Japan's Nikkei was up 57 percent in 2013, its best performance in decades. In the United States, the S&P 500 ended the year of trading with a nearly 30 percent gain. The Dow was up 27 percent and the NASDAQ rose 38 percent.

    Nick Ventura of Ventura Wealth Management in New Jersey calls Japan's action an unprecedented "global gamble" that has worked, at least so far.

    In 2013, the United States saw modest improvements in growth, housing prices and the unemployment rate. Ventura says the improving economy meant fewer wild swings in prices and fewer worried investors.





    "Every time there was the slightest pullback in stock prices it was rewarded with a fresh round of buying. So there is a growing confidence in the U.S. recovery and I think that's what really perked up the U.S. economy."

    A study published Tuesday by the Boston investment firm State Street shows a significant improvement in investor confidence between November and December. That growing confidence apparently is making investors more willing to take modest risks and buy some kinds of stocks.

    The Wall Street Journal reports investors have been shunning complex strategies and are simply seeking stocks with low prices and strong earning potential.

    Meanwhile, The Financial Times reports that investments thought to offer a safe haven for money in troubled economic times, like gold and government bonds, saw fewer buyers.

    Many analysts predict stock prices will continue to climb in 2014, but at a slower pace.

    Investment advisor and author Matthew Tuttle, of Tuttle Tactical Management in Stamford Connecticut says prices will increase, but so will risk.


    "We have a 'house of cards' but we don't see the cards toppling really until 2016. We are definitely forming a bubble but that bubble still has a lot of room to grow."

    Tuttle says it is crucial that the U.S. Federal Reserve moves gradually and carefully when it reverses the low interest rate policies that spurred rising stock prices.

    U.S. markets will be closed Wednesday for the New Year's holiday.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora