The Federal Reserve is getting closer to raising interest rates again, the head of the U.S. central bankand other policymakers said on Friday in comments that left the door open for a hike as early as next month. Fed Chair Janet Yellen told a global monetary policy conference that the case for a rate increase had grown stronger, while Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer suggested a move could come at the central bank?s September policy meeting if the economy was doing well.
By David Chance WASHINGTON (Reuters) - For all the talk of a radical shift in central banking policy, from the permanent use of negative rates to helicopter money drops, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen appears to believe she can tackle any future downturn using the tools currently at her disposal. Speaking in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday after a Fed policymaker and other economists proposed a radical overhaul of central banking, Yellen argued that bond purchases and the ability to pay interest on excess reserves as well as forward guidance would be enough to combat any downturn. "Our current toolkit proved effective last December (when the Fed raised rates)," Yellen said in a speech in which she firmed up expectations of a second rate rise from the Fed, possibly as soon as September.
U.S. stocks ended modestly lower after a volatile session on Friday, having bounced between gains and losses as investors wrestled with the likely timing of a U.S. interest rate hike following comments from top Federal Reserve officials. The S&P 500 rose after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the case for raising rates had strengthened but did not indicate when the Fed would act. Yellen told a gathering of central bankers from around the world in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the U.S. economy was nearing the central bank?s goals of maximum employment and price stability but that future hikes should be ?gradual?.
The granddaughter of Viacom Inc's controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone has agreed to let a Massachusetts court dismiss claims brought by former company leaders, a step that will help end a battle over the fate of the media empire. Lawyers for Keryn Redstone said at a Massachusetts court hearing on Friday they have also agreed to mediate remaining parts of her family dispute and that she will have an in-person meeting with her 93-year-old grandfather. "There will be peace in the Redstone valley" said Keryn Redstone's attorney Pierce O'Donnell, speaking to reporters after the hearing at Norfolk County Probate and Family Court in Canton, Massachusetts.
Herbalife shares rose 4 percent in extended trading, reversing course after Icahn said he had bought 2.3 million shares on Friday. "Completely contrary to what Bill Ackman stated on television today, I have never given Jefferies an order to sell any of our Herbalife shares," Icahn said in a statement after market close. Ackman, who unveiled a $1 billion short bet against Herbalife in 2012, said on CNBC earlier in the day that Icahn's planned stake sale would accelerate the company's downfall.
Caesars Entertainment Corp must face lawsuits from bondholders seeking some $11 billion in claims, a U.S. judge ruled on Friday in a decision the casino company had warned could plunge it into bankruptcy alongside its operating unit. Caesars Entertainment Operating Co (CEOC), which filed for Chapter 11 protection in January 2015, was asking for a third court shield from lawsuits against its parent to protect a multibillion-dollar contribution to its reorganization plan. The high-stakes CEOC bankruptcy has been plagued by a complex web of litigation pitting some of the most aggressive investors on Wall Street against each other.
The report, which caused St. Jude shares to fall 5 percent after its release on Thursday, alleged there were significant security bugs in the company's Merlin@home device for monitoring implanted heart devices. St. Jude chief technology officer Phil Ebeling on Thursday said "the allegations are absolutely untrue" but provided no specific examples of errors. St. Jude on Friday said most of the observations in the report applied to older versions of its Merlin@home devices, which had not been patched with security upgrades that the company automatically pushes out to customers.
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