Stocks Rise Before Syria Vote, Fed Decision; Bigger Banks in Europe?; Full Speed Ahead: Auto Sales Accelerate in August

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Stocks Rise Before Syria Vote, Fed Decision (Bloomberg)

Stocks climbed today, led by automakers and technology companies, as investors awaited a Senate vote on action against Syria while also watching for signs from the Federal Reserve about when it will begin to taper its stimulus. “Managers actually are fairly bullish on the environment,” Arvin Soh, a New York-based portfolio manager with GAM, said. “The view has been, ‘yes we have some serious issues with Syria, but at the end of the day, growth is improving.’”

Bigger Banks in Europe? (Reuters)

Banking profits are currently being pushed low by increased global bank regulations. European banking chiefs, at a conference today, declared that market consolidation is the likely future result. “There is a clear consolidation of the industry and there is a simplification of the business model,” said Deutsche Bank co-chief executive Anshu Jain.

Full Speed Ahead: Auto Sales Accelerate in August (CNBC)

U.S. auto sales accelerated to its strongest month since before the 2007 financial crisis hit, gaining almost 17 percent in August. Further, last month’s sales are projected to top 16 million vehicles on a seasonally annualized basis — the first time it has reached this record since November 2007. Popular automakers reported double-digit sales gains for the month: Ford and Chrysler reported 12 percent increases, while Toyota was up 23 percent. “The auto industry continues to be a bright spot in the economic recovery,” said Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager.

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Sixty percent of the world’s population lives in Asia, but less than two percent of human beings live in Japan. With those population numbers in mind, you may want to focus your investments on some non-Japanese equities in the Pacific Rim that are tied to other developed economies in the region.

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