Out of the three, the S&P 500 index is probably the best indicator of how the stock market is performing, but there are even better choices out there.The Dow Jones Industrial Average only considers 30 companies, and is a price-weighted index, which places more emphasis on stocks whose share prices are high, as opposed to weighting in favor of larger companies (as most other indexes do).The Nasdaq Composite considers nearly 3,000 stocks listed on the Nasdaq, but it's important to realize that it is a very tech-heavy index. The technology sector makes up more than 40% of the Nasdaq, but makes up only about 20% of the overall market.Finally, the S&P 500 includes 500 stocks, and is a good representative mix of the industries that make up the overall market. Since the index includes large companies, 80% of the overall U.S. stock market capitalization is represented by the index.However, the S&P 500 has one major shortcoming: It doesn't reflect the performance of small or … [Read more...] about Ask a Fool: Which stock index best represents the entire market?
A Brooklyn judge ordered a new murder trial Wednesday for an inmate whose old defense lawyer quit to become a top — and controversial — prosecutor. Supreme Court Justice ShawnDya Simpson cited a conflict of interests centered around Michael Vecchione, who was the right-hand man of former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes after representing Antwon Dennis some 25 years ago. “Even a layperson would think this is a serious conflict,” she said, noting the lawyer worked with the defendant for more than a year and appeared on his behalf in 20 hearings. “It’s a relationship,” she said. Another major factor is hindering the case: nearly all the documents have mysteriously vanished. “There's a significant issue if the People can proceed with a new trial because the file is missing,” defense lawyer Scott Brettschneider pointed out in court. “I agree,” the judge said. Vecchione served as … [Read more...] about Brooklyn inmate represented by future top prosecutor in murder case gets new trial
The homeless ex-con charged with murdering the manager of a Bronx shelter wants to be his own lawyer. West Spruill, 39, again blasted his attorney as incompetent Thursday, and added that law-enforcement officers have harassed him since his Apr. 27 arrest for the murder of Ana Charle, 36, the director of the Project Renewal facility on Bronx Boulevard. “I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with court-appointed attorneys,” said Spruill, speaking calmly and slowly at Bronx Supreme Court, where he is making a bid to represent himself. “I don’t believe they are talented. I believe that most of them are friends with the prosecutors ... If I’m going to go down for something, I’d rather go down on my own.” Bystanders watched the career criminal chase Charle down a sidewalk before killing her with three shots from a .40 caliber handgun, prosecutors said. The accused killer ripped his court-appointed … [Read more...] about Homeless ex-con charged with slaying of Bronx shelter manager rips public defender, wants to represent self in court
Former “Dukes of Hazzard” star Ben Jones wasn’t just playing a redneck on TV. The actor and Democratic ex-congressman posted on Facebook Wednesday, defending the Confederate flag as “the symbol that represents the indomitable spirit of independence which keeps us makin’ our way the only way we know how.” Also on Wednesday, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley ordered the divisive banner pulled down at the state Capitol. Bentley ordered removal of the flag from the Montgomery legislative building one week after the massacre at the Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina. The governor’s executive order quickly brought down four Confederate flags typically unfurled above a large monument to the Southern army’s soldiers. Montgomery briefly served as the capital of Confederacy in 1861. SEVEN LITTLE-KNOWN CONFEDERATE FLAG FACTS In neighboring Mississippi, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker called Wednesday … [Read more...] about Former ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ star defends Confederate flag as ‘symbol that represents the indomitable spirit of independence’
One would hope that physicians in the public arena, when asked about controversial social issues like human sexuality (or vaccines, for that matter), would learn to speak accurately from scientific knowledge. After all, who would go see a doctor who doesn’t keep up with modern science? Also, this approach is consistent with the ethical code of the American Medical Association. So what are the facts? First, people do not choose their sexual orientation. Period. Although science does not yet know why anyone becomes gay or straight, the science is pretty clear that no one “chooses” the gender to which they are attracted. Second, contrary to what Dr. Ben Carson says, many people who engage in same-sex activity in prison, referred to as “situational homosexuality,” do not become gay when they leave. They usually go back to leading straight lives when heterosexual partners become available. Carson should remember that he is not someone who … [Read more...] about Dr. Ben Carson bears responsibility, even as politician, to represent science in accurate manner
He's no Perry Mason, but the ex-con charged with murdering his homeless shelter boss waxed eloquently in court Wednesday about why he wants to represent himself. “I could live with the fact that I made an error or mistake and went down for something I did, but I refuse to have somebody else represent me and f--k me over,” said West Spruill at a hearing in Bronx Supreme Court, where the 39-year-old wants to rep himself against charges stemming from the brutal May 27 killing of Ana Charle. Spruill, who said he left school after the ninth grade, fumbled when the judge quizzed him on criminal procedure law. The amateur attorney seemed unaware that he could make motions to suppress evidence prosecutors may have illegally obtained, before lawyer Cesar Gonzalez whispered in his ear. "You did not know without consulting with Mr. Gonzalez that you would be able to file motions…you needed his assistance to answer those questions … [Read more...] about Ex-con accused of murdering Bronx homeless shelter boss insists on representing himself despite being unaware of rules
Public Advocate Letitia James had her day in court Wednesday - representing a Honduran teen who entered the country alone and was fighting to stay here. James acted as a lawyer for the 16-year-old immigrant in Brooklyn family court and successfully petitioned for him to get special juvenile status, which will likely allow him to stay in New York. Keybi, 16, who is now living with a cousin in East New York, Brooklyn, said he fled to the United States because he was threatened by rampant violence in his hometown of La Ceiba. “There was a lot of really bad gang violence in Honduras,” he said. “I was really afraid.” James had previously pledged to personally serve as a pro bono lawyer, as she appealed for other attorneys to volunteer to represent unaccompanied kids who flooded into the country. At least 3,000 have landed in New York. “When he was in Honduras, no one cared for him. There were often days when he went hungry. Gangs threatened his … [Read more...] about Public Advocate Letitia James represents Honduran teen who entered country alone
He looked no farther than the mirror to find the lawyer he wanted. A Queens man facing a potential life sentence after being charged with killing his parents a year apart wants to represent himself in the murder case, his attorney told the Daily News. Court-appointed defense attorney Paul Franzese said Gregory Cucchiara, 39, who will stand trial on two second-degree murder charges for the deaths of Giusepina and Carmelo Cucchiara, informed Judge Kenneth Holder about his plans to represent himself during a recent appearance. Cucchiara was in court Monday for a hearing related to statements he gave to police in the aftermath of the crimes, but the judge had temporarily denied his request to represent himself because of the technical nature of the hearing, Franzese said. Cucchiara sat quietly in an orange prison jumpsuit as two detectives took the stand Tuesday to read statements Cucchiara made after his father, Carmelo, was found smothered to death with a pillow in August … [Read more...] about EXCLUSIVE: Queens man accused of killing his parents wants to represent himself in murder case
Texas could soon become the largest state to allow citizens to openly carry handguns. The Texas House of Representatives voted, 96 to 35, Friday to allow residents with concealed-handgun licenses to openly carry their guns in public in holsters. Gov. Greg Abbott has expressed support for the law. A similar measure passed the Texas Senate last month and the two bill must be squared up before heading to Abbott’s desk. Texas, despite its reputation for being lax on gun laws, is one of six states, including California, New York and Florida, that currently bars citizens from openly carrying handguns. With News Wire Services Join the Conversation: … [Read more...] about Texas House of Representatives votes to allow residents to publicly carry guns in holsters
It will be a hell of a commute! A British politician is refusing to quit his $15,000-a-year job — even though he is moving to the U.S. Suffolk County Council lawmaker Brian Riley claims he'll still be able to fully service his voters in Hadleigh from almost 4,000 miles away in Raleigh, N.C., reports ITV News. The 71-year-old former banker says he'll be on hand to help solve issues via Skype, cell phone and email. And he's also willing to regularly make the near 8,000-mile transatlantic round-trip to fly back for other major problems. The Conservative Party politician's stance has sparked an angry backlash, and he's now facing calls to resign. "It's ridiculous for anybody to claim to represent the people of Hadleigh from somewhere other than Hadleigh," said opposition Labour leader Sandy Martin. "But to do so from 4,000 miles away is completely bonkers. He'll not be able to attend all the meetings or visit schools or … [Read more...] about British politician wants to continue representing constituents via Skype after move to U.S.