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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Markets Up in Opening Minutes

In the moments following today's opening bell, the Dow is trading up more than 80 points, or nearly 1 percent.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also are each trading up about 1 percent.

It's also worth nothing that the LIBOR -- the London Interbank Offered Rate, or the interest rate that banks charge when lending to each other -- has dropped below 4 percent, a sign that the credit markets may be starting to unfreeze. More on this later.

Art Cashin, UBS's veteran floor manager at the New York Stock Exchange (i.e., the Man Who Has Seen It All) said before opening on CNBC that he believes that this is a critical week on Wall Street: Bear markets, like the one we're in, typically end in October and "we're running out of weeks on the calendar," he said.

A number of hearings on the Hill kick off this morning, starting with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke testifying before the House Budget committee at 10 a.m.

We'll be blogging the hearing live, so check back in frequently.

-- Frank Ahrens

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 20, 2008; 9:44 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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