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

Wall Street Opens Higher Ahead of Fed Rate Decision

Wall Street seems to be bullish on the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision expected later today. So far, after 20 minutes of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 1.1 percent, or 98 points. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 1.5 percent, or 13 points and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is up 1.4 percent, 21 points.

This, despite a gloomy report on the consumer price index out before the opening bell and dismal numbers on housing starts.

The Post's Howard Schneider reports: Data released from the federal government this morning showed that housing starts in November fell to 625,000 on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis -- a nearly 19 percent drop from the month before and the lowest start rate since recordkeeping began nearly 50 years ago. Building permits -- a measure of future activity -- fell to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 616,000, down 15.6 percent from the month before. Both housing starts and permits have fallen by half since November of 2007.

Inflation also took a record tumble, with prices dropping 1.7 percent in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared to the month before.

--Sara Goo

By Sara Goo  |  December 16, 2008; 9:52 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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