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

Economy Watch: January 18, 2009 - January 24, 2009

California Nightmarin': Unemployment Nearly Doubles

California -- already in danger of running out of money -- reported that its December unemployment rate hit 9.3 percent, up from 8.4 percent in November and waaay up from 5.9 percent in December 2007. The state shed 78,200 jobs...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 23, 2009; 3:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: California, Moody's, Schwarzenegger, unemployment  
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Reid: Stimulus Bill Will Be On Obama's Desk By Feb. 16

In a news conference just concluded following a bipartisan meeting of congressional leaders with President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he expects that Congress will deliver a bill outlining the $825 billion economic stimulus plan ready for...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 23, 2009; 11:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Harry Reid, John Boehner, Obama, Peter Orszag  
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NYSE Gives Battered Companies a Breather

According to New York Stock Exchange rules, if a company's market capitalization -- its share price multiplied by its number of outstanding shares -- drops below $25 million for 30 consecutive days, its stock must be delisted from the exchange,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 23, 2009; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: NYSE, New York Stock Exchange  
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Xerox, Others Drag Down Markets

General Electric is not the only drag on Wall Street today. Xerox reported this morning that fourth-quarter revenue at the printer and copier company dropped 10 percent from the same period last year, missing Wall Street estimates, and profit plunged...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 23, 2009; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Harley-Davidson, Xerox  
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Markets Open Sharply Down

Wall Street opened sharply down across the board on a poor earnings report from industrial giant General Electric. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow was off about 170 points, or 2 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 23, 2009; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, GE, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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House Blocks Second $350 Billion of Bailout to No Effect

Though it was nothing more than a symbolic vote, the House this afternoon voted to prevent release of the second $350 billion of the $700 billion federal government rescue/bailout program. Except for winning points with constituents back home, the vote...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 22, 2009; 3:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Christopher Dodd, bailout  
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Obama to Add Daily Economic Briefing

President Obama will add a daily morning economic briefing to go along with the president's traditional morning national security briefing, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said moments ago. The idea is to keep the president as up-to-date and in-the-loop as...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 22, 2009; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Biden, Lawrence Summers, Obama, Rahm Emanuel  
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'Champagne' John Thain Out at Bank Of America

Former Merrill Lynch chief executive John Thain has resigned as a top executive at Bank of America less than one month after he engineered Merrill's $28 billion sale to Bank of America. Bank of America is probably glad to get...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 22, 2009; 1:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Thain  
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Senate Panel Confirms Geithner

UPDATED WITH SENATORS VOTING AGAINST: The Senate Finance committee has confirmed Tim Geithner as the next Treasury secretary, set to succeed Hank Paulson, by a vote of 18-5. Geithner's confirmation now goes to the full Senate for the vote next...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 22, 2009; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Geithner, Paulson, Treasury  
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Bad Day So Far For Tech

It's a bad day so far for technology companies. All you have to do is look at the Nasdaq to see -- more than an hour into the trading day, the tech-heavy index is down 3 percent. Here's a list...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 22, 2009; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Intel, Microsoft, contraction, recession  
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Geithner Confirmation Vote Likely Within the Hour

The Post's David Cho reports that the Senate Finance Committee is likely to vote on the confirmation of Treasury Secretary-designee Tim Geithner in the 10:45 to 11 a.m. range today, with a full Senate vote expected next week. Geithner, who...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 22, 2009; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Geithner, Paulson, Treasury  
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Markets Fall At Opening Bell

Wall Street opened down today, as Microsoft announced layoffs and economic data showed further declines in the housing and labor markets. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is down about 109 points, or more than 1 percent....

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 22, 2009; 9:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, Microsoft, eBay, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Today's Focus: Geithner Vote, Economic Data

Today, the Senate Banking committee will vote on President Obama's pick to head the Treasury department. Timothy Geithner has received praise from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle but yesterday he faced tough questioning over his tax problems, especially...

By Sara Goo  |  January 22, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  
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Home Builders' Confidence Falls Again

The National Association of Home Builders just released its housing market index, which shows another record drop for the month of January. That is the association's lowest number since the gauge was created in 1985. The index, which is a...

By Sara Goo  |  January 21, 2009; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  
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Kyl Sends Geithner Off With Tough Beating On Botched Taxes

UPDATED: 2:00 P.M.: Treasury Secretary-designee Tim Geithner's confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking committee just wrapped up (nearly four hours long) with a long exchange Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Geithner over his botched taxes while working at the IMF,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 21, 2009; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Geithner  
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Geithner's Testimony: 'Serious Reform' Of Bailout Needed

Here is the full text of Treasury Secretary-designee Tim Geithner's statement before the Senate Finance committee: Chairman Baucus, Ranking Member Grassley, members of the committee, it is an honor to come before you today. I want to thank you for...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 21, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Geithner  
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United Airlines Parent Posts $1.3 Billion Loss

UAL, the parent company of United Airlines, said this morning that it lost $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, partly from operating losses but also from bad bets on fuel hedges. Airlines typically try to hedge against high...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 21, 2009; 10:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: UAL, United Airlines, recession  
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Markets Open Up; Geithner Faces Senators

Wall Street looks to recoup some of its steep Inauguration Day losses from yesterday, opening up across the boards. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is up about 80 points, or 1 percent, pushing back up through...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 21, 2009; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, Geithner, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Toyota Outsells GM Globally For First Time

This moment has been long-anticipated: For the first full year, Toyota sold more vehicles around the world than General Motors, knocking the world sales leader from its perch for the first time in more than 70 years. Auto analysts had...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 21, 2009; 9:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout, GM, Toyota  
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Washington Business Leaders: We Have Questions For Geithner

We had Post reporters ask a number of Washington-area business executives the following question: If you could sit down with Treasury Secretary-designee Tim Geithner, what would you ask him? At the bottom of this posting, you can use the comment...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 20, 2009; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Geithner  
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Markets Open Down

With all eyes on Washington and the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama today, Wall Street is down in opening trading. In the first 20 minutes of the day, the Dow is down about 85 points, or 1 percent. The S&P...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 20, 2009; 9:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Fiat Takes 35 Percent Stake in Chrysler

Italian automaker Fiat will take an initial 35 percent stake in struggling Detroit automaker Chrysler, the companies announced today, suggesting the stake could expand. Fiat will not give Chrysler cash, but it will give access to its small-car platforms and...

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 20, 2009; 9:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Detroit bailout, Fiat  
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