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

Economy Watch: May 24, 2009 - May 30, 2009

Obscure 'Baltic Dry Index' Soars. And You Care, Why?

Today, The Ticker revisits one of its favorite obscure economic indicators: The Baltic Dry Index, or BDI, which just had its best month ever. We first mentioned the BDI in this story in The Post in February. In case you...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 29, 2009; 2:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Baltic Dry Index, China, shipping  
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May 29, 2009

The Washington Post staff share their picks for readings around the Web. A Return to a Nasty External Dynamic? Fed Watch blog | Should the Fed move aggressively to combat rising yields on U.S. Treasury bonds? Tim Duy thinks...

By Sara Goo  |  May 29, 2009; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Neil Irwin's Must Reads  
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Consumer Sentiment Hits Eight-Month High

Consumer sentiment about the state of the U.S. economy soared in early May to its highest level since September, just before Lehman Bros. collapsed and the cascade of panic began, according to a widely watched index. The Reuters/University of Michigan...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 29, 2009; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer confidence, unemployment  
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Chrysler Dealers: Company 'Begged' Us to Take Too Many Cars

UPDATED below with testimony from other dealers at 11:27 a.m. Chrysler dealers who would be forced to shutter their shops took the stand in bankruptcy court this morning, the third day of hearings to decide whether Chrysler can sell itself...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 29, 2009; 11:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: chrysler  
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Markets Open Tepidly

Wall Street opened up tepidly this morning, then retreated to neutral, as the markets looked to complete a winning short-trading week and Chrysler attempted to wind up its sale to the Fiat-led consortium today. In the first 15 minutes of...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 29, 2009; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, GDP, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Nardelli: Chrysler Will Be Sold To Fiat On Friday

Chrysler chairman and chief execute Robert Nardelli said in testimony in bankruptcy court this afternoon that he expects Chrysler's proposed sale to Italian car maker Fiat to close on Friday, The Post's Tomoeh Murakami Tse reports from New York. Nardelli...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 28, 2009; 4:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Fiat, Robert Nardelli, UAW, chrysler  
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Report: Record 12% Of Homeowners Behind In Mortgage, In Foreclosure

A record 12 percent of U.S. homeowners are behind on their mortgage or in foreclosure, an industry report said today, as the housing crisis extends beyond bad-credit borrowers who took out gimmicky, high-risk loans. According to a report from the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 28, 2009; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Commerce Department, Mortgage Brokers Association, foreclosure, home prices, home sales  
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Moody's: U.S.'s 'Aaa' Credit Rating Is Stable -- For Now

Moody's ratings agency said today that the U.S. government's highest-level "Aaa" credit rating is stable -- at least for the time being -- despite mounting debt related to President Obama's budget and stimulus. This comes one week after rival ratings...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 27, 2009; 4:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chris Shays, Fitch, Moody's, S&P, Steven Hess  
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Survey: Most Economists See Recession Ending This Year

A survey of economists released this morning shows that 74 percent believe that the recession, which began in December 2007, will end in the third quarter of this year. Another 19 percent predicted the recession will end in the last...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 27, 2009; 11:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: National Association for Business Economics, recession  
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Home Sales Tick Up Slightly From March to April

Sales of previously occupied homes ticked up slightly from March to April, thanks to low mortgage rates and prices driven down by foreclosures and the bursting of the housing bubble, a real estate group said moments ago. According to the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 27, 2009; 10:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: National Association of Realtors, home sales  
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Markets Open Slightly Down

Wall Street took a breather from its big rally yesterday, opening slightly down this morning. In the first 28 minutes of trading, the Dow is off about 15 points, or a fraction of 1 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is up...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 27, 2009; 9:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, home sales, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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GM Bondholders Reject Offer; Bankruptcy Now All But Certain For Automaker

General Motors announced this morning that its debt-for-equity swap offer to its bondholders deal has failed, eliminating the last procedural hurdle to a government-sponsored bankruptcy. GM had offered its bondholders, who hold some $27 billion in company debt, an offer...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 27, 2009; 9:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: GM  
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Expert: Housing Prices Will Bottom at 50% of Value

Housing prices will continue to drop through next year and homeowners can expect their houses to lose another 10 or 15 percent of their value, bottoming out to be worth half of what was once their resale value, Whitney Tilson...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 26, 2009; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Whitney Tilson, housing crisis  
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GM Inches Closer To Bankruptcy -- Or Complete Govt. Bailout

UPDATED at 3:25 p.m. with swap-offer results: Key developments are unfolding today with ailing Detroit automaker and American icon General Motors, each of which is pushing the company toward what appears to be its inevitable bankruptcy. Or, alternatively, toward a...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 26, 2009; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: GM, Treasury, UAW, main street bondholders  
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Home Prices Plunge Record 19.1 Percent

UPDATED at 11:28 a.m. with data from individual cities: Home prices across the nation plunged a record 19.1 percent in the first three months of this year compared with the same period last year, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller National Home...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 26, 2009; 11:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Case-Shiller, home prices  
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Consumer Confidence Soars in May, Markets Surge

It looked like Wall Street was waiting for just one piece of good news to take off today, and it got that moments ago: Consumer confidence in May soared to its highest level since September, pushing the Dow Jones up...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 26, 2009; 10:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer confidence  
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Markets Flat at Opening

Wall Street opened flat after the long holiday weekend, as the markets headed into the tepid summer months and digested discouraging home price data released before opening. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow was essentially flat. The...

By Frank Ahrens  |  May 26, 2009; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Case-Shiller, Dow Jones, home prices, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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