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

Economy Watch: June 28, 2009 - July 4, 2009

Actual Unemployment Rate Rises To 16.5%

UPDATED at 1:50 p.m. with analysis: The nation's official unemployment rate in June rose from 9.4 to 9.5 percent, its highest in 26 years. How bad is that? Pretty bad, writes Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute: "This is...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 2, 2009; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: unemployment  
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Markets Dive At Opening

Wall Street dropped sharply at opening this morning as markets responded to worse-than-expected unemployment news released today. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is down 155 points, or about 1.8 percent. The broader S&P 500 and the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 2, 2009; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500, unemployment  
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Day Three of GM Bankruptcy Court

General Motors is before U.S. District Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber for the third - and likely last - day of hearings on the sale of the automaker's assets to a new, government-owned GM. Today, those opposing certain aspects of the...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  July 2, 2009; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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June Sales: Chrysler Down 42%, Toyota Off 38%, GM Down 37%, Ford Dips 14.4%

UPDATED at 2:30 p.m.: Sales of Ford vehicles in June were down 14.4 percent compared to June 2008, better results than had been expected by Wall Street and the winner among the world's big automakers. General Motors' June sales were...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 1, 2009; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Ford, auto industry, auto sales  
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$231 Million Headed To 543 Madoff Victims So Far

So far $231 million has been approved for 543 victims of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, an average of $425,414 per swindled investor. The payout comes from Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which insures investor accounts with brokerage firms up to...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 1, 2009; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bernie Madoff  
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Freddie Mac Gets $6.1 Billion More in Taxpayer Money

Troubled mortgage broker Freddie Mac got an additional $6.1 billion from the Treasury Department to pay for mounting losses, according to a filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission today. Freddie requested the additional funds in May, but you might...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 1, 2009; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Freddie Mac  
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Markets Open Up to Kick Off Third Quarter

Wall Street opened up this morning, kicking off the first day of the third quarter and the second half of the year. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow was up about 65 points, or 0.8 percent. The...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 1, 2009; 9:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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May Jobless Rates Rise In Most U.S. Metro Areas

Unemployment went up in nearly all U.S. metro areas for the fifth straight month in May, the Labor Department reported yesterday. National unemployment stands at 9.4 percent, is likely to continue rising and could hit 10 percent before leveling off,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 1, 2009; 9:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Labor Department, unemployment  
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GM Back in Bankruptcy Court

General Motors is back in federal bankruptcy court today in its bid to become a leaner, healthier company. The automaker is asking Judge Robert Gerber for approval to sell its profitable assets to a "new" GM, which would be 61...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  July 1, 2009; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Markets Down At Midday

After opening slightly up, Wall Street took a late morning dive following an unexpected drop in June consumer confidence. At noon, the Dow was down about 121 points, or about 1.4 percent. The broader S&P 500 was down 1.3 percent...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 30, 2009; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer confidence  
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Wagoner Stepped Down at Treasury's Request

Fritz Henderson, chief executive of General Motors, said in court testimony today that his predecessor, Rick Wagoner, stepped down at the request of the U.S. Treasury Department. Describing the circumstances leading up Wagoner's resignation, Henderson said GM executives were summoned...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  June 30, 2009; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Report: Authorities Close to Charging 10 Others in Madoff Scheme

Federal authorities are pursuing charges against 10 people linked to Bernie Madoff's multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, the Associated Press is reporting. So far, only Madoff and his bogus auditor have been criminally charged. The source who spoke to the AP would...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 30, 2009; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bernie Madoff  
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Markets Open Slightly Up

Wall Street opened up slightly this morning, possibly bolstered by the not-as-bad-as-expected April housing prices report out this morning. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow was up about 20 points. The broader S&P 500 was up about...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 30, 2009; 9:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nas, s&p 500  
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Home Prices Show Signs of Bottoming in April

Home prices in 20 large U.S. cities were down 18.1 percent in April compared with the previous April, slightly less of a drop than forecasters expected. According to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index released this morning, April was the third...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 30, 2009; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Case-Shiller, home prices  
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GM Seeks Approval to Sell Assets

Just 29 days after filing the biggest bankruptcy case ever by a U.S. industrial company, General Motors is before a federal judge this morning to seek approval for the sale of its assets to a new and leaner government-run GM....

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  June 30, 2009; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Paulson Finally To Face Music On Govt. Role In Bank of America-Merrill Merger

The House Oversight Committee has been like a dog with a bone with last year's $50 billion merger between Bank of America and troubled brokerage Merrill Lynch. (To be fair, so has The Ticker, as well, probably.) The committee --...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 29, 2009; 6:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Madoff Sentenced To Maximum 150 Years In Jail; Wife 'Betrayed, Ashamed'

UPDATED with full Ruth Madoff statement at 1:16 p.m.: Confessed Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff, who swindled investors out of as much as $65 billion, was sentenced moments ago to the maximum allowable 150 years in jail. U.S. Judge Denny Chin characterized...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 29, 2009; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bernie Madoff  
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Markets Mixed At Opening

Wall Street is mixed at opening today, kicking off a short trading week that is nevertheless filled with important economic data. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is up about 22 points. The broader S&P 500 is...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 29, 2009; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bernie Madoff, Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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