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

Economy Watch: August 23, 2009 - August 29, 2009

Cash for Clunkers Was Fun While It Lasted, But Here Comes the 'Hangover'

Here at The Ticker, we took a mixed view of the government's Cash for Clunkers program. On the one hand, it has been the one aspect of the $787 billion stimulus that has "worked," and by that we mean: It...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 28, 2009; 2:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: cash for clunkers  
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Consumer Confidence Slips Backward In August

Consumer confidence slipped backward from July to August, according to the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey, released moments ago. The index -- a combination of how consumers are feeling about their situation right now and how they envision their...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 28, 2009; 9:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer confidence  
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Tech Stocks Lead Markets Higher at Open

Wall Street opened up this morning, led by a strong rally from tech stocks. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is up more than 1 percent. The Dow is barely up, positive by about one-tenth of...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 28, 2009; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, Intel, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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FDIC Bank Failure Fund Drops $2.6 Billion in Second Quarter

The FDIC is giving an update on its bank insurance fund right now, reporting how much it's spent to rescue failing banks and how much money it has left in its fund. The FDIC insures individual bank accounts up to...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 27, 2009; 10:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: FDIC, bank failure  
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Markets Slightly Off at Opening

Wall Street opened slightly off despite promising news in new jobless claims and GDP released this morning. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is down 24 points, or about one-quarter of 1 percent. The broader S&P 500...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 27, 2009; 9:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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570,000 New Jobless Claims Filed Last Week, GDP Shrank 1%

Last week 570,000 new jobless claims were filed, slightly worse than expectations. Forecasters expected jobless claims to drop to 565,000 last week. Claims spiked unexpectedly to 576,000 the week before. Also, U.S. gross domestic product for the second quarter shrank...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 27, 2009; 8:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: GDP, jobless claims, unemployment  
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Cash for Clunkers Winds Up Costing $2.9 Billion; Toyota the Big Winner

The final numbers are in for the federal government's Cash for Clunkers program: Some 690,114 applications were taken for a total cost of $2.9 billion, according to the Transportation Department. Here are the Top 10 vehicles purchased in the program,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 26, 2009; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: cash for clunkers  
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New Home Sales Surge Nearly 10% in July

Sales of new homes surged 9.6 percent in July compared with June, stoking hopes that the new-home market has found a bottom, the Commerce Department reported moments ago. Sales rose to an annualized rate of 433,000 homes, up from 395,000...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 26, 2009; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Commerce Department, new home sales  
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Markets Open Slightly Down

Wall Street opened slightly down this morning as traders dug into the Commerce Department's July durable goods report released before opening. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is down 42 points, or about half of 1 percent....

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 26, 2009; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, durable goods, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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July Durable Goods Orders Rise More Than Expected

Orders for durable goods -- big-ticket items bought by businesses and consumers, from aircraft and refrigerators -- rose 4.9 percent in July, beating forecasts. It's the biggest rise since July 2007. The figures were goosed by vehicles purchased under the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 26, 2009; 8:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: durable goods  
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GM To Drop Hallowed Corporate Logo

Now, this really is a sign of the End Times of Corporate America: General Motors said today that it plans to gradually begin phasing out the globally known "GM" corporate logo starting next year. This logo -- a simple sans-serif,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 25, 2009; 4:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Delta 88, GM, General Motors, Oldsmobile  
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Report: New Belgian Owner Of Budweiser To Raise U.S. Beer Prices

As if it wasn't disturbing enough to American patriots that AB InBev -- the Belgian-Brazilian beer conglomerate -- bought St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch last year, now the company says it plans to raise prices of its products in some parts of...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 25, 2009; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light, Budweiser, InBev  
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Conflicting Home Price Data: What Do They Mean?

This morning, two seemingly contradictory sets of home price data came out. Let's try to explain why they are different. The first was the widely watched Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price indexes, which showed that home prices increased in the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 25, 2009; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Case-Shiller, FHFA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, home prices  
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Consumer Confidence Surges In August

One of two consumer confidence surveys due out this week was released moments ago and the first one showed that confidence jumped from July to August. According to the Conference Board, the private economic research organization, its consumer confidence index...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 25, 2009; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer confidence  
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Home Prices Show First Quarterly Increase in Three Years

UPDATED at 10 a.m. Home prices posted their first quarterly gain in three years, according to the widely watched Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller indexes, a figure that suggests the housing crisis may be bottoming. Home prices rose in each of the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 25, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Case-Shiller, home prices  
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Markets Open Solidly Up

Wall Street followed its tepid Monday with a solid opening this morning, as traders heard President Obama say he will appoint Ben Bernanke to a second four-year term as Fed chairman. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 25, 2009; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Ben Bernanke, Dow Jones, Obama, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Does Bernie Madoff Have Cancer?

Two New York newspapers say convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff is dying of cancer but the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has strongly denied the claims. Under the headline "Bernie's Cancer Cell," the New York Post reported Monday morning that Madoff,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 24, 2009; 2:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bernie Madoff  
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Markets Recover From Midday Slump, Edge Upward Toward Close

UPDATED at 2:25 p.m. Wall Street has recovered from a midday slump and is less than two hours from closing back on the positive side, meandering around on a day without market-moving news. After a mildly positive opening, the three...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 24, 2009; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Cash for Clunkers Deadline at 8 p.m. Today

The government's Cash for Clunkers program expires at 8 p.m., as the program runs out of its original and supplemental funding. As of 7 a.m. today, participating dealers have submitted 635,186 transactions to the government for their $4,500 reimbursement for...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 24, 2009; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, GM, cash for clunkers  
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Dr. Doom Is Back! Roubini Makes Case for 'Double Dip' Recession

Thanks to his perma-bear status, NYU business professor Nouriel Roubini is known by some as Dr. Doom. He accurately forecast the current crisis and is like a dog with a bone, refusing to let it go. In this column in...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 24, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Erin Burnett, Nouriel Roubini, recession  
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Overnight Asia, Europe Markets Point To Higher Open On Wall Street

Wall Street looks to continue its Friday rally, following overnight gains in the Asia and Europe markets, pegged to promising housing news from the U.S. last Friday and optimism from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Stock futures are rising pre-market this...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 24, 2009; 9:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Ben Bernanke, Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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