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

Markets Rally on Strong Home Sales

The markets continued to rally this morning, reacting to surprising strength in the housing market and positive comments from the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Sales of existing homes rose 7.2 percent in July, the highest jump in two years, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Prices still declined. The median price for an existing home was $178,400, about 15 percent less than a year ago.

The Northeast performed the best, followed by the Midwest and the South. The West, badly hit by the housing downturn, still saw sales slide.

About noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 138 points, or 1.5 percent, to 9489, and the the S&P 500 was up 17 points, or 1.6 percent, to 1024.

That was the fourth straight day of gains. The S&P is now at its highest level since October.

At a symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke expressed measured optimism about the trajectory for the U.S. economy.

"After contracting sharply over the past year, economic activity appears to be leveling out, both in the United States and abroad, and the prospects for growth in the near term appear good," Bernanke said.

With the renewed prospects for the global economy, oil prices continued their ascent today. Crude oil rose to $74 a barrel, its highest level in 10 months.

-- Zach Goldfarb

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 21, 2009; 12:24 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Markets Shake Off Bad Jobs News, Stage Strong Rally
Next: August 21, 2009


"Your tax dollars for federally subsidized housing are being used to house thousands of lifetime registered sex offenders, according to federal investigators." News 9. Cash for rapists and child molesters via plastic Jesus and messiah.

Posted by: Dermitt | August 21, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"The Department of Housing and Urban Development pays for two-to-three thousand households with serious sex offenders-- a direct violation of federal law." News 9

Buy them houses with Friendly Freddie Mac mortgages and low APR's too. Get them Citied up and hip hopping. 22.5% ashes to ashes and dust to dust em.

Posted by: Dermitt | August 21, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

This is NOT a trend. There are many fixes needed before "trends" are seriously turned to the positive. Start at the top....

Bernanke had the gall to threaten Congress and the American people with economic destruction. Get this arrogance out of the Fed, … just for a start.

The Kings of Wall Street have long coveted the absolute supremacy they now enjoy over the largest economy in the world. The debt is a problem, but vast change is necessary throughout the banking system. A radical change is needed on Wall Street.

It starts with the taxpayer's attitude adjustment.

- - - Quit fearing Wall Street.

Posted by: JamesRaider | August 21, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

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