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

Economy Watch: September 6, 2009 - September 12, 2009

Consumer Confidence Rises in Early September

U.S. consumers felt a little more optimistic about the economy in early September, as they watched the pace of job cuts slow. The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for early September released this morning rose to 70.2 from 65.7...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 11, 2009; 11:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer confidence  
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Geithner: Unemployment Will 'Absolutely' Be Lower One Year From Today

UPDATED at 8:13 p.m. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, appearing in a town hall program that concluded moments ago on CNBC, said that "absolutely, absolutely," unemployment will be lower this time next year. Responding to a poll showing 56 percent of...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 10, 2009; 8:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: CNBC, Erin Burnett, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Steve Liesman, Tim Geithner  
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Foreclosure Filings Hold Steady in August

Foreclosure filings held relatively steady in August compared with July, a private group reported today, a rare piece of not-so-bad news for homeowners, as lenders stepped up efforts to work deals with in-trouble mortgage holders. About 358,000 foreclosure-related filings were...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 10, 2009; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: foreclosure  
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GM to Sell Majority Stake in Opel

General Motors continues to pare down its assets to focus on four core brands, saying today that it will sell 55 percent of its Opel brand to a consortium made up of Magna, a Canadian auto parts supplier, and Sberbank,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 10, 2009; 10:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GM, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saturn  
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Markets Down Slightly at Opening

Wall Street opened slightly down this morning after some mixed economic news, as traders continue to digest what President Obama's health-care reform speech means to the markets. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is off about 0.2...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 10, 2009; 9:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, Tim Geithner, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Weekly Jobless Claims Drop, Trade Gap Expands

New jobless claims filed last week dropped 26,000 from the previous week to 550,000, the Labor Department said this morning, beating expectations. Also, the trade gap -- often referred to as the trade deficit -- grew from $27.5 billion to...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 10, 2009; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: jobless claims, trade gap  
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Six-Month Anniversary of Stock Market Bottom Today

UPDATED at 4:45 p.m. Today -- September 9 -- marks the six-month anniversary of the March 9 stock market bottom. It's been quite a ride up since then. You may recall that most traders thought the market had bottomed in...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 9, 2009; 4:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, Goldman Sachs, Haines bottom, Mark Haines, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Fed's Beige Book: Continued Stabilization

The Fed released its most recent Beige Book moments ago, reporting anecdotal evidence on the economy from the Fed's 12 U.S. districts. It said that most parts of the country continued to "stabilize" in July and August. Eight Beige Books...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 9, 2009; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Beige Book, Fed, Federal Reserve  
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Markets Open Flat to Slightly Down

Wall Street opened up flat to slightly down this morning in what looks to be a quiet trading day. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is off about 10 points, or essentially flat. The S&P 500 is...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 9, 2009; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Beige Book, Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Mortgage Applications Surge

Applications for mortgages jumped last week to their highest level since late May, as first-time home buyers rushed to get their houses before the $8,000 tax credit expires in late November and refinancers took advantage of low interest rates. The...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 9, 2009; 9:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Mortgage Brokers Association, mortgage applications  
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Consumers Slash Debt By Record Amount In July

U.S. consumers cut their borrowing by the largest amount on record as Americans put more of their money into savings and toward paying off their credit cards rather than spending, the Fed reported Tuesday afternoon. The amount of debt slashed...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 8, 2009; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Federal Reserve, consumer credit, debt  
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Madoff Feeder Fund Agrees to Settlement with Mass. Investors

Fairfield Greenwich Advisors, a "feeder fund" accused of funneling investor money into Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, has agreed to a $8 million settlement with the commonwealth of Massachusetts. William Galvin, secretary of the commonwealth, announced the deal moments ago and...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 8, 2009; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bernie Madoff  
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Dollar Again Under Attack as World's Reserve Currency

A United Nations panel has piled onto the dollar-haters, which include China and Russia, calling for a different kind of world reserve currency than the U.S. dollar. The dollar is the world's reserve currency because the world does business in...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 8, 2009; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: dollar, euro, reserve currency  
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September 6, 2009

The Washington Post staff share their picks for reading around the Web. How Did Economists Get It So Wrong? The New York Times | Where did the economics profession go wrong in the lead-up to the crisis, and how...

By Sarah Halzack  |  September 8, 2009; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Neil Irwin's Must Reads  
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Gold Hits $1,000 Per Ounce for First Time Since Feb.

Gold has topped $1,000 per ounce for the first time since February, breaking through a psychological barrier that typically implies a weak dollar and investors who fear inflation. Specifically, the price of gold is a futures price and right now,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 8, 2009; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Federal Reserve, gold, inflation  
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Merger News Pushes Markets Higher at Open

Wall Street opened higher this morning on the unofficial first day of fall, driven upward by merger news. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is up 38 points, or about 0.4 percent. The broader S&P 500 is...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 8, 2009; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Cadbury, Dow Jones, Kraft, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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