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

Economy Watch: September 13, 2009 - September 19, 2009

Unemployment Rises in 27 States, D.C.; Mich. Leads Nation

Unemployment rose in 27 states and Washington D.C. in August, according to numbers out today from the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Maryland's unemployment was 7.2 percent, up 2.7 percent from August 2008. Virginia's rate was 6.5 percent, up...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 18, 2009; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment  
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The Week's Good News: Too Good to Believe?

Investors, traders and regular folk saw a raft of good economic news come out over the past several days. This was not your not-as-bad-as-expected bad news, which we've become used to -- indeed, hoped for -- over the past several...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 18, 2009; 10:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Motley Fool, Shannon Zimmerman, Warren Buffett, cash for clunkers, consumer confidence, jobless claims, retail sales  
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Markets Slightly Up at Opening

Wall Street opened up slightly on a day without market-moving economic data. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is up about four-tenths of 1 percent. The broader S&P 500 is up by about the same amount and...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 18, 2009; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Barclays, Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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SEC Votes To Propose Banning 'Flash Trading'

By a vote of 5-0, the SEC decided Thursday to propose a ban on "flash trading," a type of computer-driven stock trading that gives some traders a micro-second advantage over others. Some observers consider that split-second edge unfair. The process...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 17, 2009; 5:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: SEC, flash trading  
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Household Wealth Increases for First Time in Two Years

So here's some actual good economic news, as opposed to the not-as-bad-as-expected economic news I've been dealing you lately: For the first time in two years, Americans' household wealth grew during the spring of this year, the Fed Reserve reported...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 17, 2009; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Federal Reserve, net wealth  
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Wall Street Opens Slightly Down

Wall Street opened flat to slightly down following a couple of not-so-bad pieces of economic news this morning. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is flat. The broader S&P 500 is flat, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 17, 2009; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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New Jobless Claims Drop, Housing Starts Hit Expectations

New jobless claims dropped by 12,000 last week, beating expectations and new housing starts hit expectations, in two good pieces of news for the economy released moments ago. According to the Labor Department, 545,000 people filed new jobless claims last...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 17, 2009; 8:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: housing starts, jobless claims  
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Home Builders Index Creeps Up in September

The home builders index inched up in September as people rushed to take advantage of the $8,000 first-time home buyer credit, which expires at the end of November, the National Association of Home Builders reported this afternoon. The index number...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 16, 2009; 2:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: National Association of Home Builders, home sales  
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Report: Fed to Conduct Bank Stress Test for Commercial Real Estate Exposure

The Federal Reserve is launching a review of the balance sheets of the nation's largest regional banks to determine their exposure to losses in the commercial real estate sector, which many consider the next shoe to drop, CNBC's Steve Liesman...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 16, 2009; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: CNBC, Jim Rohr, Steve Liesman, commercial real estate, sub-prime  
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The Worst Story of This Recession. So Far.

This may be the perfect story to illustrate the Great Recession. And by "perfect," I mean "disgusting and reprehensible." Goes like this: A wealthy couple named Lawrence and Linda Elins have a nice beachfront house in Malibu, overlooking the ocean....

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 16, 2009; 11:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Cheronda Guyton, Tom Hanks, Wells Fargo  
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Markets Slightly Up at Opening

Wall Street opened mixed to slightly up this morning, as traders digested August inflation data. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is flat. The broader S&P 500 is up one-tenth of 1 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 16, 2009; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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August Inflation Rises Slightly More Than Expected

Inflation rose 0.4 percent in August, compared with July, but rose only 0.1 percent if the volatile food and energy costs are taken out, the Labor Department reported moments ago. Inflation -- as measured by the consumer price index --...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 16, 2009; 8:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: inflation  
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Ticker Talks on Washington's Fox 5 This Morning

I appeared on Washington's Fox 5 this morning to talk about President Obama's speech to Wall Street yesterday, what he wants in terms of regulatory reform and where the economy may be heading. One thing was noteworthy about Obama's speech...

By Sarah Halzack  |  September 15, 2009; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Fox 5, Frank Ahrens, Obama, WTTG, Wall Street  
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July Inventories Drop, Sales Rise

In a nice little blip of good news, July inventories dropped and sales rose, according to numbers released moments ago by the Commerce Department, fueling hopes of the beginning of a recovery. In July, businesses slashed their inventories 1 percent,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 15, 2009; 10:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: inventories, manufacturing  
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Markets Open Slightly Up on Retail Sales News

Wall Street opened up slightly this morning, following better-than-expected August retail news. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is up about one-quarter of 1 percent. The broader S&P 500 is up about the same and the tech-heavy...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 15, 2009; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Producer Prices, Retail Sales Rise In August

Wholesale inflation -- the cost of goods before they get to store shelves -- rose 1.7 percent in August and retail sales jumped 2.7 percent last month, but that came almost exclusively from the government-fueled "cash for clunkers" program. If...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 15, 2009; 8:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: inflation, producer price index  
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Obama: 'I Have a Strong Inclination' Against Second Stimulus

In an interview with CNBC concluded moments ago, President Obama said, "I have a strong inclination not to do" a second stimulus. He said the White House is "monitoring the situation," but as of now does not see a need...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 14, 2009; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Obama, healthcare reform, stimulus  
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Looming Trade War With China Over Tires?

China fired back at the U.S. today, filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization over the Obama administration's Friday decision to impose tariffs on vehicle tires imported form China. Is this a looming trade war between the U.S. and...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 14, 2009; 2:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: China, Smoot-Hawley, protectionism, protectionist, trade war  
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Obama To Wall Street: It's Time To Mend Your Ways

UPDATED at 12:38 p.m. with reaction: Here are some highlights of President Obama's speech to Wall Street, which concluded moments ago: -- "...banks have repaid more than $70 billion, and in those cases where the government’s stake has been sold...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 14, 2009; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: FDIC, G-20, Lehman Brothers, Obama, regulation  
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Obama to Address Wall Street One Year After Lehman Collapse

President Obama will address Wall Street today at 12:10 p.m. from Federal Hall, in sight of the New York Stock Exchange and the spot on which George Washington was inaugurated at the first U.S. president. The address comes one year...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 14, 2009; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Barney Frank, Ben Bernanke, FDIC, Hank Paulson, Lehman Brothers, Obama  
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Brewing Tire War With China Pushes Down Markets at Opening

An escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China helped pushed Wall Street down this morning in early trading. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow, the broader S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq were all down about...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 14, 2009; 10:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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