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

Economy Watch: October 25, 2009 - October 31, 2009

Boo! Stocks end October on massive sell-off

UPDATED at 4:30 p.m. You want to get scared for Halloween? How's this: Yesterday's big stock market gains have been more than wiped out today, as traders engaged in a massive sell-off. The Dow closed down 2.5 percent, the broader...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 30, 2009; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, volatility index  
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Post exclusive: Greenspan says bad big banks should be busted up

Alan Greenspan, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, created a bit of a stir when he suggested recently that big banks should be broken up. You could hear the jaws dropping across the economic blogosphere. “If they’re too big...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 30, 2009; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Alan Greenspan, David Cho, Goldman Sachs, Hank Paulson, Tim Geithner  
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Stocks open down on consumer spending news

Wall Street opened down today after yesterday's big rally, following news that consumers have pulled back spending. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is down two-tenths of 1 percent. The S&P 500 is down nearly four-tenths of...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 30, 2009; 9:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Reactions to return to positive GDP

You know where I stand on the new GDP number. Let's see what some other people are saying about this morning's news that U.S. GDP has returned to growth after four consecutive quarters of contraction. Especially note the contradictory views...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 29, 2009; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Economic Policy Institute, GDP, Miller Tabak, Mizuho, PNC, recession  
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Stocks open higher on GDP bump

Wall Street opened higher this morning, following the strong preliminary third-quarter GDP number released this morning by the Commerce Department. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is up six-tenths of 1 percent. The broader S&P 500 and...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 29, 2009; 9:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, jobless claims, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Biden aide defends big bank profits, bonuses

Jared Bernstein, Vice President Biden's chief economic adviser and the most liberal member of the White House economic team, on Wednesday night defended the enormous profits and bonuses being generated at Goldman Sachs and other big banks that have repaid federal bailout funds and will not be required to submit to compensation limits.

By Washington Post Editor  |  October 29, 2009; 7:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Obama  | Tags: AIG, Goldman Sachs, bailout, big banks, bonuses, executive compensation  
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On GDP day, jobs still hog the spotlight

Thursday morning at 8:30, the Commerce Department will release its first pass at third-quarter U.S. GDP. The number is expected to show that the nation has at least technically emerged from this Great Recession, which began in December 2007. In...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 29, 2009; 7:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: GDP, unemployment  
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Cash for Clunkers: Good for dealers, automakers, bad for taxpayers

Car sales and research site Edmunds.com estimated today that each new car sold under the Cash for Clunkers government subsidy program cost the American taxpayers more than $24,000. Edmunds estimated that 82 percent of vehicle sales during the program would...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 28, 2009; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Edmunds, cash for clunkers  
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Madoff losses totaled so far at $21.2 billion; $530 million paid back

Irving Picard, the government-appointed trustee put in charge of returning investors' stolen money from Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, has so far identified $21.2 billion stolen from more than 2,300 investor accounts held by Madoff. So far, Picard said earlier today,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 28, 2009; 3:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bernie Madoff, Irving Picard, Jeffrey Picower, Ponzi  
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Sept. data: Durable goods up, new home sales down

In seemingly conflicting data out this morning, orders for durable goods -- big-ticket items, like refrigerators -- rose 1 percent in September while new home sales fell 3.6 percent. But a dig into the numbers should eradicate the mystery. First,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 28, 2009; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: durable goods, home sales  
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Stocks down as traders await Thursday's GDP number

Wall Street opened down this morning, as traders await Thursday's release of third-quarter GDP from the Fed. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is essentially flat. The broader S&P 500 is down two-tenths of 1 percent, and...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 28, 2009; 9:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, GDP, Goldman Sachs, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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The March rally is running out of steam

As you know from looking at your 401(k)s, things turned around when the markets bottomed March 9. A remarkable rally began that day that has resulted in at least 50 percent gains in the blue-chip Dow, the broader S&P 500...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 27, 2009; 4:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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GMU prof makes the case for insider trading

On its surface, it seems logical for insider trading to banned. But George Mason University economics professor Donald Boudreaux made an intriguing case for insider trading in an opinion piece over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal. You can...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 27, 2009; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Donald Boudreaux, George Mason University, insider trading  
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Consumer confidence makes unexpectedly sharp fall in early October

Consumer confidence fell by an unexpected amount in early October, painting a bleak picture for an economy driven by consumer consumption. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index slipped to 47.7 in early October from 53.4 in September. Forecasters expected the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 27, 2009; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer confidence  
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Stocks mixed at opening

Wall Street opened mixed this morning, following news that home prices in the nation's largest metro areas increased for the third month in a row. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is up less than two-tenths of...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 27, 2009; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Home prices: Most major metro areas show slowing declines

Home prices in the 20 largest U.S. metro areas are not yet making year-over-year gains, but they are showing a slowing rate of decline, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller home price index released moments ago. Cleveland was the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 27, 2009; 9:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Case-Shiller, home prices  
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Man who made $5 billion off Madoff fraud found in pool, dies

UPDATED at 1:05 p.m. with autopsy report Jeffrey Picower, 67, an investor who was accused of making more than $5 billion off Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme fraud, died after his wife found him at the bottom of their Palm Beach...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 26, 2009; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bernie Madoff, Ivan Boesky, Jeffrey Picower  
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Stocks up at opening to kick off GDP week

Wall Street opened up slightly this morning on earnings news and a look ahead to the big news later this week -- the Fed's first look at third-quarter GDP. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is up...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 26, 2009; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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