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

Stocks close up after wild ride

UPDATED at 4:35 p.m.

Stocks finished positive today -- somehow -- after a day that looked more like a roller coaster ride at Six Flags. (And no, that's not a bankruptcy joke.)

The Dow closed up eight-tenths of 1 percent, 211 points shy of the 10,000 level it reached last month but could not maintain.

The broader S&P 500 finished up nearly seven-tenths of 1 percent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq finished up two-tenths of 1 percent.

Midway through the first trading day of November, stocks opened up, then rose, then dove, then rose again, then dipped, then climbed back into the green at close.

This follows Friday's big stock sell-off, following Thursday's big GDP stock surge.


U.S. manufacturing performed better than expected in October and pending home sales rose in September for the eighth straight month, according to two sets of data released moments ago, bolstering hopes that a recovery is underway.

According to the Institute for Supply Management, which tracks manufacturing in the U.S., its index of activity rose to 55.7 in October, a number that was better than expected, and employment in the manufacturing sector rose as well.

Also released moments ago were construction spending and home sales numbers.

Construction spending was up 0.8 percent in October, beating expectations.

Pending homes sales were up 6.1 percent in September, compared with 6.4 percent in August, rising for the eighth straight month. They are up 21.2 percent compared with the trough in September 2008.

This data is based on contracts signed, not closings.

This surge is all about the $8,000 government tax credit set to expire at the end of the month. Of course, Congress is working now to extend that until April, thanks to lobbying from the home builder and real estate sector.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  November 2, 2009; 4:35 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: ISM, pending home sales  
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Let's not get all or*asmic here! This is a direct result of the $8,000 tax credit gift. You know, the one that went to four year olds, illegals and IRS employees! We now have yet another group of people who are in over their heads again. How long before the foreclosures? You can't pay a mortgage without a job and there seems to be no improvement there. Be wary!!!!

Posted by: yankee11 | November 2, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Republicans are all for using the tax code to benefit the wealthy but when the Democrats use it to help the middle class the Republicans are appalled. Sorry Yankee, but economic growth is good, especially when it helps the very large middle class. The fact that the Dems used the Republicans favorite vehicle of the tax code to jump start the economy just makes it more sublime.

Posted by: merrylees | November 2, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I thought Romney just said that Obama's economic policies were a "failure"?

"Grandpa, what was a rebuplican?"

Posted by: Tomcat3 | November 2, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Get off the "surge" baloney . . . stocks are stagnant and have been for quite some time. These left wing rags will use any means to continue their never ending crusade to prop up Obama.

Posted by: rplat | November 2, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

You can't truly believe these numbers because our economy has been "manipulated" due to tax credit for 1st time homebuyers, stimulus plan, cash for clunkers... these programs forced things to happen, and they're temporary. So, no one really knows the true state of our economy. The
best gauge is jobs, jobs, jobs. Are Americans back to work? Are they working
40 hrs.? No, they're not.

Posted by: ohioan | November 2, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Stocks are stagnant? What peper are you reading. The media does hype up and down trends by the hour which suggests they are run by bi-polar folks, but the market is up 30% since January. Without investment capital, nothing will improve. Also, according to the VAST majority of economists worldwide, without the stimulus we would be over the cliff. But the Boehner's and Limbaugh's of the world along with their nutty followers still think we could have sat around sucking on our thumbs hoping that the tooth fairy would show up.

Posted by: rrau22 | November 2, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

It's great to see the economy starting to recover from the epic failures of the Bush administration. Their misanthropic policies, two false wars, and tax breaks for those who don't need them have hindered our growth. It's going to be a slow recovery from eight years of bungling, but it is starting to turn around. Good job, Mr. Obama!

Posted by: rurik | November 2, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

There is a hole in this bucket. As long as taxpayer money is continually poured in the bucket the administration can gloat and point to say it is full. As soon as they stop pouring taxpayer money in the bucket it will empty. Take out the cash for clunkers, taxpayer home buyer credit and the news is not good. So how will the administration inflate the numbers in the next quarter. Maybe just put the announcement over until after the 2010 elections.

Enough of the spending and debt. There is still no discussion about how this is all going to be paid for. I am sorry, the top 1 to 3% of the rich folks cannot pay for all of this even if you confiscated all of their money.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | November 2, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The first thing the president must do is get rid of Geithner and Bernanke. Lehman was let go, CIT not bailed out further, AIG bailed out without legal authorization (insurers are state regulated) and not forcing bailed out banks to lend to small business and middle class by calling in TARP money when they don't. All done so their Goldman holdings would grow. As long as they are in power, small business and the working class will continue to get the shaft. Chase and Goldman were primetime players in manipulating illegally the price of oil to cash future contracts, with almost 1/3 of trades hidden from operating markets. Sheila Bair is the only one on his economic team that has done anything for the middle class.

Posted by: jameschirico | November 2, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I think that when people are unemployed, state and local governments are about to fire teachers, police, and other valuable people, it is OK to minimize the damage by borrowing.
Please explain the logic of thinking it is OK for people out of work to borrow from relatives, but not OK for them to borrow from their fellow Americans. This, by the way, is the other side of the fiscal conservatives argument that, "I have to balance my budget, why doesn't the government?" Really?????? No one borrows in hard times?????????

Posted by: joesolo1 | November 2, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Good job Obama?? That's a good one. The economy would be doing a lot better if Obama would just step out of the way. Hopefully heathcare and cap and trade will not pass. Cut taxes for small business and corporations, that will create jobs.

Posted by: Barryco1 | November 2, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: kurrambero | November 2, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

All part of that communist socialist fascist Muslim terrorist Kenyan dictatorship strategy. Fix the economy, health care, finish the wars, move to energy independance, address global warming, put the US back in a place of world leadership....

then whammo -- communist dicatorship when no one is looking......

Posted by: John1263 | November 2, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Thank you President Obama for fixing America's broken economy. Bless you.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | November 2, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Of course -- if the President had done nothing things would be so much better right now. One need look no further than a year ago when doing little to nothing was working so swimmingly under the last administration.......

and I didn't even laugh out loud while typing that -- pretty impressive.

Posted by: John1263 | November 2, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Let us understand a few of the actual truths about these supposed gains.
1. Most of the actual workers on the construction jobs are low end wage earners or if you have not noticed a whole lot of what appear to be illegals.
2. The housing market is up because housing prices have dropped up to 50% in some areas and if you can get the $8,000 rebate. People who are retiring cannot afford to sell their homes and those who are buying are not in most cases able to afford the house. Same deal as what helped start this mess.
3. Once the clunker deals ended so did the dar sales and next quarters figures will reflect that fall off.
4. It would appear that many of the banks etc that are reporting gains or profits are in reality reporting the TARP cash infusions and at the same time using the money to pay themselves bonuses.
5. Actual unemployment tis well over 10% and more like 12%. The truth teller is simply go to the unemployment office or read how much is being paid out in unemployment insurance cliams.
6. The two wars are costing $3 billion a day in unfunded tax dollars with no end in sight.
7. The dollar has lost almost 20% of it's value against most other main street currentancies.
8. The actual GNP will be better gauged by the next quarters numbers and certainly by the 3rd.
Most of this stuff is pure illusion driven by people who have no other answers and afraid to tell the people the truth.

Posted by: KBlit | November 2, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree, this is a total illusion. Obama should congratulate Wall Street and the International Banks for doing well.


They offshore jobs, outsource jobs, cut wages, cut benefits, cut insurance and hire illegals.

Until they REPEAL THE NAFTA AND WORLD TRADE TREATIES, and start PROTECTING AMERICAN JOBS even if it means going to war to fight for the American family.

Obama does not care if the jobs ever come back. Its a total giveaway to FOREIGN corporations, which they are ALL now. There are no more large American corporations. These companies, because of Clinton and NAFTA, have destroyed the American we know and our childrens future.

This is why the protesters at the G-Summits fight so fiercely. On both sides of the aisle. They have screwed us.

Posted by: tropicgirl | November 2, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

This story makes me think about stuff. It has a spin on ideas that has me saying “huh, maybe that should be looked at” I just found this website that does the same for me. Check it out. It looks new but I hope they keep it going.

Posted by: jacksonporter2006 | November 2, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that some folks here are dismissing the obvious signs that the economy has turned around due to Obama!!!
I mean at 1:30 the Dow is up +15 points and the Nasdaq is only down -7 points!!!!! The S&P is down -2 points !!!
WOW!!! Such strong market confidence in the manufactoring and housing data!!!!

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Posted by: huangzhixian104 | November 2, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Watching stocks like a horse race again! There is little wisdom on Wall Street, just racing from one rumor to the next. Doesn't anyone take a Long Position anymore?

Wall Street is not a proxy for the broader economy. It has been my experience watching over many years that when Wall Street goes up, the business prospects on Main Street goes Down.

Posted by: deanx | November 3, 2009 5:34 AM | Report abuse

All that can be be said about the market is that last week the market went bipolar in one day from a large high on Thursday to a low on Friday that wiped out all the gains of Thursday.

I guess on Thursday all the traders took their anti depressant pills while on Friday they took their anti psychotic pills.

Bipolar behavior of the market is not exactly a sign of a healthy market.

With a dismal retail outlook for Christmas, and the days of easy profits for companies from cutting expenses through layoff over, the trend should be downward and not upward.

Even those continuously on anti depressant pills must realize that those reports of imaginary "green shoots" were a result of not taking anti psychotic medications.

Please move aside so Harvey can get to the bar.

Posted by: bsallamack | November 3, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

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