U.S. sales of previously owned homes fell 8.0 percent in September to a record low 5.04 million unit pace amid troubles in the subprime mortgage and credit markets, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.
Merrill Lynch Chairman and CEO Stan O'Neal told shareholders that "mistakes" in subprime lending exposure led to $7.9 billion in write-downs for the third quarter.
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Countrywide Financial, the largest U.S. mortgage lender, offered to refinance or restructure up to $16 billion of adjustable-rate mortgages through the end of 2008.
Shares of home builders soared on Monday as a frenzy of short sellers bought stock to cover their positions, giving the overall housing stock index its greatest one-day gain in about five years.
Countrywide Financial should name an independent director to serve as chairman, and appoint a special committee to examine the largest U.S. mortgage lender's stock option grants and practices, a prominent shareholder said.
The liquidity squeeze which has affected the global financial markets in the past three months is not likely to cause a correction in the UK housing market, Peter Spencer, chief economic advisor for Ernst & Young's Item Club, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" Monday.
The world's top banking lobby on Sunday accepted responsibility for the U.S. subprime lending crisis and launched a broad reform program designed to mend cracks in ailing credit markets.
Wachovia on Friday posted a 10 percent decline in quarterly profit, missing forecasts, amid $1.3 billion of write-downs at its investment banking unit. Also: All about Wachovia's $7 billion potential headache.
Bear Stearns is being investigated by Massachusetts securities regulators over whether the bank improperly traded with two in-house hedge funds that collapsed last summer, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Credit jitters edged higher as Bank of America missed earnings forecasts and Hershey said sales fell because worried vendors were reducing inventories.
Thornburg Mortgage said it lost more than $1 billion in the third quarter due to the fallout in the mortgage markets and elected not to pay a dividend to holders of common shares to conserve cash.
Financial services company Northern Trust said Wednesday third-quarter profit rose a stronger than expected 27 percent as assets under management increased despite this summer's credit market woes.
U.S. mortgage applications rose for a second straight week, largely reflecting a rise in demand for home purchase loans as interest rates held steady, an industry group said Wednesday.
Mortgage originations will fall next year to the lowest levels since 2000, forcing job losses for at least 30,000 more home finance professionals, according to a forecast released on Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Countrywide Financial, the largest U.S. mortgage lender, said Tuesday it expects to incur a $125 million to $150 million pretax restructuring charge in connection with its plan to eliminate 10,000 to 12,000 jobs to cope with the U.S. housing slump.
U.S. home builder sentiment sank to a record low in October as borrowers faced difficulty getting mortgages from more stringent lenders, bloating the supply of unsold houses, the National Association of Home Builders said Tuesday.
Money manager State Street posted better-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday and raised its full-year earnings forecast, prompting investors to drive its shares up more than 8 percent.
Foreign investors fled from U.S. assets in August as a meltdown in the U.S. subprime mortgage market triggered a global credit crunch, Treasury Department data showed on Tuesday.
Foreign investors fled from U.S. assets in August as a meltdown in the U.S. subprime mortgage market triggered a global credit crunch, Treasury Department data showed Tuesday.