NEW YORK— The U.S. stock market closed at record highs on Thursday following another piece of good news on the economy. Fewer Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, according to the Labor Department. That came a day after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday made clear it would keep interest rates near zero for a while.» Read More
I was reading some wire copy on Countrywide this morning, and it left me scratching my head. The company reports that foreclosures and delinquencies among home loans that Countrywide services rose in July to their highest level in several years... delinquencies up a full percentage point and foreclosures up a half point. The company reports it made 14% fewer home loans in July than in June and applications fell 15% to a nine-month low.
The U.S. Federal Reserve took the unusual step of refraining from undertaking an openmarket operation so far Tuesday, in the aftermath of last week's substantial infusions of liquidity into the banking system.
The euro touched a six-week low against a broadly firmer dollar Tuesday as investors shunned the single currency on renewed concerns European banks may face losses related to the U.S. subprime mortgage market.
The European Central Bank lent banks 73.5 billion in extra funds on Tuesday, topping up their coffers for one week to help ease tensions in the euro-zone credit markets.
I was struck today by a comment from Dollie Lenz of Prudential Douglas Elliman. She deals with the highest of the high-end properties; the ones that everyone has been saying are immune to any troubles in the mortgage market. These folks aren't subprimers; in fact, many of them don't even take out mortgages.
The subprime meltdown is spreading to other parts of the mortgage market. So-called jumbo loans--those above $417,000--are getting more expensive and difficult to get.
As financial markets appeared to calm Monday, so did speculation that the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates anytime soon. "The Fed would not do this unless the situation got extremely dire and market troubles were having a profound negative impact on the economy," said Northern Trust chief economist Paul Kasriel.
The euro fell Monday, after the European Central Bank injected cash into the banking system for a third straight day, reminding investors that Europe was not immune from credit problems originating in the United States.
Don't worry, I'm not quarterbacking the mortgage market, but I am checking the rates, and calling around. I just ran a Bankrate.com search on a 30-year jumbo fixed rate and localized it to Richmond, VA. I came up with rates anywhere from 6.750 with Amerisave to 7.515 with Countrywide to 8.200 with Bank of America.
Stocks start the week on firmer ground after central bankers once again pumped cash into the markets, injecting confidence and liquidity. Stock markets around the globe gained, and U.S. stock futures are higher.
The European Central Bank on Monday injected another 47.67 billion euros ($65 billion) into the banking system in a bid to soothe rattled credit markets, but said that market conditions are "normalizing."
The yen drifted lower against the dollar and euro in volatile trading after the Federal Reserve injected cash into the banking system for a third time on Friday, underpinning U.S. stocks and soothing nervous financial markets.
Though it may not seem like much by the relatively loquacious and candid ways of his successor Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan was a proponent of transparency and made the Fed more transparent than his predecessors– even if his speeches and official testimony were memorably obtuse.
Tracts about the Federal Reserve and its chairmen may not fill book shelves the way ones about the Constitution, the Supreme Court or presidents do, but they've be come more common in recent years.
Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan ran the central bank during interesting times, marked by many significant global events and financial shocks, which will no doubt figure into his aptly titled, forthcoming book “The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World”. Here are the major events and moments of the Greenspan era.
Alan Greenspan has received more than his share of awards and honorary degrees in his storied career. Earlier this year, Greenspan was the recipient of a special Lifetime Achievement Award at CNBC's third annual Executive Leadership Awards ceremony in New York.
Wall Street is bracing for a sharply lower open as fears of a global liquidity crisis pound stock markets worldwide. Central banks around the globe stepped in to inject funds into the banking system and pump confidence back into markets, wary of the continued ripple effect of the U.S. subprime mortgage fallout.
Isn't this just like that country-fair game where you use a hammer to beat down characters that pop out of a hole? (Know in the U.S> as Whack-a-Mole.) The harder you beat each one down, the faster they pop up in another location. I doubt this is an original analogy, but it is still a useful one for understanding this credit crisis.
Daniel Mudd, chief executive of mortgage lender Fannie Mae, told CNBC that the housing slump won't hit bottom for another year and that the current credit crunch will spread “all across the housing market.”
The European Central Bank injected 94.841 billion euros ($129.74 billion) into euro-zone money markets on Thursday to help calm to jittery markets roiled by credit problems.