In a deceptively hopeful sign, Fannie Mae shares rise after it sells $2 billion of short-term debt at a lower interest rate than the previous week. But Fannie shares end 1.5 percent lower. Freddie Mac
gains 3.9 percent after the firm sells $3 billion of two-year notes. Analysts say solid demand for the offerings indicate both firms have healthy access to debt funding.
What You Were Reading:
More false optimism arises as General Motors shares jump 5.8 percent—the biggest gainer on the Dow—afterreporting a 20-percent sales slide, at the low end of the predicted 19 to 37 percent range.
And Home Depot is the Dow's No. 2 gainer, up 4.5 percent, after its CEO says the housing sector will turn around after early 2009.
The Mortgage Bankers Association says applications for U.S. home mortgages had risen the previous week, as loan rates eased.
The dollar hits an 11-month high against the euro, as belief spreads that the credit crunch tsunami would turn on Europe—and that the U.S. has already weathered the worst.
The Dow ekes out a small gain, after two losses.
Crude oil prices fall 36 cents a share to settle at $109.35 a barrel.
What the Experts Were Saying: