I wrote an hour ago that one of the few things that might improve market tone would be more specific government proposals.
The entire market rallied an hour before the market closed due to a Reuters story that the Obama administration was working on a program to subsidize mortgage payments for troubled homeowners.
The idea is that this program would kick in before a homeowner went into default.
The question is whether mortgage lenders would agree to some standard set of rules to modify mortgages.
Presumably, this would involve some kind of government involvement in helping modify the terms of the loan.
Homeowners would have to make a hardship case to qualify for new loan terms.
Financials and consumer discretionary stocks (home builders, retailers) were particularly strong into the close.
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