Monthly Archives: September 2012

Stocks Down for the Day but Up for the Quarter

Wall Street stocks were mostly lower on Friday, pulled down by disappointing economic data, but the market posted its best third quarter since 2010 after a recent wave of central bank actions set off a recovery in equities in the last few months. Despite Friday’s losses, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index advanced 5.8 percent over the last three months, mainly on expectations that central banks around the world would take steps to stimulate their economies. That brought the benchmark index’s advance so far this year to 14.6 percent. For the third quarter, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 4.3 percent and the Nasdaq composite index 6.2 percent. On...
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Mortgage Rates at Record Low Again

Mortgage rates fell to record low levels once again last week, as the Federal Reserve's decision to buy billions in home loans for the foreseeable future helped bring lending costs down for home buyers and owners. Mortgage finance backer Freddie Mac's weekly survey of mortgage rates showed the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.49% from 3.55% the previous week. That matched the previous record low set in July. The fixed-rate 15-year mortgage reached a new record low of 2.77%, down from 2.85% a week earlier. The Fed announced last Thursday that it would be buying $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities each month for the foreseeable future. The idea of...
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Hiring Slows in August, Adding to Pressure on Fed and Obama

Job growth slowed substantially in August, increasing the political pressure on the White House and strengthening the argument for new action by Federal Reserve policy makers to stimulate the economy when they meet next week.
The economy added a total of 96,000 jobs in August, down from a revised figure of 141,000 in July and well below the 125,000 level economists had been expecting.
The latest figures confirm suspicions that the economy has been treading water recently — over the last six months, monthly job growth has averaged 97,000, typically not enough to absorb new entrants into the labor force, let alone reduce the unemployment rate. For August, the...
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Stocks End at Multi-Year Highs, Fueled by ECB

Stocks surged across the board to finish at multi-year highs Thursday, propelled by a batch of upbeat economic reports and after ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank agreed on a new bond-buying program.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 244.52 points, or 1.87 percent, to close at 13,292.00, logging its best close since December 2007. Cisco and BofA led the blue-chip gainers. The S&P 500 soared 28.68 points, or 2.04 percent, to end at 1,432.12, posting its highest finish since January 2008. The Nasdaq jumped 66.54 points, or 2.17 percent, to finish at 3,135.81, logging its best close in 12 years. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in...
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