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quities were slashed yesterday after the new home sales report posted an unexpected 3.6% decline for September. The S&P 500 fell 1.95%, the Nasdaq shed 2.67%, and the Dow moved further south from the 10k mark as it fell 1.21% to 9,762.69.

This morning, ahead of the first look at Q3 GDP, markets are cautious but generally looking up. That’s not bad considering economists at Morgan Stanley, BofA-Merrill Lynch, and Goldman Sachs all reduced their estimates for the preliminary survey earlier in the week....(rea
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Shares in the S&P 500 have fallen for three consecutive days and on Wednesday futures are extending those losses ahead of fresh data and more Q3 earnings. About two hours before the open the S&P looks to open nearly 6 points down, after trimming 3.4 points yesterday.

While investors wait for the durable goods report, which is expected to advance in September, sentiment will remain skittish as investors open up the Wall Street Journal to learn that GM’s financing arm, GMAC, is seeking more taxpayer aid.
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This month, the S&P Case Shiller Home Price Index continued to improve as prices in 17 of 20 metro cities increased in August, albeit at a slower pace than July. Overall, the 20-city index rose 1.2%, better than economist expectations for a read of +0.7% and the 10-city home price index increased at a rate of 1.3%. Year over year the 20-city index is 11.3% lower, again better than the market's expectation of -11.9%....(read more)
Eight trading days have passed since the Dow crossed 10,000 for the first time in over a year. Yet mixed data and third-quarter earnings since then have caused equities to dance around the psychological threshold. On Friday the Dow closed at 9,972; heading into the week futures are pointing slightly upwards. Wall Street is looking for Q3 GDP to climb 3% in Thursday’s release. If that’s the case the markets could gain enough momentum to stop the dance and remain steady in five-digits. However, consumer sentiment, flat wages, and weak spending could all bring stocks down. And that’s not even men
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tioning the perennial concerns of the jobs market......(read more)
Equity futures are flat to slightly lower this morning after shares in the S&P 500 jumped 1.06% yesterday. Today markets will received fresh data for the housing market and look for headlines coming from Ben Bernanke and Co. speaking at day three of the Boston Fed’s conference in Cape Cod.

The US dollar is slightly firmer this morning, December oil futures are up 10 cents to $81.29 a barrel, and spot gold futures are up slightly at $1,062.10 per ounce....(read more)
The House Financial Services Committee passed the Consumer Financial Protection Act on Thursday. The legislation will consolidate regulation of financial institutions into a single agency....(read more)
Freddie Mac released their activity summary today. This data reports on monthly and year-to-date activity for Freddie Mac's Total Mortgage, Retained and Total PC portfolios. It also contains monthly delinquency rates and interest rate risk sensitivity disclosures....(read more)
Existing-home sales jumped 9.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.57 million units in September from a level of 5.10 million in August, and are 9.2 percent higher than the 5.10 million-unit pace in September 2008.
Overall, today's release indicated continued progress in the stabilization of the housing market. However we are troubled by the forward looking statements Yun made regarding the variables that must continue to improve if housing it to undergo further stabilization and recovery....(
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The goal of the Federal Reserve's agency MBS program is to provide support to mortgage and housing markets and to foster improved conditions in financial markets more generally. Only fixed-rate agency MBS securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae are eligible assets for the program. The program includes, but is not limited to, 30-year, 20-year and 15-year securities of these issuers....(read more)
The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on Tuesday as part of its consideration of a proposal to extend the November 30 end date of the homebuyers' tax credit and possibly extend it beyond first-time buyers....(read more)
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