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News : International Last Updated: Apr 26, 2011 - 4:21 PM


Markets News Afternoon: Dow rises to highest since June 2008 boosted by tech stocks and positive existing home sales data
By Finfacts Team
Apr 20, 2011 - 5:27 PM

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President Barack Obama is introduced during a town hall meeting at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia, where he spoke about his vision for reducing the debt and bringing down the deficit, April 19, 2011.

US: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to its highest level since June 2008 on Wednesday after existing-home sales rose by more than forecast last month and encouraging earnings from Tuesday boosted technology stocks higher.

Intel led the Dow higher with a rise of over 6%.

Intel reports strong first quarter profits; Tablet computers such as iPad, will cannibalize 35% of PC market I=I IBM raises 2011 profit guidance while struggling Yahoo reports dip in profits and revenues in first quarter

The National Association of Realtors reported today that existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 3.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.10m in March from an upwardly revised 4.92m in February, but are 6.3% below the 5.44m pace in March 2010. Sales were at elevated levels from March through June of 2010 in response to the home buyer tax credit.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, expects the improving sales pattern to continue. “Existing-home sales have risen in six of the past eight months, so we’re clearly on a recovery path,” he said. “With rising jobs and excellent affordability conditions, we project moderate improvements into 2012, but not every month will show a gain - - primarily because some buyers are finding it too difficult to obtain a mortgage. For those fortunate enough to qualify for financing, monthly mortgage payments as a% of income have been at record lows.”

NAR’s housing affordability index shows the typical monthly mortgage principal and interest payment for the purchase of a median-priced existing home is only 13% of gross household income, the lowest since records began in 1970.

All-cash sales were at a record market share of 35% in March, up from 33% in February; they were 27% in March 2010. Investors accounted for 22% of sales activity in March, up from 19% in February; they were 19% in March 2010. The balance of sales were to repeat buyers.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $159,600 in March, down 5.9% from March 2010. Distressed homes i.e. bank forces sales - - typically sold at discounts in the vicinity of 20% - - accounted for a 40% market share in March, up from 39% in February and 35% in March 2010.

Economic Recovery vs. Weak Wages: John Challenger, Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO, and Dan Greenhaus, Miller Tabak chief economic strategist, with analysis on where the economy in heading, despite stagnant wages and weak employment numbers:

Spain: Spain’s Treasury today sold €3.37bn in a well received auction but at higher yields, easing concerns of contagion from worries about a Greek debt restructuring.

Spain offered €2.5 to €3.5bn of the 5.50% April 2021 and 4.80% January 2024 bonds.

The average yield on the 10-year bond rose to 5.472% from 5.162% at the last auction on March 17 and it rose to 5.667% from 4.248% at the previous auction in November 2009 for the January 2024 bonds.

Both bonds were sold in more than double the allotment at bid-to-cover ratios of 2.10 and 2.27.

US Markets

In New York Wednesday, the Dow jumped 185 points or 1.51% to 12,451.

The S&P 500 advanced 1.55% and the Nasdaq rose 1.96%.

Live US Indices

Bulldoze Homes, Bulldoze Supply: Joseph LaVorgna, Deutsche Bank chief economist and CNBC's Rick Santelli with a look at existing home sales and ways to get rid of excess supply:

European Markets

The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 has risen 1.55% Wednesday.

In Dublin the ISEQ climbed 0.51%.

CRH is up 2.03%; Elan has dipped 1.04%; Aer Lingus has gained1.82% and Smurfit Kappa has climbed 3.09%.

European benchmarks

Irish share prices

Euribor Interest Rates

Commodities

Crude oil for May delivery is currently trading on the Chicago York Mercantile Exchange (CME/Nymex) at $111.05 per barrel up $2,77 from Tuesday's close. In London, Brent for June delivery is trading on the International Commodities Exchange at $123.53.

Currencies

The euro is trading at $1.4518 and at £0.8844.

Gold

Gold is trading at $1.505.60 per oz in New York.

The Finfacts Gold Page

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© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

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