Monday, January 25, 2010
Housing Data Down
Stocks dipped briefly after the National Association of Realtors released data showing that existing-home sales plunged in December after three straight-increases that were aided by a fat government tax credit.
Home resales fell by 16.7% to a 5.45 million annual rate from an unrevised 6.54 million in November, a bigger drop than the 11.6% decrease in sales expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires. See story on home sales.
However, prices rose year over year for the first time in more than two years the percentage of distressed home resales, including foreclosures, has declined to 32%, after nearing 50% in late 2008 and early 2009.
Investors breathed calmer on Monday as officials over the weekend reiterated support for the re-confirmation of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. In the previous session, the Dow closed down 4% for the week, as investors fretted over Bernanke's prospects, U.S. bank restrictions posed by President Barack Obama and the potential for monetary tightening from China.
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