Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Who knew where the stock market would end the day?

While there is some encouraging news, watching the stock market still feels like being in a boat on a sea with huge swells.

Today's market was down 200 points at first and then ended up over 2%, almost +200 points on the Dow, another 400 point move. The big drama continues to be the volatility of the market.

Wed Dec 03 2008 18:01:11 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time) - Markets Closed
Dow 8,591.69 +172.60 (2.05%)
S&P 500 870.74 +21.93 (2.58%)
Nasdaq 1,492.38 +42.58 (2.94%)
10y bond 2.65% -0.07 (-2.57%)

It's true the market went up today in spite of weakening figures in the Beige Book. There was a lot of buzz on CNBC about the fact that mortgage filings and refinancings, which were even a higher number, were up a lot last week as a sign that the mortgage market might finally be turning around. Today, this helped bank stocks:

IYF-iShares Dow Jones US Financial (ETF) (NYSE) 42.79 +2.11 (5.19%) Dec 3 4:00pm ET

and homebuilder stocks:

XHB-SPDR HOMEBUILDERS ETF 11.99 0.94 8.51% 03:59 PM EST on 12/03/2008).

The Governor of New Jersey and the Governor of Pennsylvania are trying hard to stop foreclosures, the key to turning the housing market around, and announced various initiatives that are now in place to help give people time for the next eighteen months or so. Have to pity those who have just filed. But it's a start.

This shaky, dizzying and nauseating market has me sympathizing with my temporarily under-the-weather daughter. It almost feels like seasickness.

Here's a link to an article about Governor Corzine's bill to help homeowners:
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/12/corzine_signs_bill_to_help_hom.html

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