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EUC 2014; Unemployment benefit extension deal may be Lame Duck Congress Agenda Item

Posted on | September 23, 2014 | No Comments

Emergency Compensation Plans and unemployment benefit note review EUC 2014 today September 23, 2014:
Congress has been through a whirlwind of activity since recently returning from summer recess. The fight against ISIS has monopolized much of their attention recently, but they found time to pass legislation to keep the government funded for a few more months as well. What they did not find time for is to further debate the cause to extend another unemployment benefit deal for America’s long term unemployed. Since December of 2013, millions of Americans have been categorized as long term unemployed without emergency compensation. Millions in the U.S. remain put of work and in need of the federal lifeline that they once could count on to help through a period of extended joblessness. Lawmakers made several attempts to pass another benefit extension earlier in 2014, but repeatedly failed due to conflicts associated with deal design and payment plans. Many lawmakers believed, and still believe, the economic recovery process in the U.S. does not support an argument for another unemployment benefit extension right now. Those against another unemployment extension contend that the strengthening job market will continue to absorb the jobless and that federal monies should be aimed at job creation instead of benefit extensions. The last best chance for America’s jobless comes in November. This will be a lame-duck session for Congress before seats change hands in 2015. So, although extending unemployment benefits was a top agenda item in early 2014, it appears to have come down to a last ditch effort at year’s end.


Genny Germano

Today’s Mortgage Interest Rates 30 and 15 year fixed Freddie Mac Data; Existing Home sales

Posted on | September 23, 2014 | No Comments

Mortgage interest rate review and housing sector news update today September 23, 2014:
The housing sector took a hit via the most recent existing home sales report. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales dipped lower last month and this drop represented the first month of the last five during which sales of previously owned homes dipped. Specifically, sales of existing homes fell by 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.05 million during August. July’s existing home sales numbers were recently revised downward to the rate of 5.14 million. Year rover year, the pace of home sales has dropped by approximately 5.3 percent. The August data may be a kink in the housing sector recovery. The recovery needs more families to be better positioned to buy a home, but instead, a significant number of homes were being purchased by investors for cash. Investor momentum is slowing and so housing sector recovery has staggered. The ownership rate in America is down and renters are becoming more numerous. Despite the fact that mortgage rates remain near historically low levels, the housing sector recovery remains slow and labored.
Today’s mortgage interest rate update for 30 and 15 year fixed home loans according to Freddie Mac’s survey data September 23, 2014:
According to Freddie Mac, mortgage interest rates recently notched higher. The interest rate for the standard 30 year fixed plan moved up to 4.23 percent from 4.12 percent the week prior. The average interest rate for the 15 year fixed plan moved from 3.26 percent up to 3.37 percent says Freddie Mac.



Stephen Johnson

Today’s Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq, S&P 500 stock market index and news update at open September 23, 2014

Posted on | September 23, 2014 | 1 Comment

Stock market index trend review and market session news update at open September 23, 2014:
Stock futures were red across the board prior to this week’s opening bell and stock indices tracked lower throughout a majority of the first full trading session. Stocks slid lower last session due, in part, to the weaker than expected existing home sales report. The report was negatively skewed and took a toll on investors’ confidence and optimism.
According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales in August fell by 1.8 percent which was much weaker than expected. The existing home sales numbers prompt some to worry about the housing sector recovery, and the overall economic recovery process in the U.S.
As the last full trading session reached end of day close, the primary U.S. stock composites were red across the board. Losses were broadly based during the opening trading session this week.
Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq, S&P 500 stock market index close review:
The S&P 500 fell by .80 percent to close last session at 1,994.29. The drop off for the S&P 500 represented the biggest session decline in over a month. The index closed below its two week moving average for the first time in a week. The Nasdaq dipped by 1.14 percent to close at 4,527.69 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell back by .62 percent to close at 17,172.68.
Investors will tune in today to see if the S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones Industrial Average can rebound.



Frank Matto

Today’s Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, Nasdaq, S&P 500 stock market index review mid-day September 22, 2014

Posted on | September 22, 2014 | 1 Comment

Today’s DJIA Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq, S&P 500 stock market index review mid-day September 22, 2014:
Although stock indices in the U.S. finished the last full trading session mixed, stock indices have been on a positive trajectory this year overall. Investors tune in today to see if U.S. stock indices can bounce back. Last session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up by .08 percent to close at 17,279.74, but the Nasdaq fell by .30 percent to close at 4,579.79 and the S&P 500 fell by .05 percent to close the last week at 2,010.40.
On tap for this week in the marketplace is the existing home sales report today. Various earnings reports will trickle in throughout the week as well. Additionally, new home sales data will post this week as will initial jobless claims. Consumer sentiment and durable goods orders are also on tap.
Today though, the existing home sales report was weaker than expected. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of previously owned homes fell by 1.8 percent from July to the annual rate of 5.05 million. This negative result represents the first negative monthly report for existing home sales after four months of consecutively positive data. The lose of momentum in August zapped investor confidence and stock indices sank again today.
As the trading session reached the mid-day mark today, the primary U.S. stock composites were in the red across the board.

Today’s Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq, S&P 500 stock market index mid-day trends September 22, 2014:
The S&P 500 was lower by .67 percent at the mid-day mark of 1,994.54. The Nasdaq was lower by 1.24 percent at 4,522.33 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lower by .43 percent at 17,205.18 at mid-day.


Frank Matto

Today’s Spot gold per gram Spot silver per ounce Gold price mid-day September 22, 2014

Posted on | September 22, 2014 | No Comments

Gold and silver price trend review today September 22, 2014 mid-day:
Stock futures were in the red across the board this morning in the U.S., and stocks were positioned for the weaker open. Less attention for stocks could spark a gold rally, but investors and analysts aren’t betting on it. Approximately 54 percent of Kitco News gold survey participants reported that gold prices will likely move lower during this trading week. Both gold and silver contract prices finished the last full trading session with floor rates in negative territory. December contract gold price dipped lower last session to 1,216.60 per ounce. December contract silver price fell to 17.84 per ounce last session. The strengthening dollar is one reason that gold prices are in the red this year. The dollar is strong versus other global currencies right now and this fact continues to pressure gold price trend-lines. Today, as the trading session reached the mid-day mark, gold and silver prices were tracking lower.

Today’s contract gold price and silver price
per ounce rate review mid-day September 22, 2014:
December contract gold price was lower by .22 percent at the mid-day electronic rate of 1,213.90 per ounce. December contract silver price was lower by .75 percent at the mid-day electronic rate of 17.71 per ounce.

Today’s spot gold per gram and spot silver per ounce price review mid-day September 22, 2014:
Spot gold per gram and spot silver per ounce price trend-lines were negative at mid-day. Spot gold per gram price was down to 39.03. Spot silver per ounce price posted lower at 17.72 as of the mid-day mark.



Camillo Zucari

Unemployment Benefit Extension Deal EUC in 2014 Fades to Black; Talk of extended federal aid diminished by overseas volatility

Posted on | September 22, 2014 | No Comments

Unemployment benefit extension potential overshadowed by the ongoing conflicts overseas:
As soon as Congress came back from its five week summer recess, attention turned toward financially fueling the government and the military conflict versus ISIS. The long term jobless in America are still waiting for an unemployment extension deal, but lawmakers apparently have bigger fish to fry. Lawmakers spent recent time passing a bill on government spending. This bill will allow the government to function for a bit longer and will cost about $1 trillion. The bill passed through the House with a 319-108 vote. Boehner made no mention of attaching a deal to extend unemployment benefits for America’s long term unemployed. However, language was added to train and equip Syrian rebel groups to fight against the strengthening Islamic state in Syria and Iraq (ISIS). This portion of the spending bill was approved by a vote of 273-156. Another notable program to receive funding via the recent spending bill includes the Department of Veteran Affairs’ Commodity Supplemental Food Program. Although Congressional lawmakers did consider the low income contingent of the American society via the funding for the supplemental food program, there was apparently not enough money to support the millions still considered out of work and out of federal aid. The Senate solidified this plan on Thursday when they voted to approve the spending plans. The bill will also keep the U.S. government functioning until October 1, 2014. So, instead of spending money at home to support American citizens, the government has made the controversial decision to arm rebels that could potentially use the weapons and training against the U.S. or allies in the future.


Genny Germano

Today’s Gold per ounce Spot gold per gram spot silver prices and trend review today September 22, 2014

Posted on | September 22, 2014 | No Comments

Gold price and silver price precious metal news review today at open September 22, 2014:
Gold and silver prices tracked lower as the last trading week came to a close and both contracts finished the day with floor rates in the red. December contract silver price closed lower by 3.63 percent at the floor rate of 17.84 per ounce. December contract gold price fell lower by .84 percent to close at the floor rate of 1,216.60 per ounce. Price change for both gold and silver is distinctly negative over the last several weeks. One month price change for silver is negative by 8.22 percent right now. One month price change for gold is negative right now by approximately 4.5 percent. The recovering U.S. economy and the building strength of the dollar have pressured precious metal prices. Greater attention to stocks and a stronger dollar versus other global currencies has translated into diminished safe haven appeal for gold. Analysts see gold price moving lower once again during this trading week. According to the most recent Kitco News gold survey, over half of the analysts that were surveyed say they see gold prices falling throughout this trading week. The survey participants see little reason for gold to rally this week. Prior to opening bell today, spot gold per gram price posted at 39.13. Spot silver per ounce price posted at 17.81 before opening bell. Investors will tune in today to see which way gold and silver prices move.

Camillo Zucari

Lexus RX, Avalon, Camry, Highlander and Sienna vehicles Recalled; 2014 – 2015 Toyota Recalls; Improper Welding Causes Fuel Pipe Malfunction and Fire Risk

Posted on | September 22, 2014 | No Comments

Recall news and note update today September 22, 2014:
Toyota Motor Sales recently issued a recall in the U.S. for vehicles built with 3.5 liter V6 engines, labelled 2GR-FE. The fuel pumps in these vehicles may be faulty and susceptible to leakage. The specific vehicles that may be affected include the 2015 model year Lexus RX. Approximately 20,000 vehicles are affected and most of these vehicles are in the United States. Also included in this recall are the model year 2014 Avalon, Camry, Highlander and Sienna vehicles. In these vehicles, the end cap on the right hand fuel delivery pipe in the engines identified as 2GR-FE V-6 may not be properly welded and may therefor malfunction. During the fuel pipe malfunction, fuel could leak from the pipe and this will increase the risk for fire. As of last week, Toyota reported that they were not aware of any fires, accidents, injuries or fatalities associated with the recall and the fuel pipe malfunction. Toyota is notifying owners of recalled vehicles via mail in envelopes that specifically read “Safety Recall Notice.” The notice will be printed on the front of the letter in bold red. Also on the front of the envelope will be the logo of the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If you own one of these vehicles, recall notifications relay that you should contact local dealers and they will have mechanics inspect the vehicle’s fuel delivery pipe. The mechanics will determine if the vehicle needs repaired and if the repair is due to deficient welding.


Stephen Johnson

Unemployment benefit Extension Deal; EUC 2014 still needed; Jobless Numbers Fall for the Nation but Rise in States; Pennsylvania Data

Posted on | September 21, 2014 | No Comments

Unemployment benefit extension news and jobless claims data review today September 21, 2014:
Jobless claims recently dipped lower in the U.S. once again, and did so in dramatic fashion. According to the Labor Department, initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 36,000 to the seasonally adjusted rate of 280,000 during the week ended September 13. This decrease was much better than anticipated and the level of claims represents the second lowest level in 14 years. The four week moving average of claims in the nation moved lower by 4,750 to 299,500. On average this year in the U.S., initial jobless claims have hovered around the 300,000 level which marks the first time since the most recent recession that claims have maintained this level. This news is not the type that could push some lawmakers closer to another unemployment benefit extension in 2014, but the national statistics don’t tell the whole story. Individual states are still battling long term unemployment and recent jobless numbers in states across the country were not as positive. Over the last three months in Pennsylvania for instance, the unemployment rate has slowly climbed. The unemployment rate rose from 5.6 percent in June, to 5.7 percent in July to 5.8 percent in August. Just in the last two months, approximately 70,000 fewer people in the state were counted as working. During August, state numbers in Pennsylvania show that the number of people counted as working fell by 35,000. Joblessness still negatively affects our nation and individual states like Pa. still show volatility in the numbers. Legislators should take not and reconsider a plan to extend federal aid to America’s long term jobless.


Genny Germano

Gold price burn; Gold per ounce Spot gold per gram spot silver rate review today September 21, 2014

Posted on | September 21, 2014 | 1 Comment

Gold price per ounce and silver price per ounce rate review today September 21, 2014:
Gold sell offs continued during the final trading session of last week and prices for both gold and silver headed lower. The negative weekly close represented another consecutive week during which gold price fell lower. A surging stock market has pulled attention away from precious metals and the strengthening dollar has diminished precious metal gold investments as well. The greenback has recently gained and the dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s value versus a handful of other global currencies, is on the rise. The rise in the dollar’s strength is a good thing for the U.S. economic recovery process and for consumers, but it diminishes gold’s safe haven appeal. This has pressured gold price this year and is a primary reason that gold price trend-line is down for the year. According to one year price change, gold price is negative by approximately 5.44 percent right now. Silver price change over the last year is negative by approximately 8.4 percent right now. Last session, gold contract price closed at the floor rate of 1,216.60 per ounce. Silver contract price for December delivery dropped lower to 17.84 per ounce last session. After last session’s close, spot gold per gram price posted at 39.09. Spot silver per ounce price posted at 17.82 after last session’s close.
Investors will tune in as this week opens to see if precious metal price trends continue to dip lower.


Camillo Zucari

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