Good news! Home equity in the first quarter rose to $6.7 trillion, the highest level since 2008, as homeowners taking advantage of record-low borrowing costs to refinance their loans brought cash to the table to pay down principal. The 7.3 percent gain was the biggest jump in more than 60 years, according to an analysis by Bloomberg of Federal Reserve data.
And it gets better! The article continues be noting the U.S. economy probably will grow at a 2.2% pace in 2012, the third year after the end of the recession, according to the median forecast of 93 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. That compares with a 3.9% average expansion rate in the third-year period following the 1982, 1994, and 2001 recessions. In 2013, the growth rate probably will be 2.4%, according to the economists’ average estimate.
U.S. stocks up after news banks ready to act
U.S. stocks were up Thursday after the news that major central banks are preparing joint action if the results of the Greek elections on Sunday lead to turmoil in the financial markets, reported according to Dow Jones.
The article states, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 155.53 points, or 1.2%, to 12651.91. The blue-chip benchmark rose after labor and inflation data sparked speculation the Federal Reserve would announce further economic-stimulus efforts. The Dow briefly spiked in the final hour of trading, extending gains to as much as 202 points, after Reuters reported that central banks were preparing to provide liquidity to the markets if needed after the Greek election.
Furthermore, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index advanced 14.22 points, or 1.1%, to 1329.10. Telecommunications and energy companies paced advances across all of the index’s 10 sectors. Slot-machine maker International Game Technology jumped 14%, leading the index higher, after unveiling stock-buyback plans. The Nasdaq Compositerose 17.72 points, or 0.6%, to 2836.33.
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