Dow Jones Underpinned by Jobs and Housing Data, Final Debate in Focus

Dow Jones Index Predicted in Focus: Wall Street stocks shrugged off recent shocks over the economy, budget discussions and terrorism investigations, but Wall Street’s stocks continued to slide on Thursday, closing a modest 0.5 percent lower. Economic data and better-than-anticipated employment figures helped boost investor confidence in a possible economic rebound. Meanwhile, another round of fiscal stimulus talk remains on the table, but the chances that any bill can be enacted this year seem slim…

Dow Jones Underpinned by Jobs and Housing Data, Final Debate in Focus: The Dow Jones index, like many of the other major stock indexes, showed mixed signals about the strength of the global economy in the third quarter. With an increase in the price of oil and a reduction in the price of natural gas, the United States economy grew at a faster pace, but the weak dollar, and the decline in corporate profits offset the growth. Meanwhile, Wall Street stocks continued to drop after the report on jobless claims, as well as reports on the housing market and credit card debt.

Dow Jones Underpinned by Jobs and Housing Data, Final Debate in Focus: In the final debate in Focus, we’ll cover jobless claims, tax cuts and fiscal policy. We’ll also discuss the impact of new jobless claims data on the U.S. unemployment rate, and how it may not influence consumer spending and corporate credit card lending decisions. We’ll also take a look at what is being reported regarding the stock market and the Dow Jones index in general.

Jobless Claims - There was some good news from the government and private payroll bureaus this week with the Federal Reserve adding to its monthly payroll count and the unemployment number falling to its lowest point in over two years. The number of unemployed workers is still over seven thousand higher than the number when President Bush took office - and is now below the pre-recession figure.

Dow Jones Underpinned by Jobs and Housing Data, Final Debate in Focus: Now that the focus has been turned to the U.S. economy and fiscal policy, we’ll cover the latest jobs figures and the housing market in more closely. The jobs figures showed that the number of employed Americans rose by more than 200,000 for the second month in a row, while the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level since June 2020.

Tax Cuts - President Bush’s plan to extend all but three of his proposed tax cuts expires at the end of the year. Even if they are renewed, there is a big divide among Democrats, who oppose extending most of them, and Republicans. For many in the Tea Party, this means that President Bush has squandered a chance to build up a coalition for tax cuts in 2020 by not supporting their ideas.

Mortgage Market - The mortgage market and home values have been holding steady despite the recent turmoil. There are still some signs of buyer’s remorse in the housing market, but overall mortgage numbers have dropped in recent weeks. The decline was more than offset by lower costs for homebuyers.

Housing Market - Home prices have been declining in some areas, but home sales are still up significantly. The number of new homes sold and existing homes on the market both edged down for the fourth consecutive month in February.

Real Estate Market - The real estate market is facing a long-term slowdown, and the outlook for home sales is no brighter. The national real estate market will see fewer homes sold each month over the next few years, and home values will drop for the first time since before the last recession hit.

Job Market - The numbers came in today, showing that more people lost jobs than gaining them. The unemployment rate increased slightly, but still remains far below the pre-recession level.

Dow Jones Underpinned by Jobs and Housing Data, President Obama’s Last Stand: President Bush and his Democrats in Congress were counting on the Dow Jones Index to drive the economic debate in their favor. With a weak economy and stagnant unemployment rate, the Dow would support their claim that the president’s policies were on the right track to restore growth.

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