But the pace of home price declines may be slowing -- finally. Manufacturing in Chicago improves.

By Charley Blaine Jun 30, 2009 5:46PM

Fannie Mae (FNM) offered a glimpse of how difficult it is to get  a strong housing recovery going.

 

The nation's largest provider of mortgage capital said late Monday that more Americans were delinquent on their mortgage payments in May.

 

About 3.4% of single-family mortgages it owns or guarantees were overdue by 90 days or more last month, up from 3.15% in April, Fannie Mae said.

 

Still, the S&P 500's quarter is its best since 1998. Rising mortgage delinquencies and falling consumer confidence set off selling. Oil falls under $70.

By Charley Blaine Jun 30, 2009 2:40PM

Charley BlaineUpdated: 8:25 p.m. ET.

 

Stocks ended the second quarter with a broad decline, but bulls took some cheer when the losses were trimmed quite a bit at the close.

 

If the finish was a disappointment, the U.S. stock market's gains since March have been so strong that the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) finished with its biggest gain since the fourth quarter of 1998.

 

Blame sinking consumer confidence for today's decline, along with a Fannie Mae (FNM) report showing a big increase in mortgage delinquencies.

 

And blame a rising dollar that pushed commodity prices and lower.

 

The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) closed down 82 points, or 1%, to 8,447. The S&P 500  fell 8 points, or 0.9%, to 919, and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) slipped 9 points,  0.5%, to 1,835. 

 

The Dow had been down as much as 135 points around 12:20 p.m. ET, then slowly cut the loss by 53 points as the afternoon wore on.

 

With the close, the Dow ended the second quarter up 11% -- its best quarterly gain since the second quarter of 2003. The Dow was off 0.6% for June and is still off 3.8% for the year.

 

The S&P 500 ended up 15.2% for the quarter, its best performance since a 21% gain in the fourth quarter of 1998 and barely ahead of a 15.1% gain in the second quarter of 2003.

 

The coffee chain is adding fruit, subtracting additives.

By Elizabeth Strott Jun 30, 2009 8:16AM

Starbucks logo © Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesHealthy is in these days, and Starbucks (SBUX) doesn't want to miss out on the game.

 

The coffee retailer said this morning that it is changing the recipes on some of its food items to provide healthier options to its customers. Starbucks will replace artificial ingredients with fresh fruit, and it will sell food without additives and preservatives as well.

 

The former Treasury secretary will soon face Congress.

By Elizabeth Strott Jun 30, 2009 8:12AM

Henry Paulson  © Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesIn two weeks, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson will be the one on Capitol Hill testifying about the Bank of America (BAC) deal to buy Merrill Lynch at the height of the financial crisis last fall.

 

Paulson will testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on July 16, several weeks after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was grilled about the takeover. It will be his first appearance on Capitol Hill since he left his post at the Treasury Department in January. 

 

The 10-year Treasury yield is below 3.5%. Bernard Madoff gets 150 years in jail. Market volatility is the lowest since Lehman's failure. Oil tops $71.

By Charley Blaine Jun 29, 2009 5:32PM

Charley BlaineUpdated: 7:40 p.m. ET.

 

Stocks began what will be a holiday-shortened week with a solid rally built on gains in financial, consumer and energy stocks.

 

The rally was set off when crude oil jumped above $71 a barrel and started a surge in energy shares. It spread across the entire market as interest rates moved lower.

 

In addition, traders did some buying ahead of the close of the second quarter on Tuesday.  Futures trading suggests stocks will open slightly higher on Tuesday.


The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) closed up 91 points, or 1.1% to 8,529. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was up 8 points, or 0.9%, to 927, and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) was up 6 points, or 0.3%, to 1,844.

 

The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX.X) was up 4 points, or 0.3%, to 1,484.

 

The rally came as Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for defrauding investors of billions in the largest Ponzi scheme ever.

 

The second quarter of 2009 will end nicely. With today's close, the S&P 500 is up 16.2% for the quarter --  its best quarter since a 21% gain in the fourth quarter of 1998.

 

The Dow is up 12.1% for the quarter, with the Nasdaq up 20.6%.

 

For the year, however, the Dow is down 2.8%, with the S&P 500 up 2.7% and the Nasdaq up 16.9%.

 

The market will close on Friday for the Independence Day holiday. The big news will come Thursday when the Labor Department releases its monthly unemployment and nonfarm payrolls report.

 

The yield on the 10-year Treasury drops under 10%. Mortgage rates drift lower.

By Charley Blaine Jun 29, 2009 1:49PM

For now at least, the panic on interest rates is over.

 

Bond prices are up today, and interest rates are down. And, if you're thinking of buying a house, the mortgage market may be coming back to you.

 

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, on which mortgage rates key, fell to 3.47% this afternoon from 3.51% on Friday and over 4% on June 11.

 

Its shares rebounded sharply from their March lows but then stalled because of worries about GE Capital.

By Charley Blaine Jun 29, 2009 12:57PM

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

 

Charley BlaineYou almost have to feel sorry for Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric (GE).

 

Right now, Immelt and his company are getting no respect from investors.

 

Not that Immelt isn't trying.

 

He announced Friday that GE is opening what the company calls an advanced manufacturing technology and software research center in Michigan, good for maybe 1,100 jobs over the next five years.

 

The $3.3 billion natural gas deal will create biggest US energy company.

By Elizabeth Strott Jun 29, 2009 10:14AM

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

 

Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) this morning said it will buy Teppco Partners (TPP) for $3.3 billion, creating an energy company that will run about 48,000 miles of crude and natural gas pipelines.

 

Enterprise will pay $31.36 for each share of Teppco, which represents a 9% premium over Teppco's closing price on Friday. Teppco shares were up $1.43, or 5%, to $30.12 today, while Enterprise shares were down 33 cents to $24.96.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market welcomed the new trading week with a mixed session that saw relative strength among large-cap stocks, while high-beta names underperformed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.3%) and S&P 500 (-0.1%) finished near their flat lines, while the Nasdaq Composite and Russell 2000 both lost 1.1%.

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