Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quick Notes & Articles for the Day - July 28

Home Prices Rise for the First Time in Almost Three Years - According to the national Case-Shiller home price index, home prices in 20 selected cities rose 0.5% in May (month over month) with gains in 13 cities. This marked the the first monthly increase since July 2006. David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee for Standard & Poor's which compiles the Case-Shiller index, was quoted as saying that "This could be an indication that home price declines are finally stabilizing." On a year-to-year basis, prices in 20 selected cities fell 17.1%. This is a slower pace of decline than the 18.1% drop in April.

'Strict Position Limits in the Energy (Futures) Market' - The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler said Tuesday the futures market regulator "must seriously consider setting strict position limits in the energy market." Gensler, making comments in an opening statement of a CFTC hearing, said the hearing is to determine how position limits could be used to address excessive speculation, not "how we can eliminate speculation." He emphasized the importance of speculators to the "effective operation of futures markets."

Consumer Confidence Falls in July - The Conference Board reported this morning that the consumer confidence index fell in July for the second straight month. The index now stands at 46.6, down from 49.3 in June.


Big Spenders Tend to Marry Big Savers, Researchers Find - By Kristina Cook - Reuters - "They found that people who generally spend less than they would ideally like to spend, and those who spend more than they would like to tend to marry each other."

Offshore Wind Could Be Next Wave for U.S. - By Scott Malone - Reuters - "The Cape Cod resort area, famous for sandy beaches and centuries-old fishing villages, could in the next few years claim a new title of home to the United States' first offshore wind farm."

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