Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Must Read & Quick Notes for the Day - November 12

The Lowdown on Home-Buyer Tax Credits - By Laura Saunders - The Wall Street Journal - This a MUST read for anyone wanting to know about the new law regarding home-buyer tax credits.

Fed Adopts Rules Blocking Overdraft Fees - The Federal Reserve approved rules that will prohibit financial institutions from charging consumers fees for paying overdrafts on ATM or one-time debit card transactions unless a consumer agrees to the protection first. Most consumers automatically receive overdraft protection currently, and many are charged fees as high as $35 per overdraft transaction. With the changes, consumers will be unable to withdraw funds from an ATM machine if they have a zero balance and have opted out of the overdraft protection. According to studies by the Fed, most consumers prefer not to be enrolled in overdraft services for ATM and one-time debit card transactions. The rule takes effect August 15 for consumers that have existing accounts and choose to opt out of the protection and July 1 for new accounts.

Initial Jobless Claims Fall 12,000 - The Labor Department reported that initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 502,000. Initial jobless claims have been above 500,000 for 52 straight weeks. Continuing state claims declined 139,000 to a seasonally adjusted 5.63 million which is the lowest report since March.

Oil Falls After Data - The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that crude oil inventories rose last week by 1.8 million barrels on weakened demand, and oil futures feel in response to about $77.50 a barrel. Gasoline inventories rose 2.5 million barrels and distillate stockpiles added 300,000 barrels. According to the EIA, demand for gasoline dropped 1.9% from a week ago to 8.8 million barrels a day.

Freight Index Declines - The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that the freight traffic within the US fell 0.5% in September following three straight months of gains. The Freight TSI index, which measures changes in freight shipments in ton-miles, was 95.7.

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