Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quick Notes for the Day - March 16

Fed Seen Renewing Low Rates, Extended Period Vow - Reuters - "The Federal Reserve is expected to hold interest rates near zero on Tuesday and renew its pledge to keep rates very low for a long time, but it could note a brightening economic picture and hint at being closer to dropping the vow."

Housing Starts Drop 5.9% Due to Snow - The Commerce Department reported that snow storms helped caused housing starts to drop 5.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 575,000 in February. New construction was down in the Northeast and South, but up in the Midwest and West. Starts of single-family homes fell 0.6% to a 499,000 pace, while starts of large condos and apartment building plunged 43%. In the past year, starts of single-family homes are up 39%, while starts of multifamily units are down 41%. Building permits - which aren't as affected by weather as starts are - dropped 1.6% to 612,000 in February. Permits for single-family homes fell 0.2% to a 503,000 rate.

EU Paves Way to Aid Greece, Sows Doubts Over Euro Management - Bloomberg - "Europe’s blueprint for a financial lifeline to Greece amounts to an unprecedented bet by finance ministers that they can avert a euro crisis by sidestepping the no-bailout rules intended to sustain the 11-year-old currency."

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