Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quick Notes for the Day - March 25

Jobless Claims Fall - The Labor Department reported that the number of initial jobless claims fell 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 442,000. The four-week average fell by 11,000 to 453,750. About 5.7 million people were receiving extended federal benefits which was down 345,000 from the prior week.

Bernanke says economy still needs Fed's help - Reuters - "A modest U.S. economic recovery still warrants the Federal Reserve's ultra-low interest rate policy, but the central bank stands ready to remove stimulus once the expansion looks solid, Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Thursday."

Mortgage Rates Move Higher, But Still Below 5% - According to Freddie Mac, the 30 year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.99% versus 4.96% last week and 4.85% last year. The 15 year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.34% versus 4.33% last week and 4.58% last year.

Natural Gas Futures Fall on Data - The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that natural gas supplies rose by 11 million cubic feet over the past week. Natural gas was down about 2.9% on the report.

Health Care Package - Senate Republicans found two issues with the reconciliation bill sent to the Senate, so no matter what happens, there will be another health care vote in the House.

  • Healthcare changes headed back to House - Reuters - "A package of final changes to a landmark healthcare reform law must be approved again by the House of Representatives after the Senate parliamentarian eliminated two minor provisions on Thursday."
  • Senate fix for health-care law delayed - MarketWatch - "The massive health-care overhaul engineered by large Democratic majorities in Congress still has a few snags to overcome. In a small victory, outnumbered Republicans in the Senate managed to force small changes in a sidecar bill designed to fix parts of the historical law signed by President Obama this week. As a result, the sidecar bill has to go back to the House for one final vote."
Why to Take Cornell’s MBAs Over Kentucky’s NBAs - By Scott Soshnick - Bloomberg - "After all, tonight’s game in Syracuse, New York, which is only 57 miles from the Cornell campus, could be billed as MBAs versus NBAs. Cornell has a roster that might be working for Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs) one day. Much of Kentucky’s roster, meantime, is more likely to be employed by David Stern (NBA)."

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