Quote of the week."Wise men make more opportunities than they find."- Sir Francis Bacon
Another strong consumer spending gain.The Commerce Department announced consumer spending rose 0.5% in November, following a 0.6% increase in October. Personal incomes rose in November by the most in six months.1
Hashing out the home sales data. New home sales fell 11.3% last month, undoubtedly affected by the perception that the first-time buyer credit would expire. Existing home sales soared by 7.4% as buyers scrambled to meet the possible deadline. The median price for an existing home was $172,600 last month compared to $217,400 for a new one - that certainly also helped residential resales.2,3
Health care reform clears Senate.On Christmas Eve, Senate Democrats got the 60 votes needed to pass that chamber's version of a historic health care reform bill. The House and Senate will work to reconcile their respective bills next month.4
Mortgage rates edge above 5%.Freddie Mac has average rates on 30-year FRMs at 5.05% in its latest survey. Over the weekend, its deputy chief economist Amy Crews Cuttstold the Washington Postthat "anything we get at or below 5% is a gift at this point." She thinks rates will hit 6% by the end of 2010.5
Catching up with gold & oil.Last Thursday, gold posted a gain of $10.80 to reach $1,104.80 per ounce. With the dollar strengthening, gold prices fell about $123 during December 3-24. Oil prices ended the week at $78.05, rising about 5% in 3.5 market days.6
Lower volumes, higher stocks.Santa Claus dropped by Wall Street - the Dow ascended almost 2% to end a relatively quiet week at 10,520.10. The NASDAQ closed at 2,285.69 Thursday; the S&P 500 closed at 1,126.48.7
A degreed engineer (in a past life) business owner, business development coach, project manger, and organizational strategist with a strong background in surveillance, ES&H redesign, project management, process engineering, organizational operations, management, business law, and ISO internal auditing. Am an organzing member of NSBE-AE, Organizing Board member Greenwood Festival Chorale, former Omega Psi Phi Graduate Chapter President (Baselius) a former Shelter BOD Chair, a former Regional Chair, former Lander Board of Visitors Member, former Chamber BOD member, as well as many other organizational leadership positions. Owner Spearman Enterprises and Managing Partner Top Flight LLC.