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Thursday, July 26, 2007

 

Housing-Market Woes Drive Dow Down

Ok, here we go:

LA Times Thursday (Breaking) -- Credit worries send Dow into a dive:
NEW YORK -- Fear that housing-market woes could dent consumer spending and inflict broad damage on the U.S. economy pushed U.S. stocks down sharply today.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 400 points.

The sell-off was fed by rising nervousness among investors that a sudden tightening of credit in some areas of the bond market could jeopardize the private-equity buyouts that have helped fuel the stock market's rise this year.

Investors were shaken by the news that the private-equity firm planning to buy Chrysler Group had to postpone a $12-billion bond sale amid evaporating buying demand.

"The market is just very, very nervous," said John Bollinger, head of Bollinger Capital Management. "Just a few days ago we were tying to break into new high territory and people just weren't comfortable with that."


LA Times Thursday -- Industry's foundations get shakier:
For the housing industry, the bad news just keeps on coming.

Three major home builders reported quarterly losses Wednesday, and a real estate trade group said that nationwide sales of existing homes fell to their lowest level in nearly five years.

The fresh data came one day after the nation's biggest mortgage lender reported more delinquencies among even its better customers, and a market research firm said California foreclosures were soaring.

The sole inkling of good news came in a report that said inventories of homes for sale in Southern California and the nation had leveled off after steadily rising for months.


LA Times Wednesday -- U.S. home sales hit 4-year low:
The pace of nationwide existing-home sales sank in June to the lowest in level in more than four years, as many buyers remained on the sidelines and the housing market indicated it remained far from staging a turnaround.


LA Times Wednesday -- Foreclosures in state hit record high:
A sagging real estate market and tighter lending standards are exacting a growing toll on Californians, forcing them from their homes in record numbers, figures released Tuesday show.

Foreclosures soared to 17,408 for the three months ended June 30, an increase of 799% from the same period last year. The current rate handily exceeds the previous foreclosure peak set in 1996, when the state was in the final throes of a six-year slump.


LA Times Wednesday -- Countrywide feels pain of ailing mortgage market:
Call it the mortgage-meltdown creep.

Countrywide Financial Corp. helped trigger a Wall Street sell-off Tuesday when it said that a growing number of customers once considered to be good credit risks were having trouble making their mortgage payments.

Until recently, such problems had been almost exclusively limited to the so-called sub-prime market, for borrowers with flawed credit records and high-cost mortgages.

But Countrywide, the nation's biggest home loan company, reported Tuesday that it was seeing more of its good-credit "prime" borrowers do the same.

"The spillover into prime, I don't think, is something that should shock anybody," Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide's chief executive, said in a three-hour conference call with investors and analysts to report second-quarter earnings.

The Calabasas-based company said payments were at least 30 days late at the end of the second quarter on 3.4% of prime first mortgages, up from 2.1% a year earlier.

The delinquency rate was worse among borrowers of prime home-equity loans — second mortgages — who missed payments at a rate of 4.6%. That was up from 1.8% a year earlier.


— TJ Sullivan in LA
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Friday, July 06, 2007

 

Not Sure UCLA Is On Board With This Idea

A new blog post is in the Native Intelligence section of LA Observed.

— TJ Sullivan in LA
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