Jobless Claims Rise Unexpectedly
The number of people filing for unemployment last week rose slightly more than expected to 558,000, another reminder that despite other indications of improvement in the economy, the job market remains weak.
Retail Sales Fell in July Despite Clunkers Program
WASHINGTON -- U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in July despite the debut of the government's "cash for clunkers" program meant to jump-start the auto business and help turn around the economy.
UPDATE: Wal-Mart 2Q Profit Flat On Lower Sales; Shares Gain
Wal-Mart's same-store sales dropped 1.2%, when the retailer had projected a flat to up 3% showing. The figures reinforce the fact that retailers are not recovering as quickly as other areas of the economy.
Wal-Mart also adopted a conservative outlook for the third quarter, seeing same-store sales flat to up 2%.
Shares gain on poor news, makes sense...
US Foreclosure Filings Hit New Record; Up 32% In July On Year
The number of U.S. properties for which a foreclosure filing was received hit its third record in five months as they jumped 32% in July from a year earlier and rose 7% from June, according to online foreclosure concern RealtyTrac.
Chief Executive James Saccacio said that despite continued federal- and state-government efforts to put together a safety net for distressed homeowners, "we're seeing significant growth in both the initial notices of default and in the bank reposessions."
For the 31st straight month, Nevada topped the nation's foreclosure rate list, with one in every 56 housing units getting a foreclosure filing in July. RealtyTrac said that was more than six times the national average. Initial default notices in the state fell 18% from June, which RealtyTrac said was likely the result of a new state law requiring lenders to offer mediation to homeowners facing foreclosure.
Home prices fall a record 15.6%
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Median home prices fell a record 15.6% during the three months ended June 30, compared to the same period in 2008, according to an industry report.
There is good news though: The survey from the National Association of Realtors reported the median home price rose 4% compared to the first quarter of 2009 -- to $174,100 from $167,300.
The only reason it rose slightly is because of the bidding war that is going on with foreclosures.