Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quiet Day Welcome on Wall Street

On Tuesday, stocks took a bit of a breather from their wild zig-zagging, with the major indices ending with the smallest point changes in weeks.

Dow 8,479.47 +36.08; NASDAQ 1,464.73 -7.29; S&P 500 857.39 +5.58; NYSE Composite 5,375.36 +61.60

While the NASDAQ ended the session on the downside, the other indices were all on the uptick as the government announced a massive plan to boost consumer spending and credit.

The $800 billion plan, approved by Fed head Ben Bernank and eannounced today by outgoing (and not a moment too soon) Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, targets buyouts of debt-backed securities, specifically, $200 billion for credit card backed securities and $600 billion to buy up mortgage-backed securities held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac along with mortgages issued by those firms.

Sounds like more of the same kind of nonsense that got us into the mess in the first place. The government is simply churning all kinds of money through major institutions while the people who are doing the real suffering, the American taxpayer, are getting nothing in return. $800 billion is indeed a tidy sum. It amounts to more than $2500 for every US citizen. It still seems that simply doling out that kind of cash directly to individuals and families would make a whole lot more sense and actually get the economy moving in a big way forward.

However, we have numbskulls continuing to run the USA into the ground in their final two months in office. Bush and Paulson have practically bankrupted the entire nation in just the past two years. They obviously are not through spending money that won't likely be repaid for a generation, if at all.

On the day, advancing issues outperformed decliners, 4102-2450. There were 305 new lows and 13 new highs. Volume was moderate, slightly to the heavy side.

NYSE Volume 1,871,699,000
NASDAQ Volume 2,440,636,000

Oil gained 15 cents, to $50.92. Gold fell $2.20, to $818.30. Silver lost a penny to $10.30.

The government also reported that the third quarter was poorer in performance than their earlier estimate, revising their GDP estimate from a -0.3 to -0.5.

Wednesday marks the last full day of trading for November. With the Thanksgiving holiday Thursday, a half-session is planned for Friday.

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