Investors Await More Economic Reports, Another $800B in Bailouts Plans Announced

On the heels of the Fed’s announcement of its multi-billion dollar plans to help the economy, investors can expect a wave of economic reports today including readings on durable orders, personal income and spending, as well as a weekly report on jobless claims. The Chicago purchasing managers’ report, a survey of regional manufacturing, will also be released after the market opens, as is a revised reading on consumer sentiment and a report on October new home sales. The administration and the Federal Reserve rolled out two new programs Tuesday that would provide up to $800 billion in an effort to get more loans flowing in such critical areas as mortgage lending, credit cards, auto loans and small business loans, the Associated Press reported. Speaking of the government bailout, late Sunday Citigroup was rescued by the government, which agreed to shoulder most potential losses from a $306 billion portfolio of risky assets, and by injecting $20 billion of new capital, in its biggest effort to prevent a large U.S. bank from failing. In yet another blow to the commercial real estate industry in the U.S., Citigroup Inc’s CEO on Tuesday blamed prior management for diving too deeply into real estate. The CEO said the company had a “tremendous concentration in the sense we put a lot of our money to work against U.S. real estate,” according to a Reuters report. Falling home prices aren’t good news either. The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price national index recorded a 16.6 percent decline in the third quarter compared with the same period a year ago, eclipsing the previous record of 15.1 percent set during the second quarter, according to CNNMoney.com. The 10-city index is now 23.4 percent off its peak price, which came in June 2006; the 20-city index is down 21.8 percent from its July 2006 high and the national index has fallen 21 percent since the third quarter of 2006, the report cited.In spite of all the news and reports, world stock markets were mixed today after Wall Street extended its gains, with most Asian markets in the black but European stocks failing to join the advance as major benchmarks in Germany, Britain and France dropped 1 percent or more in early trade, the Associated Press reported.