President Obama unveiled a $75 billion plan to help limit foreclosures especially for those who fail to qualify for refinancing because their homes have contracted in price. Unlike last week's Treasury stability plan which was met with disappointment, reaction to today's announcement was quiet though initial word of the plan did give the stock market a push last week.
The day's economic data was headed by a 17 percent plunge in January housing starts and a less frightening though still severe 5 percent plunge in permits. The Fed updated its 2009 projections calling for an unemployment peak of up to 8.8 percent. The rate is currently at 7.6 percent. The Fed also sees full year economic contraction of up to 1.3 percent. But the Fed is optimistic, at least for 2011 when it sees growth as high as 5 percent.
The Dow industrials were fractionally changed on the day while money moved out of the Treasury market where the 2-year yield rose 10 basis points to 0.96 percent. The dollar gained another 1/2 cent against the euro to end at $1.2553. Gold is pressing back toward $1,000, ending higher on the day at $988. Oil ended under $35.