Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Economic Unease: The Bad and the Good

The Bad:

Home foreclosures up 112%.

Home prices down more than 12%. (17 out of 20 metro areas reporting a decline.)

Consumer confidence is loooow. Lower than it was after Hurricane Katrina.

Inflation concerns will most likely keep the Fed from cutting interest rates much lower than they are right now. The Fed is meeting today and tomorrow. It is expected to announce a small rate cut (.25?) on Wednesday afternoon.

The Good:

Mastercard's profit is up, in fact it doubled, and its stock (ticker: MA) is up almost 10% this morning. (This is good news for the economy for the same reason Visa's performance is good news; see yesterday's post on Visa.)

Tax rebate checks will start trickling into taxpayers' mailboxes and bank accounts this week. Wal-Mart makes it easy to turn the checks into cash.

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