Earnings Reports, European Agreement Boost Stocks (Bloomberg)
European leaders arrived at a budget agreement today, eliminating the uncertainty of the previous few days and giving investors confidence, which resulted in raised U.S. stocks. Continuing corporate earnings reports also contributed to the rise. “Confidence is emerging here,” said James Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Wells Capital Management. “People are finally deciding that this looks more like a sustainable recovery.”
Americans Again Tapping into Home Equity (CNBC)
Despite millions of mortgaging homeowners owing more than their property’s worth, home equity lines of credit are increasing. “Home prices are definitely a factor” in the recent rise home equity lines of credit, said Brad Blackwell, an executive with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “As they increase, people have more available equity.” This hearkens back to last decade’s housing boom, when Americans treated housing like ATMs until equity was exhausted.
Yen Jumps, Euro Dragging (Reuters)
Comments from Japan’s finance minister that the yen already has weakened too quickly recently raised both that currency’s position against the dollar and the euro and doubts regarding the Bank of Japan’s expected aggressive monetary easing. The euro continued to drag on European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s comments earlier this week.