Eurozone Hopes, Mortgage Rates, Corporate Earnings in Week Ahead
With the “Occupy Wall Street” protests continuing to gain ground, America’s financial system and economy remain hot topics for debate on both Wall Street and Main Street. Calling themselves “the 99 percent” these protestors, among other issues, are highlighting the fact that ordinary Americans are battling to cope, and their call has resonated with supporters around the world. Investors are painfully aware that the economy is significantly affected by consumer spending, which has been dramatically curtailed due to the ongoing jobless situation. Moreover, a recent survey revealed that workers are taking huge pay cuts to secure employment, with little hope of receiving increases, certainly not to the extent of raising them back to the pay level they may have been at before losing their jobs – all of which has a negative effect on disposable income and the economy.
Amidst all this doom and gloom, investors have latched on to the pledge by leaders in Europe that, by the end of the month, they will present a number of measures aimed at stabilizing the Eurozone. Fears of a double dip recession also seem to be subsiding and a boost in investor confidence is evident in the 1.3 percent gain on the S&P 500 before Monday’s opening bell. While cynics may believe that the Eurozone is in too deep a hole to dig itself out, those who lean toward optimism are pinning their hopes of the outcome of the weekend’s meeting between the leaders of Europe’s two largest economies – Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Germany’s Angela Merkel.
On America’s home mortgage situation, research has revealed that low mortgage rates – the 30-year fixed-rate falling to 3.94 percent last week and the average 15-year fixed-rate dropping to 3.26 percent – have not had the desired effect of boosting the housing market. Although it is a buyer’s market in the housing industry at present, buyers are reportedly unable to take advantage of these aspects as they battle to get loans approved while job security remains an issue.
Moving into the week ahead, Wall Street investors can start turning their attention to third quarter results, as Alcoa is slated to release its results after close of trading on Tuesday. As the economy starts the final quarter of 2011, corporate results and amended outlook figures will give investors a better idea of what shape the US economy is in, and this will no doubt reflect on markets that have received quite a battering for the past two years or so.