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Here are three stories that helped shape the markets on Monday:
1) Fannie Mae’s December National Housing Survey showed that consumer confidence in the housing sector increased last month as Americans continued to expect home prices to grow. The survey’s results were marked by positive attitudes toward home price, rental price, and mortgage rate expectations, and participants’ belief that housing indicators will improve this year could contribute to a boost in home purchase activity in the coming months, according to the mortgage association… (Read more.)
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2) Global regulators pulled back on strict new global liquidity rules for banks on Sunday, giving them four more years and greater flexibility to build up their cash reserves. Banks had complained that they could not meet the January 2015 deadline set by regulators for them to comply with the new rule on minimum holdings of highly-liquid assets, known as the liquidity coverage ratio, while continuing to supply credit to businesses and consumers. But the pull-back was greater than banks had expected… (Read more.)
3) Now that the fiscal cliff is (technically) behind us, the debt ceiling will become the soap opera that constantly plays in the background. Last week’s episode included a $1 trillion coin, while this weak brings with it speculation that the Chicago Board Options Exchange’s volatility index — a.k.a VIX, a.k.a. the “fear index” — is getting ready to climb again after it fell in the wake of a tax agreement out of Washington. The VIX usually moves inversely to the equity market, and coming off a 5-year high, some market watchers are worried that we could be in for a stormy earnings season.
At the close: DJIA: -0.38%, S&P 500: -0.33%, Nasdaq: -0.09%.
On the commodities front, Oil climbed fractionally to $93.23 per barrel. Gold fell about 0.12 percent to $1,647 per ounce. Ten-year U.S. treasury yields climbed to 1.903 percent.
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