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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

News You Can Use for Wednesday

Mortgage Applications Drop 23%, Most in Four Years, as Loan Rates Increase Mortgage applications in the U.S. dropped by the most in more than four years as the highest mortgage rates in two months weakened demand for home buying and refinancing.
Also ...
Housing Starts May Remain Near Lowest Level Since 1991 as Slump Persists Housing starts in the U.S. remained near the lowest level since 1991 in January, a sign the deepest real-estate recession in a quarter-century will weigh on the economy for a third year, economists said before a report today.

XX Sean's note -- and what about the bear market in massage chairs ...
Sharper Image Seeks Bankruptcy Protection After Sales Fall, Margins Widen Sharper Image Corp., the seller of massage chairs and vacuuming robots, filed for bankruptcy protection, citing declining sales and profitability.

Famines May Occur Without Record Crops This Year, Potash Chief Doyle Says Grain farmers will need to harvest record crops every year to meet increasing global food demand and avoid famine, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. Chief Executive Officer William Doyle said.

Oil Has Decoupled From Equities, Chance of Pullback Closing, Goldman Says Oil prices have ``decoupled'' from equity markets with this week's surge above $100 a barrel and a window of opportunity for a retreat is closing quickly, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts said.

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