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Federal Reserve Takes Steps To Stimulate Economy; Great News For Houston And Job Growth

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Federal Reserve
Perhaps you missed what prompted Thursday’s big stock market rally. The Federal Reserve is taking a series of bold steps designed to stimulate the economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the purchase of mortgage-backed securities–indefinitely–should give consumers and home-buyers a boost: “The program of MBS purchases should increase the downward pressure on long-term interest rates more generally, but also on mortgage rates, specifically, which would provide further support for the housing sector by encouraging purchases and refinances,” Bernanke said.

Mitt Romney
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive segment: “I think printing more money at this point comes at a higher cost than the benefit its going to create.” Economist John Canally at LPL Financial says some politicians may not like, it but the Fed’s policy is in line with its goal of keeping inflation low and stable, and to keep the economy running at full employment: “This is within that dual-mandate, so, until Congress takes it away, the Fed is just gonna continue doing QE-3 or QE-4, until it works. I think we’re done with the QE, though, or the actual terms, QE, now, because this is open-ended,” Canally stated. Wall Street responded by boosting the S&P 1.6%.

Southwest Airlines
Southwest raised fares Thursday by $10 per round trip on about 10% of its routes. United Airlines and Delta followed suit, along with American, US Airways and Jet Blue. There have been four broad fare increases by U.S. airlines this year.

Federal Maritime Commission
The Federal Maritime Commission on Monday will try to mediate with Longshoreman Union officials to avert a possible strike when current contracts expire October 1. In anticipation of possible trouble, sources tell News 92 FM that shippers like Maersk and Orient Overseas Container Line Limited are announcing port congestion fee increases for all containers in or out of the Port of Houston, just as cargo for Holiday shopping is due to arrive.

It’s great news for Houston when it comes to job growth. Houston has added 18,900 retail jobs since July 2007 thru July 2012, according to the Houston Business Journal’s analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationally, there are 438,800 fewer retail jobs now than in 2007.

Energy Officials In Maine
Energy officials in Maine say a tidal power project is delivering electricity to the U.S. power grid for the first time, with enough juice for 30 homes. Ocean Renewable Power Company’s first underwater turbine has rotating foils and is similar to the appearance of a manual reel lawn mower.

Dow Jones

The Dow is setting at its highest level since December 2007, the start of the Great Recession, enjoying a huge rally yesterday as investors embraced the Federal Reserve’s announcement of stronger steps aimed at boosting the economy. The gain pushed the Dow to 13,540, up 207 points. The S&P 500 rose 23 points to 1,460. The Nasdaq added 42 points to 3,156. There were nearly four stocks rising for every one falling. Volume was on the heavier side at 4.5 billion shares.

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