Best December since 1991

U.S. stocks advanced in a thinly traded session on Wednesday with the S&P 500 eyeing its best December in nearly two decades… [Read the full story...]

Funding – A Long Lost Strategy

First let me start by saying, funding has not completely dried up. It is still out there, but it is also very limited. Qualifying for funding is very difficult right now for corporations and individuals. Most creditors are cutting lines of credit that we used to fund projects and other things in past years, as opposed to, issuing new ones. This has become a real problem. It is the domino effect in full force. Without the lending of money, it is extremely hard to stimulate growth in the economy.

The more important information… Where can I find it? As an individual looking for a mortgage you are more limited than a company looking for $10 million and up.

To qualify for an owner occupied residential loan you have a little more leniency with credit. It is still possible to get government financing with a low 600 credit score, but with strong compensating factors (strong assets and income, limited liabilities). 

As an investor looking to buy residential property, good luck. It has become very expensive. Expect to pay points (origination and discount) and expect an interest rate comparable to what you would have paid in 1999. If you are self employed, beware. Unfortunately, we are the ones who have been hit the hardest in this market. You must have strong financials and have told the truth at tax time.

We suggest you consult a professional mortgage originator or your personal/business banker prior to property hunting. Getting pre-qualified and having all your ducks in a row will be very beneficial for you in the long run.

Bond market braces for higher yields in 2011

Wall Street expects higher Treasury yields next year, and one primary dealer has the 30-year bond hitting 6 percent for the first time since 2000. [Read the full story...]

Signed tax law packed with obscure business tax cuts

The massive new tax bill signed into law by President Barack Obama is filled with all kinds of holiday stocking stuffers for businesses… [Read the full story...]

Higher mortgage rates spur home sales uptick

The country’s economic engine seems to be running in reverse as more expensive borrowing spurs home sales, and an uptick in borrowing sends mortgage rates back down.

The recent surge in mortgage rates, by all rational calculations, should have made America’s already troubled housing market worse off. Instead, higher borrowing costs modestly boosted homes sales in November. [Read the full story...]

Stake, earns $12 billion profit

Author: Reuters
The U.S. government sold off its remaining shares in Citigroup on Monday for $4.35 each, marking an exit from ownership in the bailed-out banking giant with a $12 billion gross profit for taxpayers. The U.S. Treasury said it will take in $10.5 billion in sale proceeds… [Read the full story...]

Dollar 2010: Rate, not great, expectations

Author: Albert Bozzo – 
Senior Features Editor, CNBC.com
You can stop worrying about the weak dollar—you can also stop hoping for a strong one. Most currency market analysts expect the U.S. currency to build on its 5-percent December bounce, as traders continue to factor in a stonger U.S. economy… [Read the full story...]

House budget panel to push tax, spending cuts: Ryan

Author: Michelle Lodge – Writer, CNBC.com

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), the incoming chairman of the House Budget Committee, told CNBC Wednesday that he would push for permanent lower tax rates, “real” spending cuts and… [Read the full story...]

Two investment strategies for the payroll tax-cut

Author: John Carney – Senior Editor, CNBC.com

How should you invest to profit from the one-year cut in payroll taxes that are promised in the tax compromise deal cut this week between Obama and Republican lawmakers? The answer depends on what you think will happen to the extra-income people receive from the… [Read the full story...]

16 apply for three vacancies on Chicago City Council

Source: Chicago Tribune

Mayor Richard Daley said today that he will review applications from 16 people who want to finish the terms of three aldermen who left office this week.

The mayor said he received two completed on-line applications to succeed Ald. Toni Preckwinkle, who… [Read the full story...]