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NEW YORK-Despite the signing of the new debt ceiling agreement, the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank to its lowest levels since March. In its 8th session of falling stocks, the market has entered its longest losing streak since October 2008.
With the United States out of new fixes for the economy, investors have become pessimistic and are now threatening the confidence of business and consumers. The Dow dropped 265.87 points, or 2.2%, this now brings the current plummet to a total of 858 points in negative territory since July 21 of this year. Gold pushed to all-time highs and Treasury bond rates have dipped to their lowest level since last year as investors moved to those segments of the market looking for safety.
Although gas prices have fell during the summer months, loosening it grip slightly on the consumer’s pocketbook, consumer spending continued to decline. Experts had expected a 0.1% increase in spending during the period, but instead saw a decrease in spending of 0.2%, as consumers showed that they were either unable or unwilling to boost their spending.
Since mortgage rates key off of the treasury note rate, the investor rush to treasury bonds could help the housing market as interest rates drop on home loans. This could help home-buyers find cheaper home loans and help out in that market. Although, without jobs, that market may not expand much.
The downturn is not only on our shores, but those of the European Union as well. The new bailout agreement for Greece, which was agreed upon two weeks ago, may not be the last as economists fear that Spain and Italy are showing needs of a bailout themselves. Italy’s market has dropped 11% this week alone, totaling a 25% drop since the last part of February. This worry has caused a large sell-off of European stocks.