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After several winning streaks of good news that beat expectations, this day is turning bad for the US economy.

Is the lone recession call relevant after all? QE3 that focuses on mortgages has higher chances once again.

Durable goods orders dropped sharply, by 4%. A mild drop of 0.8% was predicted. No comfort was found in the core figure which plunged by 3.2%. No change was expected there.

It’s important to remember that orders in both indicators rose nicely last time, 3.2% in the headline figure and 2.1% in the core figure. This may be a correction, and the figures may still be revised to the upside.

The more QE3 related figure is the S&P/ Case Schiller house price index. It showed a year-over-year drop of 4%, worse than 3.7% seen last month and worse than 3.6% that was expected.

The housing sector and especially the issue of foreclosed homes are topics that Bernanke speaks about quite often. The Federal Reserve is considering a third round of  quantitative  easing, or bond buying (or dollar printing), and one option is to buy Mortgage Based Assets (MBAs) to assist this sector.

The FOMC meets on March 13th. A lot depends on another factor eyed by the Fed: employment. The upcoming Non-Farm Payrolls on March 9th will be closely watched.

The dollar now strengthens, but it’s unclear if it’s risk averse movement. Bad figures could turn into QE3, and that weighs heavily on the greenback.

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