Rock-bottom home prices and record-low mortgage rates are tempting buyers back into the market. The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing homes rose nearly 19 percent last month over the previous year.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's trip to Europe last week reflected American concerns over Europe's economic woes. The Americans would like to see a swift European response, but that's a tall task when so many nations must agree on a plan.
The president traveled to Ohio's Brent Spence Bridge on Thursday to help sell his jobs bill. He says if the country doesn't invest in its infrastructure now, it will pay later. While everyone agrees the bridge is badly in need of repair, Republicans say the president's jobs bill won't get it done.
A high level of investment in agriculture is driving up land prices, making it harder for new farmers to afford their own. And banks simply aren't lending to higher-risk first-time farmers. Unless young people are left farmland by their family, they're out of luck, one banker explains.
European leaders insist they will take all necessary measures to ensure Greece does not default on its debt. A default would throw Greece's economy — and the European banking system — into deeper crisis. But many financial experts are advocating an orderly default. They argue it will be painful but preferable to round-after-round of painful austerity measures and more uncertainty.
At the close of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 391.01 points, or 3.5 percent, at 10,733.83. At one point, the Dow fell 527 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq composite each closed down more than 3 percent.
Stock markets from Tokyo to New York were down sharply Thursday. Major European indices were down 4 percent and 5 percent. In the U.S., the Dow and S&P fell more than 3 percent. Melissa Block talks with NPR's John Ydstie about what's driving the selloff.
Stocks around the world fell sharply Thursday. By midday, the Dow was down about 400 points. Analysts said the Fed's "Operation Twist" was actually a signal that the central bank is still extremely worried about the prospects for recovery.
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