Stocks extend gains; Dow hits 7-month high

Stocks extend gains; Dow hits 7-month high
NEW YORK – Stocks rose moderately Monday on growing expectations that the Federal Reserve will take steps to boost the economy.
Traders are widely expecting the Fed to expand its program to buy bonds as a way to stimulate the economy. That would push bond yields down and, in turn, would make stocks a more attractive investment.
The Dow rose 31.49, or 0.3 percent, to 11,164.05. The Standard and Poor’s 500 index rose 2.54, or 0.2 percent, to 1,185.62, while the technology-focused Nasdaq composite index rose 11.46, or 0.5 percent, to 2,490.85.
The National Association of Realtors said sales of previously occupied homes rose 10 percent last month. However, sales remain extremely weak compared with where they were just a year ago, which is likely keeping enthusiasm over the news in check.
Washington, D.C. Regulators looking into foreclosure mess
• WASHINGTON -Federal banking regulators are examining whether mortgage companies cut corners on their own procedures when they moved to foreclose on people’s homes, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday.
Preliminary results of the in-depth review into the practices of the nation’s largest mortgage companies are expected to be released next month, Bernanke said in remarks to a housing-finance conference in Arlington, Va.
In addition to probing the banks handling of foreclosure documents, Fed staffers and other federal agencies are evaluating the potential effects of the foreclosure debacle on the real-estate market and on financial institutions, Bernanke said.
Wire reports

DENNIS SEID / NEMS Daily Journal

Click video to hear audio