The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a milestone yesterday closing above 16,000 for the time time in its 128 year history finishing at 16,009.99. Stock prices have been gradually improving in the past year fueled by an improving economy, positive corporate earnings and low interest rates due to the Federal Reserve's easy-money monetary policy. The index is made up of thirty large publicly owned companies based in the U.S.
The Labor Department reported this morning in its Regional and State Unemployment Summary that unemployment rates were little changed in October. Twenty-eight states had unemployment rate decreases from September, 11 states and the District of Columbia had increases and 11 states had no change. The national unemployment rate was 7.3% in October and is 0.6 percentage points lower than in October 2012.
Online Real Estate company Zillow reported on Thursday that negative equity rates fell at their fastest pace ever in the third quarter, plunging by 21% of all homeowners with a mortgage. There are 10.8 million homeowners underwater, owing more than the home is worth, down 4.9 million from the peak in the first quarter of 2012.