Wednesday’s Mid-Day Movers: 3 Stories Driving Markets

The major stocks were gaining momentum Wednesday as of 1215 p.m.:

DIJA: +0.62% to 15483.23 S&P 500: +0.63% to 1679.71 NASDAQ: +0.48% to 3519.09
Gold: +1.21% to 75.191 Oil: -1.21% to 22.0599 U.S. 10-Year: +2.31% to 19.89

Here are three stories helping shape the market on Wednesday afternoon:

1. Existing-Home Sales Hit Highest Level Since November 2009: Existing-home sales in the United States increased to their best level in more than three years, but the housing market is still dependent on low interest rates and inventory levels.

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On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors announced that total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, increased 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million units in April. In comparison, March showed an upwardly revised 4.94 million units… (Read more.)

2. Are Rising Interest Rates Hurting the Housing Market? The housing recovery reinforced the belief that it is heavily dependent on low interest rates induced by the Federal Reserve, as mortgage applications declined for the second consecutive week.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest report for the week ending May 17, loan application volume dropped 9.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. This comes after a 7.3 percent decrease in the prior week. These figures include both refinancing and home purchase demand, and cover over 75 percent of all domestic retail residential mortgage applications… (Read more.)

3. What Will These Grumpy Governments Do About Tax Evasion? It seems government officials around the world are all grumpy about tax evasion together. U.S. officials grilled Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) on the subject Tuesday, and now European officials will discuss ways to close down loopholes that could be costing them trillions in tax dollars.

Apple was called out for having some $37 billion in overseas profits that were only taxed at a rate of 1.9 percent because of a clever tax scheme that runs most of the money to Ireland, where Apple receives a much lower tax rate than it would almost anywhere else. With business growing in many foreign countries, now is an important time for governments to make sure they have tax laws right… (Read more.)

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