Money Minute: Waiting for the Fed's Decision; Mortgages to Get Pricier

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It's all about the Fed.

You may have heard this song before, but after months of speculation, we could find out Wednesday afternoon when the Federal Reserve will begin to cut back on its massive bond-buying program.

Now it's important to understand that even if the Fed does begin the long-awaited taper, it won't end the stimulus program. It has been pumping 85 billion dollars a month into the economy. When the taper does begin, it will "only" buy $70 billion or $75 billion a month.

mortgage rates are likely to rise
David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Despite the Fed's pledge to keep interest rates low, mortgage rates are likely to rise. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will soon begin to charge more to borrowers who don't make a large down payment and have a high credit score. The effective mortgage rate on new loans could increase by as much as half a point.

An important court win for Philip Morris. The New York Court of Appeals said long-term smokers who don't show signs of disease can't sue the Altria (MO) unit to set up a program to monitor their health. The court upheld an earlier decision that there was no legal basis for such a claim.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI), edged 9 points lower Tuesday, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) fell 6 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost 5 points.

Another well-known company makes its Wall Street debut today. Movie theater owner AMC Entertainment priced its stock at $18 a share, which is at the low end of expectations. And there's an interesting twist to this initial public offering. The company offered shares at the IPO price to its most loyal movie customers. AMC is owned by a Chinese conglomerate.

Finally, the number of students enrolling in law school continues to decline. The American Bar Association says there were 11 percent fewer first year students this year, and the total number is the lowest it's been since 1977. One reason: the high level of student debt for many recent college grads.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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Mickylitz

Finally, the number of students enrolling in law school continues to decline. The American Bar Association says there were 11 percent fewer first year students this year, and the total number is the lowest it's been since 1977. One reason: the high level of student debt for many recent college grads.
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Good,,,,,, As if we didn't have enough lawyers already,,,
While we're at it let's get them out of our Congress , everyone will be better off....

December 18 2013 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TINKDAY

The fed decides to keep generating trillions more in debt, so the very rich can add to their wealth and guess who gets to continue to pay for it, the private sector, our veterans, but not the public sector. Time to throw out every demo. and repub. at all levels of government, fire the SEC for gross neglegence, put in jail the people at the bond rating companies, and put in jail the crooks that run wall street, banks and the insurance companies, now.

December 18 2013 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to TINKDAY's comment
jrb359

It appears that Hollywood and Washington live in the completely out of reality world.

December 18 2013 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jamie

less lawyers, that's great news!!!!!

December 18 2013 at 10:49 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jamie's comment
theycallmeroy3

Until you starting thinking about unintended consequences. The main reason given was higher tuition cost and not because the American public became more responsible, thus less need. Lawyers came into fruition to basically defend poor people.
Yet we have the highest rate of incarceration.
The last thing we want is for the Rule of Law- to become the Rule of Affluenza. But its already here.

December 18 2013 at 12:34 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
TWBCPA

Even with a decrease with students enrolling in law school there will still be an over abundance of lawyers for the next fifty years.

December 18 2013 at 10:49 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to TWBCPA's comment
Mickylitz

No doubt about that,,,,

Enough with those ambulance chasers and crooked politicians , Democrats top the charts in that department....

December 18 2013 at 3:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
marstil

Awww...I feel so sorry for the blosdsucking lawyers who have high college debts. Yeah...riiiight!

December 18 2013 at 10:07 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to marstil's comment
Mickylitz

Me too marstil...................me too......

December 18 2013 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DAVID LEAVELL

We have enough struggling ambulance chasing lawyers as it is, now if we can remove them from Washington DC and start in a new direction we may make it.

December 18 2013 at 9:41 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
mzackcpa

The very best news is that there are going to be less lawyers!

December 18 2013 at 9:18 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply