6. A medium-sized private homebuilder and two more prominent subprime mortgage originators/servicers will shortly announce bankruptcy.
is considering the sale of its Household Finance subsidiary because of the hemorrhaging of profits in its mortgage business.
8. The falloff in subprime lending and the tightening of standards at traditional originators has caught the eye of the now Democrat-controlled House. There will be an attempt by the Democrats to introduce legislation that will subsidize first-time homebuyers, who because of affordability issues and less availability of subprime loans are having trouble getting mortgage financing.
9. The dramatic drop in prices in the energy complex coupled with a general decline in commodity prices will reverberate in the hedge fund market over the next month, as at least three large funds have each experienced $1 billion-plus losses.
10. Retailers -- caught with unexpectedly high inventories -- are worried about the first quarter's profitability and will announce initiatives (and create incentives) that will encourage consumers to spend their gift cards quickly. (For example,
(HD - Get Report)
recently announced that it is offering to donate 5% of the gift card value of all gift cards redeemed by Jan. 28 to help build and maintain USO centers.)