Unemployment Bill, Mortgage Rates: Hot Trends

(Hot Trends article updated with information on the House passing the unemployment benefits bill and mortgage rates.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "Unemployment benefits" is a popular search topic today after the House voted 272 to 152 to pass legislation granting unemployment benefits to 2.5 million Americans who have been jobless for six months.

The bill passed the Senate on Tuesday. Administration officials said President Obama will sign the bill immediately.

The bill will cost $34 billion, and the jobless will receive $300 a week on average, retroactive to June and lasting through November.


"Mortgage rates" is a hot topic on the Internet today following news that 30-year fixed mortgages and 15-year fixed mortgages have reached their lowest recorded levels since Freddie Mac ( FMCC) began compiling mortgage finance data in 1971.

For the week ending July 22, 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.56% and 15-year mortgage rates averaged 4.03%.

"The decline in mortgages rates over the past few weeks echoes the recent signs of weakening confidence in the strength of the economy, particularly the housing and consumer sectors," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac.


"AmeriCredit" is trending on Google today after General Motors announced plans to buy AmeriCredit ( ACF) for $3.5 billion.

"This acquisition supports our efforts to design, build and sell the world's best vehicles by expanding the financing options we can offer to consumers who want to buy GM vehicles," said Ed Whitacre, GM chairman and CEO.

GM hopes that the buyout will improve its competitiveness and allow it to give customers better financing options.


Green Dot ( GDOT) is a hot search topic after shares soared from its initial public offering price of $36 this morning.

Shares of Green Dot, a prepaid debit card company, are up more than 20% to almost $45 today, its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.


"Oil spill clean up" and "tropical storm" are trending topics on the Internet as two storms begin to take shape in the Gulf of Mexico. The storms could interfere with the BP ( BP) cleanup efforts over the weekend.

One storm front is developing in the southeastern Bahamas, moving towards southern Florida, while the other is organizing in the Bay of Campeche in the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Heavy rains and gusty winds from both systems are making the waters choppy and could cause problems for the cleanup efforts through the weekend.


"Dalian" is a popular search term today after reports of an oil spill in the Yellow Sea near Dalian, China.

>> Chinese Oil Spill: The Next BP?

The spill occurred on Friday when a China National Petroleum pipeline exploded. An estimated 1,500 tons of oil has spilled, covering 165 square miles. As cleanup efforts progress, fishing near Dalian is prohibited.

The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on Google, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

-- Reported by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

Follow Theresa McCabe on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Copyright 2010 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

More from Opinion

Apple Needs to Figure Out Its Self-Driving Vehicle Strategy

Apple Needs to Figure Out Its Self-Driving Vehicle Strategy

Throwback Thursday: Tesla, Chip Stocks, TheStreet's Picks

Throwback Thursday: Tesla, Chip Stocks, TheStreet's Picks

12 Stocks That Our Writers and Their Sources Recommend You Buy Here

12 Stocks That Our Writers and Their Sources Recommend You Buy Here

Musk Goes on Unoriginal Media Tirade

Musk Goes on Unoriginal Media Tirade

What's Happening in Video Games This Week: On the Road to E3

What's Happening in Video Games This Week: On the Road to E3