Why Freddie (FMCC), Fannie (FNMA) Stock Are Soaring Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Freddie Mac (FMCC) and Fannie Mae (FNMA) are up 8.33% to $4.55 and 7.08% to $4.54, respectively.

Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, offered clear signs of a shift in direction at the agency, which controls Fannie and Freddie while they operate under a legal process known as conservatorship, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In a speech, Watt said Freddie and Fannie will shift their focus toward making more credit available to homeowners instead of their existing policy of pulling back from the mortgage market.

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He also signaled important changes in reports that outline the performance goals for the companies' management teams, the Journal noted.

Citing concerns about the health of the housing market, he said he wouldn't direct the companies to reduce the maximum loan limits, something his predecessor had considered.

Watt said that for the coming year, the firms' most important mandate would be to promote credit access.

 FMCC Chart

FMCC data by YCharts

FNMA Chart

FNMA data by YCharts

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