Senate Bill to Replace Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Loses Steam

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Senate Bill to Replace Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Loses Steam

The growing probability that the passage of a Senate bill that would eliminate Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and replace them with a new entity has lost its momentum and has little or no chance of passing during this election year is breathing some life back into Freddie Mac’s (OTCQB: FNMA) and Fannie Mae’s (OTCQB: FNMA) shares.

Reasons Bill Stalled

According to industry experts, there are a myriad of reasons why the bill is dead in the water this year. Here are a few of them:

· Civil rights groups have cited Johnson-Crapo’s lack of provisions to protect minorities against mortgage loan discrimination.

· The Obama administration has only given lip service to the bill and has not backed it with any real political capital.

· The existing opposition to the bill is adequate to keep progressives from pushing to get the bill to the Senate floor in 2014.

· The Senate Banking Committee mark-up of the bill has been set for April 29, after Easter recess, which leaves a smaller window for full Senate consideration.

On Apr. 4, Freddie Mac, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (OTCBB: FMCC) share value closed at $ $3.83 down 34 cents from its closing price of $4.17 the previous day, on volume of 10,732,604 shares.

Fannie Mae’s (OTCQB: FNMA) stock value closed at $3.84, down 32 cents, from its close of $4.16 the previous day, on volume of 24,309,650 shares.

Meanwhile, despite the deterioration in economic activity at the end of 2013 that has continued through the first quarter of this year, growth is expected to pick up in the second quarter and build throughout the summer, firming to approximately 2.7 percent for all of 2014, according to Fannie Mae's (Economic & Strategic Research Group.

Spring Weather Should Boost Growth

The near-term outlook remains somewhat clouded due in part to an unsustainable build-up in inventory in the second half of last year and as downside effects from the winter have yet to fully materialize. However, the return of weather to seasonal norms should help boost growth in the second quarter, supported by consumer spending, business investment, and housing starts.

“We expect economic and housing growth to emerge from the tough winter weather and gain momentum into the spring and summer seasons,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “Fiscal and monetary policy jitters appear to have waned and the most recent employment numbers came in at reasonable levels, helping to ease concerns of a significant slowdown or risk of recession,” he added.

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Nokia Corp. Stock Volume Soars after Introducing New Smartphones

In other news, Nokia Corp. (OTCQB: NOKBF) share volume soared Apr. 4, with 3,151,352 shares changing hands, more than four times its three-month average volume of 702,863 shares.

Unveils New Smartphones

This robust surge in volume comes on the heels of the Finland-based mobile-phone maker’s introduction of three Lumia smartphones based on Windows Phone 8.1 and a series of exclusive Nokia features.

Nokia confirmed that Windows Phone 8.1 is scheduled to be available across the entire Lumia Windows Phone 8 portfolio as an over-the-air update this summer following testing and partner approvals.

Overviews on New Lumia Smartphones

- The Nokia Lumia 930 is a flagship smartphone which delivers the best of Microsoft and Lumia for the ultimate video and imaging experience.
- The Nokia Lumia 635 and Nokia Lumia 630 offer an uncompromised Windows Phone 8.1 experience and bring Microsoft and Lumia innovations to more affordable prices.
- The Nokia Lumia 630 comes in two variants and introduces more choice as the first Lumia with dual-SIM targeted for growth markets like China and India.
- New devices introduce 'SensorCore', which provides innovative low-power motion sensing with Bing Health and Fitness - SensorCore SDK also being piloted with select partners ahead of public release.
- Imaging SDK 1.2 BETA is an updated Nokia Lumia SDK that will enable developers to build the next generation of imaging and social apps.
- The entire Lumia range with Windows Phone 8 will get an over-the-air update called Lumia Cyan, which will combine Windows Phone 8.1 and unique Lumia features into one update package.
- Windows Phone 8.1 introduces exciting new features - including more details at glance with LiveTiles, fast Word Flow keyboard and Action Center that help people get closer to things they love.

On Apr. 4, NOKBF’s share price closed at $7.30, down 37 cents from its closing price of $7.67 the previous day.

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