GDP and Existing Home Sales Rise (WAG, JEC, RHT)

Today was a big day in housing news. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage loan application volume decreased 18.6 percent last week. The Refinance Index also decreased. To get full details, see the press release here.

Then there was the good news on the housing front, as the National Association of Realtors announced that existing home sales rose 5.6 percent in November. Unfortunately, this still puts us 27.9 percent below November 2009 numbers which is not surprising considering the tax incentives offered to home buyers last year. To see the full report, click here.

The Department of Commerce announced that real GDP increased by 2.6 percent during the third quarter of 2010, beating the prior quarter by .9 percent. To see the full report, visit the Bureau of Economic Analysis website.

Investors took in the good economic news today and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 26.33 points to 11,559.49. The Nasdaq climbed 3.87 points to 2,671.48 and the S&P 500 rose 4.23 points to 1,258.83.

European and Asian markets were mixed on Wednesday.

Stocks in the news: Walgreen Co (NYSE: WAG), Jacobs Engineering Group Inc (NYSE: JEC), Red Hat Inc (NYSE: RHT).