Attention last week was on the Federal Open Market Committee and less on the subprime market woes. Early week market flows were relatively light and two-way as investors waited for the release of the FOMC's statement on Wednesday afternoon.
There was not too much data either to divert attention away from this statement, and the data that did come out gave out mixed signals. For example, last Monday the National Association of Home Builders reported a weaker-than- expected decline in the Housing Market Index to 36 in March from 39 previously. The index is above its 15.5-year low of 30 recorded last September - which has been given as the reason for the market's lack of response. Lehman Brothers economists said that this reported weakness for the season's first month would not be welcome news at the Federal Reserve.