In another  hopeful sign, the Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index showed growth in November for a fourth straight month. The reading of 53.6 was slightly lower than October’s 55.7. But any reading above 50 indicates growth.  Economists were especially encouraged that new orders — a gauge of future production — jumped last month. Of the 17 industries surveyed, 13 reported higher orders.  A second report on construction spending from the Commerce Department also signaled growth, with the first overall increase in six months. The increase was slight — just 0.04 percent. But it appeared to indicate that the construction sector is stabilizing.

It appears as if the FNMA bus is inching ever so closely to the cliff with two flat tires as credit standards tighten further on December 12th.   Debt ratios will be capped at 45% with LTVs less than 80% and 41% for LTVs greater than 80%.  The FHA luxury bus is looking like the ride of choice come next year.   Speaking of FHA, HUD has extended condo spot approvals to February 1, 2010.