A stock market driven down by high oil prices and weakened housing sales doesn’t concern Sen. Bond, who says the economy might be troubled a bit, but remains strong.

Bond understands the housing market has been hit hard by homeowners who cannot pay the higher interest rates on their adjustable mortgages. The National Association of Realtors reports existing home sales are down 11% in Missouri. Bond finds it hard to be sympathetic for some; especially those who used the situation to try to make money through speculation.

Bond says the sub-prime mortgage mess has hurt the economy, pushing people into homes they couldn’t afford. He says the Senate has approved $200 million for counseling and assistance for those homeowners.

Bond is less worried about the Dow Jones industrial average, which fell Wednesday on worries about the Christmas shopping season, only to rebound in abbreviated trading on Friday. The Dow closed the week up nearly 182 points at 12, 980.88. Bond says Wall Street doesn’t affect Main Street and he’s confident the Dow will bounce back.

Oil prices continue to nudge up to $100 per barrel. Light, sweet crude for January delivery rose 89 cents and ended the week at $98.18 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Bond insists that despite a couple of setbacks, the United States economy remains vibrant.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (:60 MP3)