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Markets in a Minute | August 26, 2016

For the Week Ending August 26, 2016
 

Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.

A number of Fed officials have opined that it’s time for the Fed to raise interest rates. Investors are waiting to hear Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s opinion Friday.
Orders for durable goods rose for the second straight month, signaling increased business spending. Economic improvement like this is supportive of higher rates.
The labor market showed further improvement, with a drop in filing for unemployment benefits. A strong labor market could also contribute to higher rates.

New home sales unexpectedly rose in July, reaching their highest level in nearly 9 years. Sales were up an amazing 31.3% from a year ago.
Existing home sales were down slightly, however, as tight inventory remains an issue. Existing home sales had previously increased 4 straight months.
The housing market as a whole remains strong, supported by a tightening labor market, strong consumer spending, and low mortgage rates.

Two equally qualified job seekers apply for the same job. The hiring manager gives them a written test to determine which one to hire. Both score a 9 out of 10 on the test; however, the manager decides to hire the first applicant.

The rejected applicant asks, “We both got nine questions correct. May I ask why you decided this way?”

The hiring manager replied, “Your fellow applicant wrote ‘I don’t know’ for question five. You wrote, ‘Neither do I’.”

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

Markets in a Minute | August 19, 2016

For the Week Ending August 19, 2016
Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.

Minutes released from last month’s FOMC meeting show the Fed is divided on the need to raise rates. Ultimately they agreed to monitor economic conditions further.
Consumer prices in July were unchanged from June, indicating no inflation. Without inflation, the Fed will typically hesitate in raising policy rates.
However, jobless claims fell more than expected this week, reinforcing views of labor market strength that could encourage the Fed to raise policy rates sooner.

Mortgage applications for home purchases were down slightly for the week but were 10% higher than the same week a year ago. Mortgage rates remain low.
Housing starts climbed to the highest level since February, with a slight increase in single-family homes. Homebuilders appear optimistic that sales will continue to rise.
Multi-family home construction should continue to increase. Building permits issued for multi-family homes rose 6.3% to a 441,000-unit pace in July.

A police recruit was asked during the exam, “What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?”

He said, “Call for backup!”

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.