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Markets in a Minute – 3/14/2014

Please enjoy this quick update on what’s happening this week in the housing and financial markets for the week ending 3/14/2014.

Wholesalers report more inventory and decreased sales for January. The news could be bad for the economy overall but good for rates.
Stocks fluctuated with troubling economic news from China and continued tension in Ukraine. The uncertainty can be good for bond prices and rates.
The price for a barrel of oil closed at a new monthly low on Wednesday. Falling energy prices help keep inflation in check, and that’s good for interest rates.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in the news with the Senate’s plan to replace them. Their stock fell, but no other impact is expected until after 2016 elections.
Prices of construction materials are on the rise. Higher costs mean your local builders may be looking to increase their prices too.
The latest releases show more good signs for housing. Foreclosure counts continue to drop, and more owners are finding their values back “above water.”

Albert Einstein was introduced to three people and told their IQs. The first had an IQ of 180. Mr. Einstein said, “Great! We can discuss mathematics!” The second person’s IQ was 150. “Wonderful,” said Mr. Einstein, “Let’s talk physics!” The third person had an IQ of 80. Mr. Einstein smiled at him and asked, “So, where do you think interest rates are headed?”

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.

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