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Markets in a Minute | May 20, 2016

For the Week Ending May 20, 2016
 

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

Key economic indicators increased more than expected in April, reflecting strength in housing and manufacturing. A strong economy supports a rise in rates.
The prices that businesses receive for their goods and services rose last month, a tentative sign of firming inflation. Inflation is also a precursor to higher rates.
The latest Fed commentary surprised markets and signaled the possibility of a policy rate hike as early as June. Rates may rise in anticipation of the move.

Home builders remain positive about conditions in the single-family housing market, expecting continued growth supported by strong jobs and low rates.
Housing starts rose more than expected in April, supporting views of a ramped up economy. Construction of both single-family and multi-family homes increased.
Building permits rose 3.6% in April signaling that housing starts could continue to rise. Demand remains strong for new inventory as more buyers enter the market.

A young executive is leaving the office late one evening, when he finds the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.

“Listen,” said the CEO, “this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work for me?”

“Certainly,” the young executive says. He turns the machine on, inserts the paper, and presses the start button.

“Excellent, excellent!” says the CEO as his paper disappears inside the machine. “I just need one copy.”

 

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 | May 13, 2016

For the Week Ending May 13, 2016
 

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

With no clear signs of inflation, markets are now betting that the Fed will not raise policy rates in June. Concerns about a sluggish economy support lower rates.
Following a slowdown last month, jobless claims rose last week to the highest number in more than a year. Concerns about the health of the labor market can also help to support lower rates.
Balancing the pressures on rates, oil prices have hit new 2016 highs. Higher cost for oil is good for stocks and typically the opposite for bonds.

Low mortgage rates have contributed to an improvement in housing affordability for the first quarter of 2016, despite an increase in prices.
Home prices climbed in 87% of the U.S. metropolitan areas in the first quarter. The increases are caused by buyers competing for a tight supply of listings.
Home buyers are finding more outdoor features as they hunt for homes. Improvements in lighting, privacy, and amenities like fire pits are now common.

Four high school boys afflicted with spring fever skipped morning classes. After lunch they reported to the teacher that they had a flat tire.

Much to their relief she smiled and said, “Well, you missed a test today, so take seats apart from one another and take out a piece of paper.”

Still smiling, she waited for them to sit down. Then she said: “First question: Which tire was flat?”

 

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.