Facebook Vice President David Marcus is the face of the company's Libra digital currency, but the original driving force was a 26-year-old female engineer named Morgan Beller.Technologyread more
After a year of flooding, Midwest farmers face a stifling heat wave that's spreading across the U.S.Agricultureread more
There is no end in sight to the Boeing 737 Max grounding after two fatal crashes, prompting airlines to rethink their growth plans.Airlinesread more
A quarter of the S&P 500 companies report earnings next week, and that could buffet the market as investors await the July Fed meeting.Market Insiderread more
Iran's Revolutionary Guard claims a British tanker it still holds, Stena Impero, failed to follow international maritime rules.World Newsread more
Moving lots of data to a public cloud over the internet can take months or years. CNBC got an inside look at how AWS transfers data to the cloud for its clients.Technologyread more
The president also said he "offered to personally vouch" for Rocky's bail. Sweden, however, does not have a bail system.Politicsread more
CoinShares Chief Strategy Officer Meltem Demirors discusses Facebook's Libra project and its impact on the cryptocurrency market after testifying to the House Financial...Fast Moneyread more
Some 40% of Americans would struggle to come up with even $400 to pay for an emergency expense. Just how are so many Americans so short on cash? Blame debt.Personal Financeread more
Amazon hires Trump-allied lobbyist Jeff Miller as battle for Pentagon contract heats up.Politicsread more
In a series of tweets, the president addressed an unusual controversy stemming from a speech delivered Thursday by New York Fed President John Williams.Marketsread more
Mortgage activity took a slight breather last week, but applications for government-backed loans went on a tear after the government insurer of home loans lowered annual insurance premiums by half a percentage point.
The Federal Housing Administration accepts mortgages with down payments as low as 3.5 percent.
Total mortgage application volume increased 1.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis last week from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Applications to refinance a loan continued their surge, up another 3 percent week to week, while applications for a loan to purchase a home fell 2 percent.
Purchase applications are just 3 percent higher than a year ago. Most of the gains are coming from FHA volume.
"Following several weeks of already elevated refinance activity due to falling interest rates, FHA refinance applications increased 76.5 percent," said Lynn Fisher, MBA's vice president of research and economics.
"Conventional refinance volume was up only 0.5 percent for the week. FHA purchase applications were also up 12.4 percent, despite a decrease in purchase applications in the rest of the market."
Clearly the drop in insurance premiums, while a bit less than a $100 monthly savings for the average borrower, is bringing more people back to the mortgage table, be it to refinance or buy a home. The added incentive of falling mortgage interest rates is not hurting either.
Combined, the two are not just providing savings, but giving buyers more purchasing power.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.79 percent, the lowest level since May 2013, from 3.83 percent, according to the MBA. The average interest rate for FHA loans fell to 3.69 percent from 3.71 percent.
The FHA share of total applications rose to 13.1 percent of total mortgage applications last week, up from 9.1 percent the previous week.