Stocks rose on Friday, but notched weekly losses as investors worried the U.S.-China trade war is hurting economic growth.US Marketsread more
The combination of mounting recession fears, bets on a more cautious Fed and a regular uptick in market volatility could spell more losses.Marketsread more
The therapy, Zolgensma, is a one-time treatment for spinal muscular atrophy — a muscle-wasting disease and leading genetic cause of infant mortality, affecting 1 in every...Biotech and Pharmaceuticalsread more
SpaceX has raised just over $1 billion in financing since the beginning of the year.Investing in Spaceread more
An analyst for Ark Invest, which has a major investment in Tesla, says recent drastic price-target cuts by others on Wall Street are missing the big picture.Investingread more
Former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson is seen as the bookmaker's favorite to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May.Europe Politicsread more
Apple bought Tueo Health, which was developing tech to help parents monitor asthma symptoms in children, using a mobile app and commercial breathing sensors.Technologyread more
United Airlines will take its 14 Boeing 737 Max jets off its schedule for another month, through Aug. 3, canceling another 1,290 flights.Airlinesread more
Trade could be a big factor for markets in the week ahead, but investors will also be attuned to fresh inflation data and the bond market, which is flashing new worries about...Market Insiderread more
About three dozen House Democrats have called for impeachment hearings on President Donald Trump, a billionaire's TV ads rip the House for "doing nothing," and legal experts...Politicsread more
The Trump administration on Friday invoked a rarely used provision in federal law to bypass congressional review of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing threats the kingdom...Politicsread more
For the second week in a row, mortgage activity barely budged, despite a small drop in interest rates. Total application volume rose 0.8 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
The gain in volume was, again, driven entirely by applications to refinance, which rose 2 percent from the previous week. Refinance volume is now 6 percent higher compared with the same week one year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home were essentially flat, down 0.1 percent from the previous week. Purchase volume, however, is 17.5 percent higher than it was one year ago.
"Although total purchase applications were little changed for the week, this resulted from a combination of a small increase for conventional purchase loans, and a decrease for government purchase loans," said Michael Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA. "We continue to see a decline in the average size of purchase loans, further indicating that entry-level buyers are beginning to return to the market."
The Realtors are still not reporting any surge in first-time buyers, putting their share at just under one-third of home purchases in June; another report, however, from Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance, said first-time buyer share is rising, now to 38.3 percent of home purchases in June, "a share not seen since 2010 when first-time homebuyer activity was boosted by a federal tax credit," according to the report. These buyers usually make up 40 percent of the purchase market.
Read More3 bedroom house for 2 million!?
Whatever the share of first-time buyers, the home ownership rate continued to decline in the second quarter. It fell to just 64.3 percent, the lowest rate in 48 years, according to the U.S. Census. The decline comes as home prices gain some steam, but mortgage rates ease slightly.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 4.17 percent last week, the lowest level since June, from 4.23 percent, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans, according to the MBA.