The trade war between the United States and China has lasted for more than one year — and a resolution is nowhere in sight.World Economyread more
The Fed is expected to cut rates Wednesday, but it is unlikely to tell markets what they want to hear on future rate cuts.Market Insiderread more
Pelosi said Trump should not have tried to address China's trade practices in a way that opened Americans up to financial pain.Politicsread more
Investors await the Fed's latest decision on monetary policy, set to be released on Wednesday stateside. The U.S. central bank is widely expected to cut rates by 25 basis...Asia Marketsread more
TransferWise posted an annual net profit of £10.3 million on revenues of £179 million.Technologyread more
Live the high life with a night's stay at Highclere Castle, the iconic stately home made famous by Downton Abbey.Spendread more
Large banking institutions face the risk of failure if interest rates in Europe continue to stay negative, warns the global chief economist of the Economist Intelligence Unit.Banksread more
The fallout from two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 Max planes has ensnared the manufacturer's most-loyal customer: Southwest Airlines. The carrier has canceled thousands of...Airlinesread more
Brent crude oil jumped the most in history in the previous session after attacks on Saudi's oil industry disrupted the kingdom's production.Marketsread more
In the survey, conducted after the third in the Democratic Party's series of debate, the former vice president draws 31% compared to 25% for the Massachusetts senator. At 14%,...2020 Electionsread more
Stocks rose slightly on Tuesday, but gains were capped as the Federal Reserve kicked off a two-day monetary policy meeting.US Marketsread more
A sharp drop in mortgage activity over the holidays was clearly temporary. Mortgage application volume increased 21.3 percent last week versus the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The previous week's reading were adjusted for the New Year's holiday. Mortgage applications were on a roller coaster in December, as some borrows rushed in early in the month to get ahead of a possible Fed rate hike.
"The good news for the new year is that following the holidays, application activity last week resumed at levels just exceeding those observed during early December, suggesting that the purchase market has picked up right where it left off," said Lynn Fisher, MBA's vice president of research and economics.
Mortgage applications to purchase a home increased 18 percent from the previous week, seasonally adjusted, and were 19 percent higher than the same week one year ago. This signals an increase in potential home buying at the start of the year. New listings usually begin to increase just after the holidays.
"MBA's purchase mortgage application index reached its second highest level since May 2010 on a seasonally adjusted basis last week, second only to the week prior to the implementation of the Know Before You Owe rules," Fisher said.
Those new rules, designed to protect borrowers, have been blamed for delays in closings. Some claim they caused the steep drop in closed sales in November. Borrowers had been warned about the new rules, which went into effect in October, which is why there may have been a rush on loan applications just before they went into effect.
Applications to refinance loans increased 24 percent last week from the previous week but were 38 percent lower than the same week one year ago. While mortgage rates did fall last week, as the U.S. stock market sold off, rates were even lower one year ago.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 4.12 percent last week from 4.20 percent the previous week, with points decreasing to 0.38 from 0.42 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.