Stocks should rally if the U.S. and China agree to new negotiations and a ceasefire in the trade war, but the economic impact of tariffs will continue.Market Insiderread more
The trade war between Beijing and Washington appears to have depressed Chinese property purchases in the United States. China's own actions may also be playing a role.Real Estateread more
Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent out another email to his employees, pushing them to aim for a record number of vehicle deliveries to end the second quarter of 2019.Technologyread more
More than 300 companies are talking to government officials in Washington about how detrimental the trade war is.Marketsread more
Democrats want Mueller's testimony on his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and Trump's efforts to influence it.Politicsread more
The Senate is expected to pass its own version of the border aid legislation, while the Trump administration has threatened to veto both bills.Politicsread more
Some 4 million people have fled the South American country since 2015 amid an economic meltdown.World Politicsread more
Japanese designer Undercover posted on its Instagram account a photo of protesters with the slogan "no extradition to China," the Financial Times reported.China Politicsread more
Powell stresses the central bank's independence in a speech that comes amid continuous pressure from the White House to cut interest rates.The Fedread more
Stocks in Asia were tepid on Wednesday afternoon after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell tempered expectations for a potential interest rate cut.Asia Marketsread more
The purchase confirms Apple's continued interest in self-driving car software, and it will bolster Apple's engineering ranks with additional employees who can build autonomous...Technologyread more
It was yet another small tick higher for interest rates last week, and it was enough again to hold borrowers back from applying for a mortgage.
Total application volume fell 3.4 percent for the week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Volume is 14 percent higher than one year ago.
Refinance demand fell 6 percent for the week, but it is 15 percent higher than one year ago. Rates are not that much different now than they were then.
All figures are seasonally adjusted.
"Refinance activity decreased for the second-straight week because fewer borrowers have an incentive to refi at the current level of rates, but there are still some who respond to the small changes we have seen in recent weeks," said Michael Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances (up to $417,000) increased to 3.87 percent from 3.85 percent, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.35 (including origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. While rates were higher for the first half of last week, they fell midweek, after the Federal Reserve held steady on interest rates.
Mortgage applications to purchase a home were essentially flat for the week but are 13 percent higher than a year ago. Purchase applications are less sensitive to small changes in interest rates.
"No one had anticipated that the Fed would raise rates at last week's meeting. But, MBA and others had expected somewhat more of a signal that they would be increasing rates again in June. Odds of a June [rate hike] have decreased a bit, but we expect that is still the most likely outcome," added Fratantoni.
Mortgage rates pushed lower Tuesday, as investors fled to the safety of the bond market amid a stock sell-off. Rates are now at two-week lows, which some saw as an important victory for the mortgage market.
"If we'd lost ground, it would have confirmed a negative signal about momentum in the short to medium term," said Matthew Graham, chief operating officer of Mortgage News Daily. "Now we have a fighting chance to see if momentum can build in a friendlier direction."