The Fed minutes also note that "a couple" members wanted a 50 basis point cut, based primarily on the weak inflation readings.The Fedread more
Federal Reserve members worried over future growth are highly concerned about the U.S.-China tariff battleThe Fedread more
President Trump and Apple CEO Tim Cook have had a rocky relationship in recent years, but Trump is now complimenting the executive publicly.Technologyread more
Corporate debt recently passed the $1 trillion mark in a continuing sign of global financial displacement.Marketsread more
"Federal debt, which is already high by historical standards, is on an unsustainable course," CBO director Phillip Swagel said in the report.Politicsread more
The president's remark followed a string of criticisms aimed at his predecessors, whom he claimed had ignored China's alleged malpractice on trade.Politicsread more
President Trump liked Germany's sale of no-interest, 30-year bonds Wednesday, but investors weren't so eager to buy them.Market Insiderread more
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts said in a research note the "Off-Facebook Activity" feature "appears to fall somewhat short of the original pledge by CEO Zuckerberg of...Technologyread more
"If you look at the market over the past week, stocks don't need any help. They are roaring ahead, without the Fed doing anything," says the longtime market strategist.Marketsread more
Target CEO Brian Cornell still thinks the U.S. consumer is strong and spending. Target's latest quarterly results showed the big-box retailer is benefiting from that.Retailread more
Stocks rose on Wednesday as strong quarterly results from retailers such as Target and Lowe's lifted investor sentiment.US Marketsread more
Another drop in mortgage interest rates, to their lowest level in three years, sent borrowers back to the bank to refinance home loans.
Total mortgage application volume increased 2.9 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week. Applications are now nearly 35 percent higher than one year ago, when rates were considerably higher, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Applications to refinance home loans drove the volume, rising 7 percent from the previous week, seasonally adjusted. Applications to purchase a home, which are less sensitive to rates on a weekly basis, fell 2 percent for the week but are 12 percent higher than a year ago.
The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 57.7 percent of total applications from 55.3 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 5.7 percent of total applications.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to its lowest level since May 2013, 3.76 percent, from 3.79 percent, with points increasing to 0.33 from 0.32 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.
"Rates fell on concerns that Britain may vote to leave the European Union later this week. Although beliefs about the likelihood of an exit have since moderated, the 'Brexit' vote promises to bring continued volatility to markets," said Lynn Fisher, MBA vice president of research. "Refinance applications rallied last week on a 3 basis point drop in mortgage rates to the lowest level since May 2013. Notably, the jumbo rate fell to 3.70 percent last week, its lowest level since MBA started the series in 2011."
Purchase volume is now down 7 percent in the past four weeks, and the annual gains are shrinking. A historically low number of listings has cut into potential sales in this usually busy season for housing, as demand far exceeds supply. Homebuilders did not ramp up production much in May, and housing starts are still running well below normal levels, not even considering pent-up demand.
Low mortgage rates have helped affordability some, but they have also bolstered gains in home prices, as buyers can now afford more. Rates dropped on fears of a British vote on Thursday to exit the European Union and could do just the opposite if the vote yields no change. On Tuesday, rates moved to the highest level in two weeks.
"That could change though," wrote Matthew Graham, chief operating officer of Mortgage News Daily. "One of the reasons rates haven't been more volatile is the fact that the Brexit vote is seen as being fairly even. As soon as a clear victor emerges, rates could move swiftly. A 'remain' vote could cause a much quicker move higher in rates on Friday morning."