The massive market transformation this month that some on Wall Street called a "once in a decade opportunity" might have just been a one-off technical move because of taxes.Marketsread more
The Pentagon will deploy U.S. forces to the Middle East on the heels of the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced...Defenseread more
CNBC did a deep dive through the most recent Wall Street research to find stocks that analysts say are underappreciated.Marketsread more
Shares of MasterCard are up 46% this year, and 1120% since 2011, getting a boost from the strong U.S. consumer.Investingread more
CNBC sat in on an "empathy training" at Amazon PillPack's Somerville offices, which is part of new hire orientation.Technologyread more
Trade with China is the 'big unknown' for the Federal Reserve as it decides how best to support the U.S. economy, says Council on Foreign Relations Director of International...Futures Nowread more
Lobbying experts said the visit is likely an attempt to be in lawmakers' ears as they consider legislation that would impact Facebook.Technologyread more
Yardeni Research's Edward Yardeni believes the U.S. economy is picking up steam.Trading Nationread more
Iran's audacious drone and cruise missile attack on Saudi Arabia's oil producing facilities has provided a critical test yet for the Trump administration's foreign policy. A...Politicsread more
Chinese trade negotiators suddenly canceled a visit to meet U.S. farmers after they wrapped up trade talks in Washington this week.Marketsread more
A sharp rise in mortgage interest rates took its toll on the lending business last week.
Mortgage application volume fell 1.8 percent for the week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted report. Volume was 18 percent lower compared with the same week one year ago.
Refinance volume, which is highly rate-sensitive, fell 6 percent for the week and was 39 percent lower than a year ago. Mortgage rates were significantly lower a year ago, and the vast majority of borrowers eligible for a refinance have already done so at the near record low rates the market offered a few years ago. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) increased to 4.84 percent from 4.80 percent last week, with points increasing to 0.46 from 0.43 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20 percent down payment.
"As mortgage rates increased to a five-week high, the refinance index decreased to its lowest level since the end of 2000," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. "Treasury rates increased through the week, mainly in response to stronger data on the manufacturing sector, unemployment claims and signs of faster wage growth."
Mortgage applications to purchase a home, which are less rate-sensitive week to week, rose 1 percent last week and were 4 percent higher than a year ago. Purchase volume has been decidedly weak this year, as affordability constraints hit demand. Home prices continue to surge, albeit at a slower pace than last year. But prices have already surpassed their 2006 peaks, and lending today is much stricter now.
As a result, lenders are bearish on demand, according to a recent survey of lenders by Fannie Mae. The net share of lenders reporting demand growth over the last three months, as well as the net share reporting growth expectations for the next three months, reached the lowest readings for any third quarter in the history of the 4-year-old survey.
"The profit outlook remains negative, with those lenders expecting decreased profit margins outweighing those anticipating increases for the eighth consecutive quarter," Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan said in a release. "For the first time this year, consumer demand was one of the top two reasons for the downbeat profit outlook, cited by more than one-third of lenders — a record high."