Tensions stemming from the U.S.-China trade war escalated sharply over the last few days, with much happening as Asian markets were shut down for the weekend.China Economyread more
The latest round of tariff announcements in the last few days means that by the end of the year, essentially all Chinese goods exported to the U.S. will be subject to duties.China Economyread more
Futures fell after Trump said the U.S. will raise tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese imports, increasing trade tensions.Marketsread more
Clouding the G-7 gathering, which represents the world's major industrial economies, are the tit-for-tat tariffs between Washington and Beijing.Politicsread more
China said Friday it will be resuming 25% duties on U.S. autos, and a further 5% on auto parts and components.Asia Marketsread more
World leaders, environmental groups and celebrities have publicly decried the vast swaths of forest being destroyed by the fires.World Newsread more
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung says the Singapore government has been preparing for the challenge of an aging workforce "for the past 20 years."Employmentread more
Stocks in Asia fell Monday morning following an escalation in the U.S.-China trade war late last week.Asia Marketsread more
Carl Medlock used to work at Tesla. Now he's one of the few people in the U.S. that can fix the company's original Roadster electric vehicles.Technologyread more
Hours after President Trump said Sunday he had "second thoughts" about escalating the trade war with China, the White House sought to explain his remark because it was...Politicsread more
President Donald Trump said that he would have a major trade deal with U.K. after it leaves the European Union.Politicsread more
Lower mortgage rates aren't enticing homebuyers much, as the spring housing season draws to a close.
Total mortgage application volume fell 3.3% last week compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index. Volume was 15% higher than the same week one year ago, when interest rates were higher.
Mortgage refinance volume fell 6% for the week but was markedly higher than a year ago, up 29%. Interest rates at this time last year were 51 basis points higher, so fewer homeowners could benefit from a refinance.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) remained unchanged last week at 4.33%, with points decreasing to 0.42 from 0.43 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment.
"Concerns over European economic growth and ongoing uncertainty about a trade war with China were some of the main factors that kept mortgage rates low last week," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.
Mortgage applications to purchase a home fell 1% for the week but were 7% higher annually. They have now fallen for three straight weeks.
Buyers are up against sky-high home prices, but prices have been softening for several months and are now seeing the smallest gains in seven years. Sales were weak this spring because of short supply on the lower end of the market and high prices in the middle of the market. Lower mortgage rates appear not to be helping much.
"It is possible that the trade dispute is causing potential homeowners to hold off on buying, with the fear that further escalation — or the lack of resolution — may have adverse impacts on the economy and housing market," Kan said.