It’s Christmas Eve, a time for many traditions: last-minute holiday shopping, time with family and friends, and of course,Economic Data! Looks as though the rise in mortgage rates, this time following the Fed's decision to begin tapering stimulus, is increasingly reducing mortgage activity with MBA Mortgage Applications coming in at -6.3% vs. -5.5% prior. Orders for durable goods rose more than forecast in November (3.5% vs. -2% prior), reflecting broad-based gains that signal U.S. business investment is rebounding after a third-quarter low. Housing price Index rose, as expected, to 0.5% from 0.3% prior. New home sales surged 25.4 percent in October to a very solid 444K (annual rate) and are expected to decline this month to 440K. Overnight we saw a bear steepening in the yield curve with 10-Year yields shooting up 3-4 percent and mortgage spreads are flat to yesterday’s close.
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