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  • Fri, Feb 27 2015
  • 4:20 PM » Fed won't be predictable after lifting rates, Fischer says
    Published Fri, Feb 27 2015 4:20 PM by Market Watch
    The Fed won't telegraph its moves to the financial markets once it has started raising rates, said Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer on Friday
  • 4:19 PM » Blackstone Seeks Up to $15 Billion for Real Estate Fund
    Published Fri, Feb 27 2015 4:19 PM by Bloomberg
    Blackstone Seeks Up to $15 Billion for Real Estate Fund Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group LP, the largest private-equity investor in real estate, is seeking to raise as much as $15 billion of equity for its latest global property fund, surpassing its own record for funds of this type. The maximum target for Blackstone Real ...
  • 4:18 PM » ECB's Constancio Sees Stock of €4 Trillion Eligible for QE Purchases
    Published Fri, Feb 27 2015 4:18 PM by WSJ
    Vitor Constancio, vice president of the European Central Bank, played down worries in financial markets that the ECB will not be able to find enough bonds to complete its "quantitative easing" as planned.
  • 2:11 PM » Jobs report may test market's complacency
    Published Fri, Feb 27 2015 2:11 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. stock market has been quiet this week - too quiet.
  • 1:56 PM » Fed's Fischer: "Conducting Monetary Policy with a Large Balance Sheet"
    Published Fri, Feb 27 2015 1:56 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    A review of policy normalization by Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer: Conducting Monetary Policy with a Large Balance Sheet (excerpt) Turning to policy normalization, the FOMC and market participants anticipate that the federal funds rate will be raised sometime this year. We have for some years been considering ways to operate monetary policy with an elevated balance sheet. Prior to the financial crisis, because reserve balances outstanding averaged only around $25 billion, relatively minor variations in the total amount of reserves supplied by the Desk could move the equilibrium federal funds rate up or down. With the nearly $3 trillion in excess reserves today, the traditional mechanism of adjustments in the quantity of reserve balances to achieve the desired level of the effective federal funds rate may well not be feasible or sufficiently predictable. As discussed in the FOMC's statement on its Policy Normalization Principles and Plans, which was published following the September 2014 FOMC meeting, we will use the rate of interest paid on excess reserves (IOER) as our primary tool to move the federal funds rate into the target range .5 This action should encourage banks not to lend to any private counterparty at a rate lower than the rate they can earn on balances maintained at the Fed, which should put upward pressure on a range of short-term interest rates. Because not all institutions have access to the IOER rate, we will also use an overnight reverse repurchase agreement (ON RRP) facility, as needed. In an ON RRP operation, eligible counterparties may invest funds with the Fed overnight at a given rate. The ON RRP counterparties include 106 money market funds, 22 broker-dealers, 24 depository institutions, and 12 government-sponsored enterprises, including several Federal Home Loan Banks, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Farmer Mac. This facility should encourage these institutions to be unwilling to lend to private counterparties in money markets at a rate...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 12:35 PM » Hell no, we won't go! Homeowners who wouldn't budge
    Published Fri, Feb 27 2015 12:35 PM by CNBC
    Check out these homes or buildings distinguished from their new neighbors. They stand as monuments to the stubborn spirit of the owners.
  • 12:28 PM » Ocwen Tumbles After Mortgage Servicer Gets Fired From Bond Deals
    Published Fri, Feb 27 2015 12:28 PM by Bloomberg
    Ocwen Tumbles After Mortgage Servicer Gets Fired From Bond Deals Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- Ocwen Financial Corp., the mortgage servicer under attack for its handling of home loans, slumped the most in more than a month after receiving notices that it was being fired from overseeing debt backing two bond deals. The company's ... and more »
  • 11:31 AM » Catching Up: Final February Consumer Sentiment at 95.4, Chicago PMI declines Sharply
    Published Fri, Feb 27 2015 11:31 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Click on graph for larger image. The final Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for February was at 95.4, up from the preliminary reading of 93.6, and down from 98.1 in January. This was above the consensus forecast of 94.0. Sentiment has been generally improving, and then surged last year at gasoline prices declined - and the economy improved.  The decline in February was probably related to higher gasoline prices. Chicago PMI February 2015: Chicago Business Barometer At 5½-Year Low The Chicago Business Barometer plunged 13.6 points to 45.8 in February , the lowest level since July 2009 and the first time in contraction since April 2013. The sharp fall in business activity in February came as Production, New Orders, Order Backlogs and Employment all suffered double digit losses, leaving them below the 50 level which separates contraction from expansion. The West Coast port strike and the harsh winter probably had a negative impact in February , although it is difficult to gauge the magnitude. emphasis added This was well below the consensus forecast of 58.3.  This is just one month, and the decline could be related to special factors - such as the port strike - and we need to see what happens in March.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 10:28 AM » U.S. pending home sales hit one-and-a-half-year high in January
    Published Fri, Feb 27 2015 10:28 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes rose to their highest level in 1-1/2 years in January, a hopeful sign that the sluggish housing recovery may be gaining speed.
  • 10:27 AM » Economists React to the Fourth-Quarter GDP Report: ‘The Underlying Picture Remains Good'
    Published Fri, Feb 27 2015 10:27 AM by WSJ
    Economists weighed in on the contents of the fourth-quarter GDP report, showing the U.S. economy expanded at a 2.2% annual pace.
  • 10:27 AM » Fed's Dudley: Markets May Force a More Aggressive Rate Hike Cycle
    Published Fri, Feb 27 2015 10:27 AM by WSJ
    Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said Friday that while he sees no urgency to raise short-term interest rates, if unusually low bond yields don't rise the central bank could be forced to act more aggressively when it does start the process of boosting borrowing costs.
  • 9:05 AM » US Q4 growth rate revised down to 2.2%
    Published Fri, Feb 27 2015 9:05 AM by CNBC
    U.S. economic growth braked more sharply than initially thought in the fourth quarter, but the underlying fundamentals remained solid.
  • Thu, Feb 26 2015
  • 11:59 PM » Fed's Williams Sees Door Open for Interest-Rate Increases Starting in June
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 11:59 PM by WSJ
    Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said the door is open to central bank interest rate increases any time from mid-June onward.
  • 11:58 PM » The Open House Goes Over the Top
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 11:58 PM by www.realtor.com
    More than 250 guests gathered at a home in Los Angeles's Pacific Palisades neighborhood last fall. Models swam in the pool, guests attired in all-white drank mojitos and a singer… (Read More) The post The Open House Goes Over the Top appeared first on Top News .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.realtor.com
  • 11:57 PM » Friday: GDP, Chicago PMI, Consumer Sentiment, Pending Home Sales
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 11:57 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    The following important older post on inflation from Professor Krugman explains why I follow various measures of underlying inflation: Core Logic [T]he idea of core inflation. Why do we need such a concept, and how should it be measured? So: core inflation is usually measured by taking food and energy out of the price index; but there are alternative measures, like trimmed-mean and median inflation, which are getting increasing attention. ... And people who say things like "That's a stupid concept - people have to spend money on food and gas, so they should be in your inflation measures" are missing the point. Core inflation isn't supposed to measure the cost of living, it's supposed to measure something else: inflation inertia . Think about it this way. Some prices in the economy fluctuate all the time in the face of supply and demand; food and fuel are the obvious examples. Many prices, however, don't fluctuate this way - they're set by oligopolistic firms, or negotiated in long-term contracts, so they're only revised at intervals ranging from months to years. Many wages are set the same way. The key thing about these less flexible prices - the insight that got Ned Phelps his Nobel - is that because they aren't revised very often, they're set with future inflation in mind. Suppose that I'm setting my price for the next year, and that I expect the overall level of prices - including things like the average price of competing goods - to rise 10 percent over the course of the year. Then I'm probably going to set my price about 5 percent higher than I would if I were only taking current conditions into account. And that's not the whole story: because temporarily fixed prices are only revised at intervals, their resets often involve catchup. ... The standard measure tries to do this by excluding the obviously non-inertial prices: food and energy. But are they the whole story? Of course not ... Hence the growing preference...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 6:36 PM » Ocwen Seen Losing Mortgage-Servicing Contracts Following Default
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 6:36 PM by Bloomberg
    Ocwen Seen Losing Mortgage-Servicing Contracts Following Default Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- Ocwen Financial Corp., the mortgage servicer that's faced attacks from investors and regulators, may lose its contracts overseeing home loans backing two bond deals, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. Wells Fargo & Co., the trustee for the ...
  • 4:47 PM » Freddie Mac Issues Monthly Volume Summary for January 2015
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 4:47 PM by freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
    Freddie Mac Issues Monthly Volume Summary for January 2015
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
  • 3:54 PM » Why Isn't the Fed More Worried About Inflation Expectations?
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 3:54 PM by WSJ
    Expected inflation, as measured by financial markets, has fallen sharply since last summer in both the eurozone and the U.S. The response of their central banks couldn't be more different.
  • 3:52 PM » What to Look for in Friday's GDP Report
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 3:52 PM by Bloomberg
    What to Look for in Friday's GDP Report Bloomberg Friday we get a second look at U.S. gross domestic product for the fourth quarter. The Commerce Department report is slated to hit the wires at 8:30 a.m. and will incorporate data that wasn't available in the first release a month ago. Here's what to expect: ...
  • 3:09 PM » Cleveland Fed's Mester: Fed's Focus is the Economy, Not Politics
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 3:09 PM by WSJ
    The Federal Reserve and Chairwoman Janet Yellen make policy decisions based on economics and not politics, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said Thursday.
  • 2:19 PM » When to Refinance
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 2:19 PM by www.wsj.com
    A surprise interest-rate drop in January spurred a record number of homeowners to refinance. What you should know when rates fall again.
  • 2:12 PM » FHA's Middle Class Promise
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 2:12 PM by blog.hud.gov
    Over the last 80 years, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has played a critical role in building America's middle class and has since helped 40 million families become homeowners. Throughout its long history, FHA has stepped in to take on additional risks to protect the broader housing market. No one can dispute that during our […]
  • 2:12 PM » Major Firms Are Saying the Stage Is Set For Another Crisis In The Bond Market
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 2:12 PM by Bloomberg
    Major Firms Are Saying the Stage Is Set For Another Crisis In The Bond Market Bloomberg Massive flooding in Colorado has left as many as eight people dead and hundreds missing. Rain continued to impede rescue efforts on Monday. This aerial photo from Sept. 13 shows a raging waterfall destroying a bridge along Highway 34 toward Estes Park ...
  • 11:30 AM » Most Millennials Can't Do a Single Nice Thing for Someone Else
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 11:30 AM by Bloomberg
    Most Millennials Can't Do a Single Nice Thing for Someone Else Bloomberg Millennials are fussy about their real estate brokers, terrible at playing the stock market, and squatters who need to get out of their parents' basements. New government data give us another dubious factoid about the group: They have the lowest volunteering ...
  • 10:04 AM » Three charts that explain the renters next door
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 10:04 AM by Google News
    One of the unexpected legacies of the mortgage crisis has been the replacement in many neighborhoods of single-family homeowners with renters. But who exactly are these renters and which homes are they renting? We've taken a closer look at the 14.2 million single-family rental units in the US today and found that renters are living […]
  • 10:03 AM » Mortgage Rates Rise for Third Consecutive Week
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 10:03 AM by freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
    Mortgage Rates Rise for Third Consecutive Week
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
  • 10:03 AM » Developers? Sentiment About Multifamily Market Holds Steady in the Fourth Quarter
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 10:03 AM by NAHB
    Press Release
  • 8:43 AM » Consumer price index falls 0.7% in January
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 8:43 AM by CNBC
    The consumer price index fell a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in January from December, according to the Labor Department.
  • 8:43 AM » Orders for U.S. Durable Goods Increased 2.8% in January
    Published Thu, Feb 26 2015 8:43 AM by Bloomberg
    Orders for U.S. Durable Goods Increased 2.8% in January Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- Orders for durable goods rose 2.8 percent in January after a 3.7 percent decline in the previous month, data from the Commerce Department showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 82 economists surveyed by Bloomberg ...
  • Wed, Feb 25 2015
  • 11:34 PM » Bond Rout Might Not Be So Bad as Economists Cut Yield Forecasts - Bloomberg
    Published Wed, Feb 25 2015 11:34 PM by Bloomberg
    Bond Rout Might Not Be So Bad as Economists Cut Yield Forecasts Bloomberg While economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict prices will fall, sending benchmark 10-year yields up more than half a percentage point, they're also scaling back forecasts for the size of the decline. Ten-year yields will be 2.62 percent by Dec. 31, based on ...
  • 11:20 PM » MBA: Mortgage Delinquency and Foreclosure Rates Decrease in Q4, Lowest since 2007
    Published Wed, Feb 25 2015 11:20 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Earlier from the MBA: Mortgage Delinquencies Continue to Decrease in Fourth Quarter The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties decreased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.68 percent of all loans outstanding at the end of the fourth quarter of 201 4. This was the lowest level since the third quarter of 2007. The delinquency rate decreased 17 basis points from the previous quarter, and 71 basis points from one year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) National Delinquency Survey. The delinquency rate includes loans that are at least one payment past due but does not include loans in the process of foreclosure. The percentage of loans in the foreclosure process at the end of the fourth quarter was 2.27 percent , down 12 basis points from the third quarter and 59 basis points lower than the same quarter one year ago. This was the lowest foreclosure inventory rate seen since the fourth quarter of 2007. ... "Delinquency rates and the percentage of loans in foreclosure decreased for another quarter and were at their lowest levels since 2007," said Marina Walsh, MBA's Vice President of Industry Analysis. " We are now back to pre-crisis levels for most measures ." Walsh continued: "The foreclosure inventory rate has decreased every quarter since the second quarter of 2012, and is now at the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2007. Foreclosure starts ticked up two basis points, after being flat last quarter, largely due to state-level fluctuations in the speed of the foreclosure process. Compared to the same quarter last year, foreclosure starts are down eight basis points. "At the state level, 45 states saw a decline in their foreclosure inventory rates over the quarter, although judicial states continue to account for a disproportionately high share. Fewer than half the states had an increase in non-seasonally adjusted 30 day delinquencies, which is highly seasonal and...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:18 PM » Thursday: CPI, Unemployment Claims, Durable Goods
    Published Wed, Feb 25 2015 11:18 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    First, from the ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Jumped 1.2% in January American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.2% in January, following a revised gain of 0.1% during the previous month. In January, the index equaled 135.7 (2000=100), an all-time high. Compared with January 2014, the SA index increased 6.6%, which was the largest year-over-year gain in over a year. ... ATA recently revised the seasonally adjusted index back five years as part of its annual revision. For all of 2014, tonnage was up 3.7%, slightly better than the 3.4% originally reported. In 2013, the index increased 5.5%. "Truck tonnage continued to improve in January, marking the fourth straight gain totaling 3.5%," said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. "Last year was slightly better for truck tonnage than we originally thought and I am expecting that momentum to continue in 2015." emphasis added Thursday: • At 8:30 AM ET, the initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to increase to 290 thousand from 283 thousand. • Also at 8:30 AM, the Consumer Price Index for January . The consensus is for a 0.6% decrease in CPI, and for core CPI to increase 0.1%. • Also at 8:30 AM: Durable Goods Orders for January from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for a 1.7% increase in durable goods orders. • At 9:00 AM, FHFA House Price Index for December 2014 . This was originally a GSE only repeat sales, however there is also an expanded index. The consensus is for a 0.5% increase. • At 11:00 AM: the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey for February.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:18 PM » Morgan Stanley Agrees To $2.6 Billion Mortgage-Backed Securities Settlement
    Published Wed, Feb 25 2015 11:18 PM by www.npr.org
    The settlement is the latest in a string tied to the mortgage practices that led to the housing bubble, which was mostly responsible for the great recession.
  • 5:34 PM » BB&T sets aside $85 million over possible fine on FHA loans
    Published Wed, Feb 25 2015 5:34 PM by Market Watch
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- BB&T has disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it's taken an $85 million charge, relating to a fine it may have to pay over BB&T's Federal Housing Administration-insured loan origination process. In November and December of 2014, BB&T received subpoenas from the Department of Justice seeking additional information related to the Housing and Urban Development review. BB&T is cooperating and is in the process of responding to these subpoenas. BB&T said the hit could range from $25 million to $105 million.
  • 3:16 PM » U.S. Productivity Now Grows Faster Than Jobs. What Changed?
    Published Wed, Feb 25 2015 3:16 PM by WSJ
    For decades, U.S. productivity and total employment rose in lockstep. As the U.S. grew richer and its workers generated more output with the aid of better machines, it created a correspondingly healthy number of new jobs. But at the turn of the century, something changed.
  • 2:23 PM » Bond Traders Clashing With Analysts on Yellen May Win Regardless
    Published Wed, Feb 25 2015 2:23 PM by Bloomberg
    Bond Traders Clashing With Analysts on Yellen May Win Regardless Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- It's almost as if bond traders and economists are watching different versions of Janet Yellen's testimony to Congress this week. Traders are taking the Federal Reserve chair's comments over the past two days -- labor market market isn't fully ... and more »
  • 2:23 PM » Foreign bidders take home 60% of new 5-year notes
    Published Wed, Feb 25 2015 2:23 PM by Market Watch
    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Foreign bidders took home an above-average chunk of new five-year bonds at an auction Wednesday. Indirect bidders, a group that includes foreign central banks, took home 60.1% of the bonds, compared with an average of 59%. The share of new bonds taken home by foreign bidders has increased during every new-bond auction this year, said Tom di Galoma, head of rates and credit trading at ED & F Man Capital Markets. The yield on the new notes was 1.48%, equal to the five-year yield the minute before the auction, which is a sign of average demand, according to CRT Capital Group's Ian Lyngen. Treasury yields were modestly higher after the auction. The 10-year yield was up half a basis point on the day to 1.991%. The five-year yield was up 1.9 basis points to 1478%.
  • 2:23 PM » Wells Fargo Survey: Construction Activity Widely Expected to Improve in 2015
    Published Wed, Feb 25 2015 2:23 PM by www.wellsfargo.com
    Enter Teaser
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.wellsfargo.com
  • 2:22 PM » The agreement with Greece and the challenges ahead
    Published Wed, Feb 25 2015 2:22 PM by webfeeds.brookings.edu
    The acrimonious negotiations on Greece's future that took place in Brussels last week left huge uncertainties, with questions focusing on whether Athens will respect the laboriously reached compromise. The sticking point is not just the financial content of the negotiation, since the burden of the Greek debt is relatively low given the favorable conditions already in place. The real doubt is whether the compromise is politically compatible with the Greek rhetoric about its democratic sovereignty. The tug of war between Greece and the Eurogroup The alternatives offered to Athens—but potentially to all other European countries—between leaving the euro and reneging on its electoral promises have been interpreted in Greece as an obligation to sacrifice national sovereignty under Europe's pressure. The aggressive rhetoric in Athens' platform, and some exceedingly harsh tones by Greece's interlocutors in the Eurogroup, made relinquishing national prerogatives—a consequence of high-indebtedness rather than of European strait-jacket —even more painful. Ultimately, this tension will cast a long shadow on the enactment of the agreements. The tug of war between Brussels and Athens actually ended ambiguously. The Greek government had to swallow specific commitments dictated by the partners, but from the beginning it tried to sell the agreement back home as a victory. The political contradiction between the international commitment and national consensus was immediately evident and is bound to become acute in the next months, when words will need to be followed by parliamentary decisions. It may sound surprising, but Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is going to face a "Monti-moment": an attempt to re-balance the scales and reform the long-standing materialistic habits of his country within a few months, with no concrete help from the European partners and in a fragile economic environment. The Italian experience...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: webfeeds.brookings.edu
  • 12:09 PM » ECB Denies It Plotted to Burn Greece Bondholders in 2012
    Published Wed, Feb 25 2015 12:09 PM by Bloomberg
    ECB Denies It Plotted to Burn Greece Bondholders in 2012 Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- The European Central Bank denied there was a secret debt-swap deal that unfairly foisted losses onto other investors during the first restructuring of Greek debt. The ECB refuted as "inadmissible" a lawsuit by at least 210 Italian retail investors ... and more »
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