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  • Wed, Dec 3 2014
  • 11:55 AM » Small businesses sustain rapid job growth even as national employment growth slows
    Published Wed, Dec 03 2014 11:55 AM by Washington Post
    America's smallest businesses continued to add jobs at a rapid clip last month, even as the country's overall employment growth slowed, new private-sector data show. Small companies added 101,000 workers in November, essentially repeating the gains they posted in October, according to data collected by payroll processing firm ADP. This marks the sector's first back-to-back months of six-figure job growth since January-February 2012. Read full article >>
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 10:19 AM » Fresno, Not San Francisco, Among Nation's ‘Strong' Housing Markets, Trulia Says
    Published Wed, Dec 03 2014 10:19 AM by WSJ
    The best housing markets in the country include Boston, Seattle and Fresno, Calif.?
  • 10:19 AM » U.S. service sector growth at three-month high: ISM
    Published Wed, Dec 03 2014 10:19 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of growth in the U.S. services sector rose more than expected in November even as its employment component dipped, according to an industry report released on Wednesday.
  • 10:15 AM » 10-year yield could dip under 2%: BlackRock's Fink
    Published Wed, Dec 03 2014 10:15 AM by CNBC
    BlackRock's Larry Fink tells CNBC he sees bond yields under pressure in the short term as stocks motor ahead.
  • 8:48 AM » Private sector job creation misses target: ADP
    Published Wed, Dec 03 2014 8:48 AM by CNBC
    Private sector job creation kept up its recent pace in November, though the 208,000 new jobs waselow expectations.
  • 8:47 AM » Sales of Million-Dollar-Plus Homes Growing, But Who's Buying Is Shifting
    Published Wed, Dec 03 2014 8:47 AM by blog.redfin.com
    Sales of homes for $1 million and more continued to solidly outpace the rest of the housing market in the third quarter. Read More The post Sales of Million-Dollar-Plus Homes Growing, But Who's Buying Is Shifting appeared first on Redfin Real Estate Blog .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: blog.redfin.com
  • 8:46 AM » A few comments on the Seasonal Pattern for House Prices
    Published Wed, Dec 03 2014 8:46 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    A few key points: 1) There is a clear seasonal pattern for house prices. 2) The surge in distressed sales during the housing bust distorted the seasonal pattern. 3) Even though distressed sales are down significantly, the seasonal factor is based on several years of data - and the factor is now overstating the seasonal change. 4) Still the seasonal index is probably a better indicator of actual price movements than the Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA) index. For in depth description of these issues, see Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko's article "Let's Improve, Not Ignore, Seasonal Adjustment of Housing Data" Note: I was one of several people to question the change in the seasonal factor (here is a post in 2009 ) - and this led to S&P Case-Shiller questioning the seasonal factor too ( from April 2010 ).  I still use the seasonal factor (I think it is better than using the NSA data). Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the month-to-month change in the CoreLogic and NSA Case-Shiller National index since 1987 (both through September).   The seasonal pattern was smaller back in the '90s and early '00s, and increased since the bubble burst. Both indexes were negative seasonally (NSA) in September and will probably stay slightly negative for a few months. The second graph shows the seasonal factors for the Case-Shiller National index since 1987. The factors started to change near the peak of the bubble, and really increased during the bust. It appears the seasonal factor has started to decrease, and I expect that over the next several years - as the percent of distressed sales declines further and recent history is included in the factors - the seasonal factors will move back towards more normal levels.  However, as Kolko noted, there will be a lag with the seasonal factor since it is based on several years of recent data.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:46 AM » Fed's Fischer, Dudley Have Their Eyes on Return to Normal
    Published Wed, Dec 03 2014 8:46 AM by WSJ
    The Wall Street Journal's Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, December 3, 2014. Jon Hilsenrath considers recent comments by Janet Yellen's top lieutenants, and finds them keen to get on with the return to normality.
  • 8:44 AM » 5 Things to Watch in the ECB's December Meeting
    Published Wed, Dec 03 2014 8:44 AM by WSJ
    The European Central Bank meets Thursday in one of its most hotly-anticipated gatherings of the year. Top officials have fanned hopes that the ECB will pull the trigger on large-scale government bond purchases, known as quantitative easing or QE, in coming months amid super-low inflation.
  • 8:43 AM » US Q3 productivity revised up, wages slashed
    Published Wed, Dec 03 2014 8:43 AM by CNBC
    U.S. third-quarter nonfarm productivity grew faster than initially thought, while sharp revisions to compensation pointed to muted wage inflation.
  • 8:43 AM » Update: More 2015 Housing Forecasts
    Published Wed, Dec 03 2014 8:43 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    A few more updates ... Update 12/2/2014 added CoreLogic. Update 11/26/2014 for Merrill Lynch  (minor downward revisions) and Fannie Mae (Noveber update, no changes) Update 11/24/2014: I've added Metrostudy's forecast. Update: I've added the MBA  and Goldman Sachs forecasts.  Also Wells Fargo updated their forecast (slight changes). Towards the end of each year I collect some housing forecasts for the following year, and it looks like most analysts are optimistic for 2015. Here is a summary of forecasts for 2014 . In 2014, new home sales will be around 440 thousand, and total housing starts will be close to 1 million.  No one was close on New Home sales (all way too optimistic), and Michelle Meyer (Merrill Lynch) and Fannie Mae were the closest on housing starts (about 10% too high). In 2014, many analysts underestimated the impact of higher mortgage rates and higher new home prices on new home sales and starts. Note: Here is a summary of forecasts for 2013 . In 2013, new home sales were 429 thousand, and total housing starts were 925 thousand.  Barclays were the closest on New Home sales followed by David Crowe (NAHB).  Fannie Mae and the NAHB were the closest on housing starts. The table below shows several forecasts for 2015. From Fannie Mae: Housing Forecast: November 2014 From NAHB: Single-Family Production Poised to Take Off in 2015 I don't have Moody's Analytics' forecast, but Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics said today "that single-family starts could be closing in on 1 million units by the end of 2015 and multifamily production could go as high as 500,000 units."  That seems too high. I haven't worked up a forecast yet for 2015. Housing Forecasts for 2015 New Home Sales (000s) Single Family Starts (000s) Total Starts (000s) House Prices 1 CoreLogic 498 743 1,124 5.2% 5 Fannie Mae 523 783 1,170 4.9% 2 Goldman Sachs...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • Tue, Dec 2 2014
  • 10:31 PM » Treasury Yields Extend Advance Versus G-7 Peers as Economy Grows - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 10:31 PM by Bloomberg
    Treasury Yields Extend Advance Versus G-7 Peers as Economy Grows Bloomberg U.S. Treasury yields rose further above their Group-of-Seven peers, reaching the highest in almost eight years, before reports this week forecast to show America's economy continues to strengthen while Europe and Japan struggle. U.S. 10-year notes yielded ...
  • 10:29 PM » Wednesday: ISM Non-Mfg Index, ADP Employment, Beige Book
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 10:29 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Looking ahead to Friday, if net non-farm job growth (November plus revisions) is 222 thousand or more, than 2014 will be the best year for employment since the '90s. For the private sector, the magic number is 176 thousand to pass 2011 and be the best year since the '90s (seems very likely). Right now the consensus is for 235 thousand non-farm payroll jobs according to MarketWatch . Get ready to party like it's 1999! Wednesday: • At 7:00 AM ET, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index . • At 8:15 AM, the ADP Employment Report for November . This report is for private payrolls only (no government). The consensus is for 226,000 payroll jobs added in November, down from 230,000 in October. • At 10:00 AM, the ISM non-Manufacturing Index for November . The consensus is for a reading of 57.7, up from 57.1 in October. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion. • At 2:00 PM, the Federal Reserve Beige Book , an informal review by the Federal Reserve Banks of current economic conditions in their Districts.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 10:07 PM » Amazon Sells $6 Billion in Biggest Bond Deal for Online Retailer - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 10:07 PM by Bloomberg
    Amazon Sells $6 Billion in Biggest Bond Deal for Online Retailer Bloomberg Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) sold its biggest bond offering today as the online retailer pours money into drones, television programming and smartphones. The maker of the Kindle e-book reader issued $6 billion of notes in five parts, according to data compiled ... and more »
  • 10:06 PM » What Black Friday and Cyber Monday Don't Tell You About the Economy
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 10:06 PM by WSJ
    The 11% drop in early holiday shopping estimated by the National Retail Federation does not mean the U.S. economy is in trouble.
  • 9:59 PM » Fall of the Bond King: How Gross Lost Empire as Pimco Cracked - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 9:59 PM by Bloomberg
    Fall of the Bond King: How Gross Lost Empire as Pimco Cracked Bloomberg Bill Gross, the 70-year-old king of bonds, rushed through the offices of his $2 trillion empire on a Friday morning distributing hand-written notes. He knew his reign was over. The billionaire co-founder of Pacific Investment Management Co. and its undisputed ... and more »
  • 5:13 PM » Another Look at the Drop in Discretionary Spending
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 5:13 PM by WSJ
    An analysis of the U.S. government's Consumer Expenditure Survey by The Wall Street Journal shows how household budgets are tilting toward necessities and away from more discretionary outlays. Over at the New York Fed, economist Jonathan McCarthy has been poring through different data and reached a similar conclusion: Consumer spending on discretionary services took a [...]
  • 5:13 PM » Fed Officials Stress Data Over Dates as Rate Rise Case Builds - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 5:13 PM by Bloomberg
    Fed Officials Stress Data Over Dates as Rate Rise Case Builds Bloomberg Federal Reserve officials are signaling more confidence in the economy that moves them nearer to raising interest rates, and are stressing the liftoff is linked to data rather than dates to avoid unsettling markets. Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said today ...
  • 5:12 PM » News Release - Fannie Mae's Multifamily Mortgage Business ...
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 5:12 PM by Fannie Mae
    Fannie Mae announced today that it received a commercial loan master and special servicing ranking of.
  • 3:56 PM » Your tax breaks in limbo as Washington quarrels
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 3:56 PM by CNN
    Once again, there's a political hullabaloo in Washington over taxes. And, once again, any resolution will come down to the wire.
  • 3:53 PM » Hiring should pick up in 2015
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 3:53 PM by CNN
    If you're New Year's resolution is to get a job, you may be in luck. Employers predict they will be doing even more hiring in 2015.
  • 2:46 PM » HFT paper stirs up Wall Street
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 2:46 PM by CNBC
    Wall Street's biggest fight of the year focused on high-frequency trading, so it's fitting that 2014 ends with another round.
  • 12:40 PM » Investors most bullish on Treasuries since April: J.P. Morgan
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 12:40 PM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Investors turned most upbeat on U.S. Treasuries in nearly eight months as a weakening global economic outlook bolstered bets bond yields would stay low for a longer period, according to a J.P. Morgan Securities survey released on Tuesday. The share of long investors, or those who said on Monday they held more longer-dated Treasuries than their benchmarks, rose to 22 percent from 17 percent from the prior week.
  • 12:33 PM » Fed's Brainard Sees Need to Tailor Regulations to Size of Institution
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 12:33 PM by WSJ
    Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard said Tuesday the central bank recognizes that financial regulations need to be tailored to institutions of different sizes and business mod
  • 12:06 PM » Fischer Says Fed Nearing End of 'Considerable Time' Rate Pledge - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 12:06 PM by Bloomberg
    Fischer Says Fed Nearing End of 'Considerable Time' Rate Pledge Bloomberg Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer signaled officials are closer to dropping a vow to keep interest rates low for a "considerable time" and will stress economic data to guide the first increase since 2006. "You saw in the minutes of last meeting ...
  • 10:19 AM » U.S. construction spending posts biggest gain in five months
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 10:19 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - U.S. construction spending rose more than expected in October as both private and public outlays increased, which could ease concerns of a sharp slowdown in fourth-quarter economic growth.
  • 8:48 AM » 27 states on track to hit or pass bubble-era home-price peaks soon
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 8:48 AM by Market Watch
    Home prices picked up in October and more than half of U.S. states are on track to hit or pass peak bubble levels by the middle of 2015.
  • 8:47 AM » German Bonds Drop With France's as Investors Await ECB Meeting - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 8:47 AM by Bloomberg
    German Bonds Drop With France's as Investors Await ECB Meeting Bloomberg Germany's government bonds declined for a second day as investors considered whether European Central Bank officials will add further stimulus at their policy meeting this week. French 10-year securities also fell after Brent crude oil prices jumped the most ... and more »
  • 8:45 AM » U.S. Economic Confidence Index at 17-Month High
    Published Tue, Dec 02 2014 8:45 AM by www.gallup.com
    Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index climbed to -8 in November, the highest monthly reading in a year and a half. This is up four points from October and essentially ties the post-recession high of -7 in May 2013.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.gallup.com
  • Mon, Dec 1 2014
  • 11:23 PM » FBI: Unknown hackers released major malware in US
    Published Mon, Dec 01 2014 11:23 PM by CNBC
    Please check back for further updates.
  • 11:19 PM » Tuesday: Auto Sales, Construction Spending
    Published Mon, Dec 01 2014 11:19 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Oh no! From the WSJ: Dodgy Home Appraisals Are Making a Comeback An estimated one in seven appraisals conducted from 2011 through early 2014 inflated home values by 20% or more, according to data provided to The Wall Street Journal by Digital Risk Analytics, a subsidiary of Digital Risk LLC. The mortgage-analysis and consulting firm based in Maitland, Fla., was hired by some of the 20 largest lenders to review their loan files. The firm reviewed more than 200,000 mortgages, parsing the homes' appraised values and other information, including the properties' sizes and similar homes sold in the areas at the times. The review was conducted using the firm's software and staff appraisers. Bankers, appraisers and federal officials in interviews said inflated appraisals are becoming more widespread as the recovery in the housing market cools. During the bubble, the appraiser always seemed to "hit the number" - no matter how crazy.  I haven't seen anything like that in my area. Tuesday: • All day, Light vehicle sales for November . The consensus is for light vehicle sales to increase to 16.5 million SAAR in November from 16.3 million in October (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate). • At 10:00 AM ET, Construction Spending for October . The consensus is for a 0.5% increase in construction spending.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 5:53 PM » Fed's Dudley: Financial Market Reaction Key to Pace of Rate Increases
    Published Mon, Dec 01 2014 5:53 PM by WSJ
    Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley reiterated Monday the U.S. central bank is likely to start raising interest rates next summer, in remarks that explained the pace of interest-rate increases will be driven as much by the economy's performance as by how financial conditions react to changes in Fed policy.
  • 5:52 PM » Lower Gas Prices: How Big a Boost for the Economy?
    Published Mon, Dec 01 2014 5:52 PM by WSJ
    Rising global supplies of oil coupled with falling demand has brought prices down. What does it mean for the U.S. economy?
  • 5:40 PM » U.S. Corporate Bond Sales Pass $1.5 Trillion for Annual Record - Bloomberg
    Published Mon, Dec 01 2014 5:40 PM by Bloomberg
    U.S. Corporate Bond Sales Pass $1.5 Trillion for Annual Record Bloomberg U.S. corporate bond sales swelled to an annual record as a late-year rush by companies to lock in low interest rates pushed offerings for 2014 pass $1.5 trillion. Bolstered by issues last month including $8 billion from Internet commerce company Alibaba ...
  • 3:54 PM » Fischer: Fed's Current Concern Is How, When Best to Raise Interest Rates
    Published Mon, Dec 01 2014 3:54 PM by WSJ
    With the U.S. economy making progress, the focal point at the Federal Reserve these days is how and when best to lift interest rates from zero, the central bank's vice chairman said Monday.
  • 3:04 PM » Housing: Demographics for Renting and Buying
    Published Mon, Dec 01 2014 3:04 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    It was over four years ago that we started discussing the turnaround for apartments. Then, in January 2011, I attended the NMHC Apartment Strategies Conference in Palm Springs, and the atmosphere was very positive . (note: the beginning of this post is from an earlier post on apartment supply and demand ). The drivers were 1) very low new supply, and 2) strong demand (favorable demographics, and people moving from owning to renting). The demographics are still favorable for apartments, since  a large cohort is still moving into the 20 to 34 year old age group (a key age group for renters). Also, in 2015, based on Census Bureau projections, the two largest 5 year cohorts will be 20 to 24 years old, and 25 to 29 years old (the largest cohorts will no longer be the "boomers").  Note: Household formation would be a better measure than population, but reliable data for households is released with a long lag. Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the population in the 20 to 34 year age group has been increasing.  This is actual data from the Census Bureau for 1985 through 2010, and current projections from the Census Bureau from 2015 through 2035. The circled area shows the recent and projected increase for this group. From 2020 to 2030, the population for this key rental age group is expected to remain mostly unchanged. This favorable demographic is a key reason I've been positive on the apartment sector for the last several years - and I expect new apartment construction to stay strong for several more years. The second graph shows the longer term trend for several key age groups: 20 to 29, 25 to 34, and 30 to 39 (the groups overlap). This graph is from 1990 to 2060 (all data from BLS: 1990 to 2013 is actual, 2014 to 2060 is projected). We can see the surge in the 20 to 29 age group (red).  Once this group exceeded the peak in earlier periods, there was an increase in apartment construction.  This age...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 2:37 PM » Soaring mortgage fees could cost first-time buyers hundreds of dollars more a month
    Published Mon, Dec 01 2014 2:37 PM by Washington Post
    The fees borrowers must pony up for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration have gotten so high that consumer advocates have joined the housing industry's most prominent trade groups to call for lowering the costs. Read full article >>
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 2:35 PM » Fed leak revealed confidential info on bond-buying
    Published Mon, Dec 01 2014 2:35 PM by CNBC
    The Fed alerted top officials in 2012 when a newsletter distributed confidential details about its policy decisions, ProPublica reported Monday.
  • 1:16 PM » Americans' Consumer Spending Inches Up in November
    Published Mon, Dec 01 2014 1:16 PM by www.gallup.com
    Americans' daily spending reports averaged $95 throughout November, up from $89 in October and higher than the average in November 2013. Spending increased among consumers at all income levels.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.gallup.com
  • 1:15 PM » Home equity is back and homeowners are loving it
    Published Mon, Dec 01 2014 1:15 PM by CNBC
    Home equity loans jumped by 17 percent in the third quarter, but homeowners are being smarter about using the cash.
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Mortgage Rates:
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