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  • Tue, Feb 20 2018
  • 5:32 PM » Q1 GDP Forecasts
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 5:32 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    It is early, but here are few Q1 GDP forecast. From Merrill Lynch: The weak retail sales data sliced 0.3pp from our 1Q estimate to 2.0% , while 4Q 2017 dropped to 2.5% from 2.7%. And from the Altanta Fed: GDPNow The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2018 is 3.2 percent on February 16, unchanged from February 14. From the NY Fed Nowcasting Report The New York Fed Staff Nowcast for 2018:Q1 stands at 3.1% . CR Note: It looks likely that GDP will be 2% to low 3% range again in Q1.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 5:32 PM » U.S. short-term borrowing costs rise to highest since 2008
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 5:32 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Some of the U.S. government's short-term borrowing costs rose to their highest in more than nine years on Tuesday as it raised $179 billion in the Treasury securities market to fund spending and make debt payments.
  • 2:59 PM » Investors might be freaking out about higher interest rates, but Credit Suisse says the stock market is not
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 2:59 PM by CNBC
    Rising interest rates may not be the culprit many investors think they are, according to a Credit Suisse study.
  • 2:58 PM » Update: For Fun, Stock Market as Barometer of Policy Success
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 2:58 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Note: This is mostly a repeat of a June 2017 post with updated statistics and graph, and one new quote. There are a number of observers who think the stock market is the key barometer of policy success.  My view is there are many measures of success - and that the economy needs to work well for a majority of the people - not just stock investors . However, for example, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was on CNBC on Feb 22, 2017, and was asked if the stock market rally was a vote of confidence in the new administration, he replied: " Absolutely, this is a mark-to-market business, and you see what the market thinks ." And Larry Kudlow wrote in 2007: A Stock Market Vote of Confidence for Bush : "I have long believed that stock markets are the best barometer of the health, wealth and security of a nation . And today's stock market message is an unmistakable vote of confidence for the president ." Note: Kudlow's comments were made a few months before the market started selling off in the Great Recession. For more on Kudlow, see: Larry Kudlow is usually wrong Update: And from White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn on December 20, 2017 : "I think there is a lot more momentum in the stock market. ... "The stock market is reflecting the reality of what's going in the business environment today," said Cohn, director of the National Economic Council. "There is going to be a continuation [of the] rally in the equity markets based on real underlying fundamentals of the U.S. economy ... as well as companies having more earnings power because of lower tax rates." For fun, here is a graph comparing S&P500 returns (ex-dividends) under Presidents Trump and Obama: Click on graph for larger image. Blue is for Mr. Obama, Orange is for Mr. Trump. At this point, the S&P500 is up 20.2% under Mr. Trump - compared to up 37.4% under Mr. Obama for the same number of market...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 12:13 PM » Inflation Looks Poised to Bounce Back Big Time: Eco Research Wrap
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 12:13 PM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Inflation Looks Poised to Bounce Back Big Time: Eco Research Wrap Bloomberg If you've been waiting for the U.S. unemployment-inflation relationship to reassert itself, 2018 may be the year for you. Not only are recent inflation data showing signs of a pickup, but analysts say that price indexes that don't usually move in ... and more »
  • 11:58 AM » Bond Traders' Big Feast: $250 Billion of US Auctions in 3 Days
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 11:58 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Bond Traders' Big Feast: $250 Billion of US Auctions in 3 Days Bloomberg The latest debt-ceiling drama is over, and the floodgates are open for the U.S. Treasury to step up issuance. It'll be up to bond traders this week to signal how much that extra supply will cost American taxpayers. In a week shortened by the Presidents ... and more »
  • 11:23 AM » Chemical Activity Barometer Increased in February
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 11:23 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Note: This appears to be a leading indicator for industrial production. From the American Chemistry Council: Industrial Activity Signals Further Gains in U.S. Economy he Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), expanded 0.5 percent in February on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis , its fifth such solid gain following the 2017 hurricanes. On an unadjusted basis, growth was just 0.1 percent. The CAB is up 4.2 percent on a 3MMA compared to a year earlier . ... Applying the CAB back to 1912, it has been shown to provide a lead of two to fourteen months, with an average lead of eight months at cycle peaks as determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The median lead was also eight months. At business cycle troughs, the CAB leads by one to seven months, with an average lead of four months. The median lead was three months. The CAB is rebased to the average lead (in months) of an average 100 in the base year (the year 2012 was used) of a reference time series. The latter is the Federal Reserve's Industrial Production Index. emphasis added Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the year-over-year change in the 3-month moving average for the Chemical Activity Barometer compared to Industrial Production.  It does appear that CAB (red) generally leads Industrial Production (blue). The year-over-year increase in the CAB has been solid over the last year, suggesting further gains in industrial production in 2018.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 10:53 AM » Fed's Haste Makes Canadian Debt a Better Bet Than Treasuries
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 10:53 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Fed's Haste Makes Canadian Debt a Better Bet Than Treasuries Bloomberg Canadian government bonds are outperforming their U.S. counterparts by the most in seven months, an advantage that's unlikely to disappear soon with the northern central bank in less of a rush to raise interest rates. "There's way too much optimism ... and more »
  • 10:26 AM » The US 10-Year Looks Poised to Cross a Red Line This Week
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 10:26 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg The US 10-Year Looks Poised to Cross a Red Line This Week Bloomberg Enter the danger zone. Bond markets are signaling the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield may reach 3 percent as early as this week -- a potential watershed for risk appetite across asset classes. A deluge of debt supply and the strengthening momentum of bears ... and more »
  • 10:09 AM » Ten Years Ago: Housing Starts were down Sharply as the Great Recession Started
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 10:09 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    It is hard to believe this was 10 years ago ... Ten years ago today, I discussed housing starts: Single Family Housing Starts Lowest Since Jan 1991 "Single-family housing starts in January were at a rate of 743,000; this is 5.2 percent below the December figure of 784,000." ... ingle family starts [are] at the lowest level since the '91 recession. Single family starts had collapsed significantly, but still had much further to fall. Single family starts reached the lowest on record (since 1968) of 353 thousand SAAR in March 2009. It wasn't until April 2015 that single family starts were back up to the level of January 2008! Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows total and single unit starts since 1968. In the latest report, single starts were at 877 thousand SAAR. Well above the recession low, but still fairly low historically.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:38 AM » Home Depot's earnings powered by strong U.S. housing market
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 9:38 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Home Depot Inc's profit and revenue beat market estimates for the sixth straight quarter as more shoppers visited the No.1 U.S. home improvement chain and, on an average, spent more in an improving housing market.
  • 9:17 AM » Treasury $258 Billion Bond Auction Is Hogging All the Attention
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 9:17 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Treasury $258 Billion Bond Auction Is Hogging All the Attention Bloomberg U.S. Treasury bonds fell across the board on Tuesday as investors demanded higher yields ahead of record issuance of three- and six-month bills this week. Two-year Treasuries led the selloff, while the eurodollar curve -- which is used to extrapolate ... and more »
  • 8:42 AM » Zero-down home loans are back. Be very leery.
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 8:42 AM by Washington Post
    These loans still have a dark side. Remember the housing market collapse?
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 8:41 AM » New Home Size Continues to Fall
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 8:41 AM by eyeonhousing.org
    After increasing and leveling off in recent years, new single-family home size continued to decline during the final quarter of 2017. This pivot marks a reversal of the trend that had been in place as builders focused on the higher end of the market during the start of the recovery. As the entry-level market expands, NAHB expects typical new home size to... Read More ›
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: eyeonhousing.org
  • 8:39 AM » Townhouse Construction Expands
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 8:39 AM by eyeonhousing.org
    According to NAHB analysis of the most recent Census data of Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design, townhouse construction starts continue to post gains. Over the course of 2017, townhouse starts totaled 104,000, 7% higher than 2016. Townhouses, or single-family attached housing, accounted for 29,000 starts during the fourth quarter of 2017, 21% higher than the total during the fourth... Read More ›
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: eyeonhousing.org
  • 8:39 AM » Home Depot's profit, sales top estimates on higher traffic, spending
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 8:39 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Home Depot Inc's profit beat market estimates for the sixth straight quarter on Tuesday as more shoppers visited the No.1 U.S. home improvement chain and spent more on average amid an improving housing market.
  • 8:39 AM » Upon 'Further' Review: Fed May Finally Say What That Word Meant
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 8:39 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Upon 'Further' Review: Fed May Finally Say What That Word Meant Bloomberg Federal Reserve officials added the word "further" twice to their January statement. On Wednesday, investors may find out why. At Chair Janet Yellen's last meeting Jan. 30-31, the central bank pledged twice to make "further gradual adjustments" in ... and more »
  • 8:38 AM » Morgan Stanley Says Stock Slide Was Just Appetizer for Real Deal
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 8:38 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Morgan Stanley Says Stock Slide Was Just Appetizer for Real Deal Bloomberg The U.S. stock market only had a taste of the potential damage from higher bond yields earlier this year, with the biggest test yet to come, according to Morgan Stanley. "Appetizer, not the main course," is how the bank's strategists led by London ...
  • 8:38 AM » Jittery U.S. bond market braces for supply wave
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 8:38 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bond investors, who have been on edge over signs of growing inflation and a possibly more aggressive Federal Reserve, will have their work cut out for them as the U.S. government seeks to sell $258 billion worth of debt this coming week.
  • 8:37 AM » The Housing Bubble, Mortgage Debt as Percent of GDP
    Published Tue, Feb 20 2018 8:37 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Last year on Presidents' Day, I excerpted from a post I wrote in February 2005 (yes, 13 years ago). In that 2005 post, I included a graph of household mortgage debt as a percent of GDP. Several readers asked if I could update the graph. First, from 2005: The following chart shows household mortgage debt as a % of GDP. Although mortgage debt has been increasing for years, the last four years have seen a tremendous increase in debt. Last year alone mortgage debt increased close to $800 Billion - almost 7% of GDP. Source: Federal Reserve  The second graph shows household mortgage debt as a percent of GDP through Q4 2017.  Yes, the graphs have improved! Mortgage debt has declined by $0.7 trillion from the peak. Studies suggest most of the decline in debt has been because of foreclosures (or short sales), but some of the decline is from homeowners paying down debt (sometimes so they can refinance at better rates). The "bubble" is pretty obvious on this graph, and the sharp increase in mortgage debt was one of the warning signs.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
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