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  • Fri, Mar 22 2019
  • 5:23 PM » Wall Street tumbles on global economic slowdown fears
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 5:23 PM by Reuters
    Wall Street stocks sold off sharply on Friday, with all three major U.S. stock indexes posting their biggest one-day percentage declines since Jan. 3, as weak factory data from the United States and Europe led to an inversion of U.S. Treasury yields, fueling fears of a global economic downturn.
  • 5:23 PM » Q1 GDP Forecasts: Around 1%
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 5:23 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From Goldman Sachs: We boosted our Q1 GDP tracking estimate by three tenths to +0.7% (qoq ar). However ... we lowered our past-quarter GDP tracking estimate for Q4 by two tenths to +2.1%. [March 22 estimate] emphasis added From the NY Fed Nowcasting Report The New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at 1.3% for 2019:Q1 and 1.7% for 2019:Q2. [Mar 22 estimate]. And from the Altanta Fed: GDPNow The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2019 is 1.2 percent on March 22, up from 0.4 percent on March 13. [Mar 13 estimate] CR Note: These early estimates suggest real GDP growth will be around 1% annualized in Q1.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 5:22 PM » Treasuries Buying Wave Triggers First Curve Inversion Since 2007 - Bloomberg
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 5:22 PM by Bloomberg
    Treasuries Buying Wave Triggers First Curve Inversion Since 2007    Bloomberg The Treasury yield curve inverted for the first time since the last crisis Friday, triggering the first reliable market signal of an impending recession and rate-cutting ...
  • 3:26 PM » BLS: Unemployment Rates at New Series Lows in Alabama, North Dakota, Tennesse and Vermont
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 3:26 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary Unemployment rates were lower in February in 4 states and stable in 46 states and the District of Columbia , the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. ... Iowa, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Vermont had the lowest unemployment rates in February, 2.4 percent each. The rates in Alabama (3.7 percent), North Dakota (2.4 percent), Tennessee (3.2 percent), and Vermont (2.4 percent) set new series lows . emphasis added Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the number of states (and D.C.) with unemployment rates at or above certain levels since January 1976. At the worst of the great recession, there were 11 states with an unemployment rate at or above 11% (red). Currently only one state, Alaska, has an unemployment rate at or above 6% (dark blue).  Note that the series low for Alaska is above 6%.  Four states and the D.C. have unemployment rates above 5%; Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico and West Virginia. A total of nine states are at the series low.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 3:08 PM » The Fed's policy switch may be too late to save the economy from fading
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 3:08 PM by CNBC
    Rather than take assurance that the Fed would come to the rescue again, market participants instead are beginning to wonder if that's still possible.
  • 2:20 PM » Mortgage rates are breaking to new lower territory, and they could stay there for months
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 2:20 PM by CNBC
    The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage is falling again today, as investors rush into the bond market. Mortgage rates loosely follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury. Lower rates area already igniting home buying. The concern is that these low rates will cause home prices to heat up again.
  • 1:56 PM » May Gets Two Week Brexit Delay: Now What?
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 1:56 PM by Bloomberg
    May Gets Two Week Brexit Delay: Now What?    Bloomberg EU leaders have agreed to give Theresa May an extra two weeks to work out what to do with Brexit. They told the prime minister that if lawmakers don't endorse ...
  • 1:16 PM » Fed's Pivot Marks a Major Break
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 1:16 PM by Bloomberg
    Fed's Pivot Marks a Major Break    Bloomberg Chairman Jerome Powell is moving the central bank away from models that have failed it and led to December's policy error.
  • 12:26 PM » All Signs Point to a Housing Boom Ahead
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 12:26 PM by Bloomberg
    All Signs Point to a Housing Boom Ahead    Bloomberg Investors have been so focused on how the Fed's dovish stance on interest rates led to a rebound in stock prices that they haven't yet digested how much this ...
  • 11:57 AM » Comments on February Existing Home Sales
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 11:57 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Earlier: NAR: Existing-Home Sales Increased to 5.51 million in February A few key points: 1) Seasonally February is one of the weakest months of the year for existing home sales (See Not Seasonally Adjusted NSA graph below).  Since existing home sales are counted at closing, these are properties that usually went under contract during the holidays or in early January.   So I wouldn't read too much into the pickup in February.   Sales will be stronger seasonally over the next several months.  The headline number was not a surprise (see note 3), and the pickup was probably due to lower mortgage rates and a stronger stock market (so buyers were more confident).  But the next several months are more important for existing home sales. 2) Inventory is still low, and was only up 3.2% year-over-year (YoY) in February. This was the seventh consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in inventory, although the YoY increase was smaller in February than in the three previous months. 3) As usual, housing economist Tom Lawler's forecast was closer to the NAR report than the consensus. See: Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in February .   The consensus was for sales of 5.08 million SAAR, Lawler estimated the NAR would report 5.46 million SAAR in February, and the NAR actually reported 5.51 million SAAR. Click on graph for larger image. The second graph shows existing home sales Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA). Sales NSA in February (312,000, red column) were below sales in February 2018 (319,000, NSA), and sales were the lowest for February since 2015.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:25 AM » Key Part of U.S. Curve Inverts for First Time Since 2007: Chart
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 11:25 AM by Bloomberg
    Key Part of U.S. Curve Inverts for First Time Since 2007: Chart    Bloomberg A widely watched section of the U.S. yield curve inverted on Friday for the first time since 2007, following the Federal Reserve's dovish meeting this week.
  • 10:58 AM » New Abnormal Marks a Watershed Moment in a Low-Rate World
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 10:58 AM by Bloomberg
    Fed's New Abnormal Marks a Watershed Moment in a Low-Rate World    Bloomberg Federal Reserve policy makers have concluded that when in doubt, do no harm.
  • 9:38 AM » Builders' Profit Margins Continue to (Slowly) Increase
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 9:38 AM by eyeonhousing.org
    Typically, one of the best-kept secrets in a private company is the share of total revenue that stays in the company after paying all operating costs and expenses. For a number of personal, business, or strategic reasons, that number - also known as net profit margin - tends to remain the purview of owner(s) and accountants. Despite these company-specific realities,... Read More ›
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: eyeonhousing.org
  • 9:07 AM » Trump: China trade deal likely; automakers can avoid tariffs with U.S. plants
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 9:07 AM by Reuters
    U.S. President Donald Trump said trade negotiations with China were progressing and a final agreement "will probably happen," adding that his call for tariffs to remain on Chinese imported goods for some time did not mean talks were in trouble.
  • 8:15 AM » German 10-year bond yields crash below zero as growth fears roil markets
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 8:15 AM by Reuters
    German 10-year bond yields dived below zero while European shares and the euro fell on Friday after grim data from the continent fuelled fears of a global economic slowdown following this week's dovish turn by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
  • 8:03 AM » Trump says GDP would have topped 4% if Fed had halted rate hikes sooner
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 8:03 AM by CNBC
    U.S. economic growth would be much stronger had the Federal Reserve stopped raising rates sooner, President Donald Trump said in an interview that aired Friday.
  • 8:03 AM » German 10-year yields dive below zero to two and a half year lows as growth fears roil markets
    Published Fri, Mar 22 2019 8:03 AM by Reuters
    German 10-year bond yields crashed briefly below zero while European shares and the euro fell on Friday after another set of disappointing German economic data added to fears of a global slowdown prompted by this week's dovish turn by the U.S. Fed.
  • Thu, Mar 21 2019
  • 6:02 PM » Uh, did Facebook just say it's competing with Zillow?
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 6:02 PM by The Basis Point
    Spencer White | March 21, 2019
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Basis Point
  • 6:02 PM » EU wrestles with short Brexit delay as 'no deal' looms
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 6:02 PM by Reuters
    European Union leaders wrangled on Thursday over what kind of Brexit delay to offer Britain as their hopes faded that Prime Minister Theresa May can win over her own parliament to ensure an orderly withdrawal.
  • 3:55 PM » Black Knight: National Mortgage Delinquency Rate Increased in February
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 3:55 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    CR Note: It is possible that some of the increase in the delinquency rate in February was due to late tax refunds. From Black Knight: Black Knight's First Look: Bucking Historical Seasonal Trend, February Sees Delinquencies Rise; Prepayments Up 11 Percent, Driven by Softening Interest Rates • Delinquencies rose by 3.7 percent in February, the first February increase in 12 years • Despite the monthly rise, delinquencies remain more than 9.5 percent below last year's level • At 40,400 for the month, foreclosure starts were down 19.5 percent from January and edged close to September 2018's 15-year low • The national foreclosure rate improved marginally and is now down more than 21 percent year-over-year • Prepayment speeds rose by 11 percent from January's 18-year low, suggesting an increase in refinance activity driven by the recent decline in 30-year interest rates According to Black Knight's First Look report for February, the percent of loans delinquent increased 3.7% in February compared to January, and decreased 9.5% year-over-year. The percent of loans in the foreclosure process decreased 0.4% in February and were down 21.3% over the last year. Black Knight reported the U.S. mortgage delinquency rate (loans 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure) was 3.89% in February, up from 3.75% in January. The percent of loans in the foreclosure process decreased slightly in February to 0.51% from 0.51% in January. The number of delinquent properties, but not in foreclosure, is down 179,000 properties year-over-year, and the number of properties in the foreclosure process is down 67,000 properties year-over-year. Black Knight: Percent Loans Delinquent and in Foreclosure Process   Feb 2019 Jan 2019 Feb 2018 Feb 2017 Delinquent 3.89% 3.75% 4.30% 4.21% In Foreclosure 0.51% 0.51% 0.65% 0.93% Number of properties: Number of properties that are delinquent, but not in foreclosure: 2,019,000 1,945,000 2,198,000 2,135,000 Number...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 2:38 PM » The Fed is prodding Americans to buy more on credit
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 2:38 PM by Reuters
    The Federal Reserve's decisive statement this week that interest rates are unlikely to rise this year sends a signal to U.S. households: keep buying stuff.
  • 2:37 PM » As the Housing Market Shifts to Favor Buyers, This Remains the Biggest Hurdle
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 2:37 PM by www.realtor.com
    Since the summer, more homes have gone up for sale, mortgage rates have dropped, and price appreciation is waning. But that still doesn't help many home buyers for this reason. The post As the Housing Market Shifts to Favor Buyers, This Remains the Biggest Hurdle appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com® .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.realtor.com
  • 1:07 PM » Existing Home Sales for February: Upside Surprise (Surprise for others)
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 1:07 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    The NAR is scheduled to release Existing Home Sales for February at 10:00 AM on Friday, March 22nd. The consensus is for 5.08 million SAAR, up from 4.94 million in January. Housing economist Tom Lawler estimates the NAR will reports sales of 5.46 million SAAR for February and that inventory will be up 5.7% year-over-year. Based on Lawler's estimate, I expect existing home sales to be well above the consensus for February . Housing economist Tom Lawler has been sending me his predictions of what the NAR will report for almost 9 years.  The table below shows the consensus for each month, Lawler's predictions, and the NAR's initially reported level of sales.  Lawler hasn't always been closer than the consensus, but usually when there has been a fairly large spread between Lawler's estimate and the "consensus", Lawler has been closer. Last month, in January 2018, the consensus was for sales of 5.05 million on a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis. Lawler estimated the NAR would report 4.92 million, and the NAR reported 4.94 million (as usual Lawler was closer than the consensus). NOTE: There have been times when Lawler "missed", but then he pointed out an apparent error in the NAR data - and the subsequent revision corrected that error.  As an example, see: The "Curious Case" of Existing Home Sales in the South in April Over the last almost 9 years, the consensus average miss was 144 thousand, and  Lawler's average miss was 67 thousand. Existing Home Sales, Forecasts and NAR Report millions, seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR) Month Consensus Lawler NAR reported 1 May-10 6.20 5.83 5.66 Jun-10 5.30 5.30 5.37 Jul-10 4.66 3.95 3.83 Aug-10 4.10 4.10 4.13 Sep-10 4.30 4.50 4.53 Oct-10 4.50 4.46 4.43 Nov-10 4.85 4.61 4.68 Dec-10 4.90 5.13 5.28 Jan-11 5.20 5.17 5.36 Feb-11 5.15 5.00 4.88 Mar-11 5.00 5.08 5.10 Apr-11 5.20 5.15 5.05 May-11 4.75 4.80 4.81 Jun-11 4.90 4.71 4.77...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 1:04 PM » Beneath Fed's positive spin, an embrace of a tepid future
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 1:04 PM by Reuters
    Federal Reserve policymakers see a U.S. economy that is rapidly losing momentum. They predict inflation will miss their 2 percent target for yet another year, despite rising wages, and they expect unemployment to increase.
  • 11:54 AM » IMF supports U.S. Fed's 'patient' halt to rate hikes
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 11:54 AM by Reuters
    The International Monetary Fund supports the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to halt its campaign to raise interest rates as a prudent move amid economic uncertainty, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said on Thursday.
  • 11:04 AM » Mortgage rates just tanked – and they could go even lower
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 11:04 AM by CNBC
    The move in mortgage rates followed Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's announcement that the central bank would end the so-called run-off of bonds from its balance sheet sooner than most expected. That caused the yield on the 10-year Treasury to tumble. Mortgage rates loosely follow that yield.
  • 9:50 AM » Philly Fed Mfg "Improved" in March
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 9:50 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the Philly Fed: March 2019 Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey Manufacturing conditions in the region improved this month , according to firms responding to the March Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. The indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments returned to positive territory, while the indicator for employment remained positive. Price pressures also moderated, according to the surveyed firms. Most of the survey's indexes for future conditions continued to moderate, but the firms remained generally optimistic about growth over the next six months. The index for current manufacturing activity in the region increased from a reading of -4.1 in February to 13.7 this month . The index nearly recovered its decline from last month, when it dropped to its first negative reading in almost three years . ... The firms continued to add to their payrolls this month. The current employment index, however, decreased from a reading of 14.5 in February to 9.6 this month. emphasis added Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index: Click on graph for larger image. The New York and Philly Fed surveys are averaged together (yellow, through March), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through February) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through February (right axis). This suggests the ISM manufacturing index will show expansion again in March, and probably at a slightly faster pace than in February.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:20 AM » Scared of Stocks? Buy a House Instead
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 9:20 AM by Bloomberg
    Scared of Stocks? Buy a House Instead    Bloomberg New research shows that real estate is both a better and safer investment than previously believed.
  • 8:49 AM » Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decreased to 221,000
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 8:49 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    The DOL reported : In the week ending March 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 221,000 , a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 229,000 to 230,000. The 4-week moving average was 225,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 223,750 to 224,000. emphasis added The previous week was revised up. The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971. Click on graph for larger image. The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims increased to 225,000. This was slightly below to the consensus forecast.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:05 AM » Bank of England holds interest rates steady amid Brexit chaos
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 8:05 AM by CNBC
    The Bank of England (BOE) held interest rates steady on Thursday, amid intensifying uncertainty over Britain's departure date from the European Union.
  • 8:02 AM » Global stocks wilt as Fed shift sparks stampede into bonds
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 8:02 AM by Reuters
    European shares wilted and there was a stampede into bonds on Thursday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve's abandonment of all plans to raise rates this year left traders wondering what might be lurking in the shadows.
  • 8:02 AM » Inside the Fed's balance sheet in four charts
    Published Thu, Mar 21 2019 8:02 AM by Reuters
    The Federal Reserve will remain the top holder of U.S. Treasuries for the foreseeable future after the central bank said it would stop shrinking its $4 trillion balance sheet by the end of September.
  • Wed, Mar 20 2019
  • 3:43 PM » Instant View: Steady Fed sees no more hikes in 2019
    Published Wed, Mar 20 2019 3:43 PM by Reuters
    The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady on Wednesday and its policymakers abandoned projections for further rate hikes this year as the U.S. central bank flagged an expected slowdown in the economy.
  • 2:24 PM » Fed holds rates steady, to slow balance sheet reduction
    Published Wed, Mar 20 2019 2:24 PM by Reuters
    The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady on Wednesday and its policymakers abandoned projections for further rate hikes this year as the U.S. central bank flagged an expected slowdown in the economy.
  • 2:24 PM » Fed now sees no rate hikes in 2019
    Published Wed, Mar 20 2019 2:24 PM by CNBC
    The Federal Open Market Committee released its quarterly economic forecast, which includes the so-called dot plot of where members anticipate interest rates to head.
  • 1:31 PM » Wall Street Is Betting the Fed's Rate-Raising Days Are Over, for Now
    Published Wed, Mar 20 2019 1:31 PM by www.nytimes.com
    Money has finally started to chase this year's stock market rally, which has been driven largely by the Fed's sharp turn away from last year's steady rate increases.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.nytimes.com
  • 1:31 PM » California Has the Jobs but Not Enough Homes
    Published Wed, Mar 20 2019 1:31 PM by www.realtor.com
    California's economy is adding jobs far faster than affordable places to live, forcing some employers to leave the state as they expand. The post California Has the Jobs but Not Enough Homes appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com® .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.realtor.com
  • 12:02 PM » Germany: Expect EU decision on how to proceed with May's Brexit extension on Thursday
    Published Wed, Mar 20 2019 12:02 PM by Reuters
    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Wednesday that he expected European leaders meeting at a summit in Brussels on Thursday to make a decision on how to proceed with British Prime Minister Theresa May's request for a three-month Brexit delay.
  • 10:30 AM » AIA: "Billings Moderate in February Following Robust New Year"
    Published Wed, Mar 20 2019 10:30 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Note: This index is a leading indicator primarily for new Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment. From the AIA: Billings Moderate in February Following Robust New Year rchitecture firm billings growth softened in February but remained positive, according to a new report today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA). AIA's Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for February was 50.3, down from 55.3 in January. Indicators of work in the pipeline, including inquiries into new projects and the value of new design contracts remained positive. "Overall business conditions at architecture firms across the country have remained generally healthy," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. "Firms in the south recorded continued strong design activity, likely reflecting a healthy regional economy and ongoing rebuilding from the catastrophic 2018 hurricane season." ... • Regional averages: South (58.3), West (51.6), Northeast (51.5), Midwest (51.3) • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (57.2), commercial/industrial (53.9), multi-family residential (51.6), institutional (50.9) emphasis added Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the Architecture Billings Index since 1996. The index was at 50.3 in February, down from 55.3 in January. Anything above 50 indicates expansion in demand for architects' services. Note: This includes commercial and industrial facilities like hotels and office buildings, multi-family residential, as well as schools, hospitals and other institutions. According to the AIA, there is an "approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending" on non-residential construction.  This index has been positive for 17 consecutive months, suggesting a further increase in CRE investment in 2019.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:14 AM » What to Expect When the Fed Is Expecting Inflation
    Published Wed, Mar 20 2019 8:14 AM by Bloomberg
    What to Expect When the Fed Is Expecting Inflation    Bloomberg It has been focused on keeping inflation low for decades. How can the central bank credibly change its approach?
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