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  • Thu, Mar 5 2015
  • 1:55 PM » Prepared Remarks of Melvin L. Watt Director FHFA at the Goldman Sachs Housing Finance Conference
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 1:55 PM by FHFA
    It is a pleasure to be here with you this afternoon. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the work underway at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to fulfill our statutory mandates, which include ensuring the safety and soundness of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks and ensuring liquidity in the housing finance markets.
  • 1:52 PM » BofA's $8.5 billion mortgage settlement upheld by appeals court
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 1:52 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp's proposed $8.5 billion settlement with investors in mortgage-backed securities has upheld by a New York state appeals court.
  • 12:23 PM » BofA Sees Bond Traders Making Big Mistake in Underestimating Fed
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 12:23 PM by Bloomberg
    BofA Sees Bond Traders Making Big Mistake in Underestimating Fed Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp. analyst Hans Mikkelsen says bond traders are too comfortable with the idea that borrowing costs will stay low for years to come. He argues the market is underestimating the Federal Reserve's desire for higher long-term ...
  • 12:23 PM » Goldman February Payrolls Preview
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 12:23 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Yesterday I posted a employment preview for February. Here are some excerpts from Goldman Sachs economist David Mericle: We expect nonfarm payroll job growth of 220k in February , below the consensus forecast of 235k. Labor market indicators were mixed in February, and we expect that the effect of four major snowstorms in the month leading into the February survey week will also weigh on payroll growth . We expect a one-tenth decline in the unemployment rate to 5.6%, reversing the increase seen last month. On average hourly earnings, our baseline expectation is for a 0.2% increase, but we see some upside risk from possible statistical distortions related to the severe snowstorms. emphasis added
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 12:21 PM » Fannie-Freddie Profit Sweep Defended as Treasury Seeks Wind Down
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 12:21 PM by Bloomberg
    Fannie-Freddie Profit Sweep Defended as Treasury Seeks Wind Down Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- The government sweep of profits from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was defended by the top Treasury Department housing official, who called again for Congress to replace the U.S.-owned mortgage-finance giants. Michael Stegman, a senior ...
  • 10:54 AM » Fed shifts power away from New York
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 10:54 AM by CNBC
    The New York Federal Reserve Bank's regulatory power shifted to a committee in Washington, the WSJ reported on Thursday.
  • 10:54 AM » US factory orders fall again in Jan.
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 10:54 AM by CNBC
    New orders for U.S. factory goods unexpectedly fell in January, posting their sixth straight monthly decline.
  • 10:52 AM » Draghi's ECB News Conference - 2 Minute Video Recap
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 10:52 AM by Bloomberg
    Draghi's ECB News Conference in Cyprus in Two Minutes Bloomberg March 5 -- European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks about its bond purchase plans and the effectiveness of policy. Watch all the key moments from Draghi's news conference in Nicosia in two minutes. (Excerpts.) ... and more »
  • 10:51 AM » Mortgage Rates Move Lower
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 10:51 AM by
    Mortgage Rates Move Lower
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:23 AM » Greece cannot rely on ECB to dodge funding crunch
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 9:23 AM by Reuters
    NICOSIA (Reuters) - Greece cannot rely on the European Central Bank to raise a limit on Athens' issuance of short-term debt, ECB President Mario Draghi suggested on Thursday.
  • 9:23 AM » ECB slashes 2015 inflation outlook to 0%
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 9:23 AM by Market Watch
    LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Inflation in the eurozone is likely to remain critically low over the next few months, with consumer-price growth set to average only 0% in 2015, according to the European Central Bank's latest staff projections released on Thursday. The outlook marks a sharp revision from the 0.7% forecast from December, reflecting the negative impact from lower prices. However, inflation should start to gradually pick up in the latter half of 2015, supported by "the favorable impact of our recent monetary policy measures", a weak euro and lower oil prices, ECB President Mario Draghi said at the news conference. For 2016, the bank lifted its inflation forecast to 1.5%, up from 1.3% expected previously. For 2017, the ECB expects inflation to rise to 1.8%, close to the central bank's target of just below 2%.
  • 9:23 AM » U.S. jobless claims rise; fourth-quarter productivity revised down
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 9:23 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week and nonfarm productivity contracted more sharply than previously thought in the fourth quarter.
  • 9:13 AM » Home equity loans face new risk
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 9:13 AM by CNBC
    The pain of all that overstretching during the last housing boom isn't over yet.
  • 9:12 AM » Boston housing in a deep freeze; Don't blame snow
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 9:12 AM by CNBC
    Sales of existing homes in Boston were down in January, but those buyers made offers before the big snow hit.
  • 9:05 AM » ECB Ready to Buy Bonds as Draghi Signals Inflation Goal in Reach - Bloomberg
    Published Thu, Mar 05 2015 9:05 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg ECB Ready to Buy Bonds as Draghi Signals Inflation Goal in Reach Bloomberg European Central Bank's (ECB) president Mario Draghi arrives at the EU parliament for a debate on ECB's activities in Brussels on Feb. 25, 2015. Photographer: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images. (Bloomberg) -- Mario Draghi primed investors to be ready for ... and more »
  • Wed, Mar 4 2015
  • 10:35 PM » This is what $1M can buy you...
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 10:35 PM by CNBC
    A million dollars isn't what it used to be, especially in the world's luxury real estate markets.
  • 10:17 PM » Bond Returns Show Why Investors Shouldn't Fight the Central Bank
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 10:17 PM by Bloomberg
    Bond Returns Show Why Investors Shouldn't Fight the Central Bank Bloomberg Euro-zone government bonds returned 13 percent in the past year, data compiled by Bloomberg show, as investors correctly bet the European Central Bank would start buying the securities to head off deflation. The ECB meets Thursday and plans to begin ... and more »
  • 4:35 PM » Preview for February Employment Report
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 4:35 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for February. The consensus, according to Bloomberg , is for an increase of 230,000 non-farm payroll jobs in February (with a range of estimates between 200,000 and 252,000), and for the unemployment rate to decline to 5.6%. The BLS reported 257,000 jobs added in January. Here is a summary of recent data: • The ADP employment report showed an increase of 212,000 private sector payroll jobs in February. This was below expectations of 220,000 private sector payroll jobs added. The ADP report hasn't been very useful in predicting the BLS report for any one month, but in general, this suggests employment growth slightly below expectations. • The ISM manufacturing employment index  decreased in February to 51.4%. A historical correlation between the ISM manufacturing employment index and the BLS employment report for manufacturing, suggests that private sector BLS manufacturing payroll jobs declined by 10,000 in February. The ADP report indicated a 3,000 increase for manufacturing jobs in February. The ISM non-manufacturing employment index decreased in January to 56.4%. A historical correlation  between the ISM non-manufacturing employment index and the BLS employment report for non-manufacturing, suggests that private sector BLS non-manufacturing payroll jobs increased about 245,000 in February. Combined, the ISM indexes suggests employment gains of 235,000.  This suggests growth close to expectations. • Initial weekly unemployment claims averaged close to 295,000 in January, down from 298,000 in January. For the BLS reference week (includes the 12th of the month), initial claims were at 282,000; this was up from 308,000 during the reference week in January. Generally this suggests slightly fewer layoffs, seasonally adjusted, in February compared to January. • The final  February University of Michigan consumer sentiment index decreased to 95.4 from...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 4:34 PM » The US Housing Market
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 4:34 PM by The Big Picture
    Source: WSJ
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 4:34 PM » 5 Takeaways from the 2009 Fed Transcripts
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 4:34 PM by WSJ
    Federal Reserve officials spent 2009 worrying about the worst U.S. economic downturn they had seen in their lives, the weakness of the nascent recovery and the uncertainties surrounding their policy options.
  • 2:25 PM » Notes From 2009: Ben Bernanke Has an Impressive Passive-Aggressive Streak, and Other Things We Learned in the New Fed Transcripts
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 2:25 PM by
    The transcripts from 2009 show more than just how some of the nation's top economic policy makers made their decisions.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:25 PM » Key Republican Lawmaker Calls for Review of Fed Structure
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 2:25 PM by WSJ
    U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R., Ala.) said Tuesday his panel will review the Federal Reserve's structure, given its broad new powers over the financial system.
  • 2:23 PM » Fed's Beige Book: Economic Activity Expanded "across most regions", Oil "declined"
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 2:23 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Fed's Beige Book "Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and based on information collected on or before February 23, 2015. " Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicate that economic activity continued to expand across most regions and sectors from early January through mid-February. Six Districts noted that the local economy expanded at a moderate pace since the prior reporting period. Activity rose modestly in Philadelphia and Cleveland, while it increased slightly in Kansas City. Dallas noted a similar pace of growth as in the previous period, while Richmond reported that activity slowed from the modest pace seen in the prior period. Boston noted that business contacts were fairly upbeat this period, notwithstanding the severe weather.... Oil and natural gas drilling declined in the Cleveland, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Dallas Districts. In contrast, the Richmond District reported that natural gas production was unchanged. The number of drilling rigs for oil and natural gas declined sharply in the Cleveland, Minneapolis, and Kansas City Districts. Oil and gas producers in the Cleveland, Kansas City, and Dallas Districts anticipate cuts in capital expenditures during 2015. Coal production was unchanged in both the Cleveland and Richmond Districts, while it increased modestly in the St. Louis District. Both the Cleveland and Richmond Districts reported lower coal prices. And on real estate: Residential real estate conditions were mixed across the Districts. Home sales and prices increased in most Districts; construction activity was mixed, with some Districts reporting disruptions due to severe weather. Residential sales increased in Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond, St. Louis, Dallas, and San Francisco. Sales fell in Cleveland and Kansas City. Contacts in New York, Philadelphia, and Cleveland partially attributed lower construction to inclement weather conditions. Contacts in Boston noted low levels of inventory due, in part...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 1:14 PM » This clause can keep you from accessing homeowners insurance claim money
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 1:14 PM by Market Watch
    A little-known clause in most homeowner insurance polices can cause weeks or months of hassle when it comes to getting damage claims paid.
  • 1:13 PM » How Mortgage Finance Affects the Urban Landscape
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 1:13 PM by NY Fed
    Sewin Chan, Andrew F. Haughwout, and Joseph Tracy. How Mortgage Finance Affects the Urban Landscape. Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Reports Staff Report Number 713, February 2015.
  • 1:13 PM » 2009 Was the Height of the Storm for the Fed
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 1:13 PM by Bloomberg
    2009 Was the Height of the Storm for the Fed Bloomberg March 4 -- Ben S. Bernanke knew the Federal Reserve was passing the point of no return in March 2009, when it dramatically increased bond purchases to battle the severest recession since the Great Depression. Bloomberg's Michael McKee reports on ...
  • 1:13 PM » Fed struggled with 2009 bailouts, bond-buying: transcripts
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 1:13 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve struggled with the message being sent by its involvement in bank bailouts in 2009 and worried about its implementation of a bond-buying program aimed at easing the financial crisis, according to transcripts released by the U.S. central bank on Wednesday.
  • 10:56 AM » Fed's Evans Says Low Inflation Is A Bit of a Puzzle
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 10:56 AM by WSJ
    Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Wednesday that low inflation remains a bit of a puzzle as the economy shows momentum.
  • 10:56 AM » David Zervos: Here's Who's Buying all That Debt at Negative Yields - Bloomberg
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 10:56 AM by Bloomberg
    David Zervos: Here's Who's Buying all That Debt at Negative Yields Bloomberg David Zervos at Jefferies takes a look at negative yielding European sovereign debt in a note sent to clients today. In the note he asks what seems like an obvious question: "Who in their right mind would ever buy this many negative yielding bonds? Or, put ...
  • 10:54 AM » Yellen in June 2009: Sluggish Recovery, Low inflation for "few years"
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 10:54 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    The Federal Reserve released the transcripts for the 2009 FOMC meetings today. Here is SF Fed President Janet Yellen in June 2009 : Thank you, Mr. Chairman. At our meeting in late April, we had begun to see hopeful signs of impending economic recovery, and subsequent economic and financial developments have strengthened the view that the economy is bottoming out. Even so, the outlook over the next several years remains disturbing. My modal forecast shows economic growth resuming next quarter, but I expect the recovery to be quite gradual . The output and employment gaps are, at a minimum, quite large, so it will take a long time to regain full employment under current monetary and fiscal policy settings. Although downside risks have diminished, I remain concerned that the recovery is still fragile. ... And, of course, labor markets continue to deteriorate badly. It's a sign of how bad things really are that near euphoria broke out with the announcement of 345,000 nonfarm jobs lost in May. The unemployment rate is soaring month by month, and, even worse, it appears to understate the true extent of the deterioration, given the unusually high incidence of permanent, as opposed to temporary, layoffs, and the unprecedented increase in involuntary part-time work. ... My forecasts for output and employment are similar to the Greenbook's, so I won't go into the details. I do want to emphasize that I anticipate a rather sluggish recovery, not the rapid V-shaped recovery we have frequently seen following deep recessions in the past. The process of balance sheet repair that households and financial institutions are undergoing will result in subdued spending for an extended period , and monetary policies here and abroad are not able to play as big a role as usual in promoting recovery because of the constraint of the zero lower bound on short-term interest rates. ... ven under the typical recovery simulation, which has much stronger growth than in the baseline, the unemployment...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 10:54 AM » Yellen during crisis; Things are so bad people are 'breaking into their piggybanks'
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 10:54 AM by CNBC
    Then-Chairman Ben Bernanke oversaw the efforts to manage the global financial crisis's broader economic effects, leading the ambitious buying spree of mortgage-backed securities officially launched in December 2008. "The global economy will recover, but the timing and strength of the recovery are highly uncertain," Bernanke said in a speech at the London...
  • 10:54 AM » ISM non-manufacturing index hits 56.9 in Feb vs. 56.5 estimate
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 10:54 AM by CNBC
    This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast the ISM non-manufacturing index to hit 56.5 for the month of February.
  • 9:00 AM » 5 Points to Watch During the ECB's March Meeting
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 9:00 AM by WSJ
    Mario Draghi started 2015 with a bang by unveiling a €1 trillion ($1.1 trillion)-plus asset purchase program, mostly government bonds, at the European Central Bank's first meeting on Jan. 22. Act Two won't be quite as dramatic, and no new stimulus measures are expected. But the ECB's second policy meeting of the year, on Thursday in Cyprus, will be significant nonetheless. Here are five things to look for Thursday.
  • 9:00 AM » Treasuries Rise as U.S. Companies Add Fewer Jobs Than Forecast - Bloomberg
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 9:00 AM by Bloomberg
    Treasuries Rise as U.S. Companies Add Fewer Jobs Than Forecast Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- Treasuries rose as a private report showed U.S. companies added fewer jobs in February than forecast as the Federal Reserve debates raising interest rates. Benchmark 10-year note yields traded down from the highest level in more than a ...
  • 9:00 AM » ADP: Private Employment increased 212,000 in February
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 9:00 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From ADP: Private sector employment increased by 212,000 jobs from January to February according to the February ADP National Employment Report®. ... The report, which is derived from ADP's actual payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis. ... Goods-producing employment rose by 31,000 jobs in February, down from 45,000 jobs gained in January. The construction industry added 31,000 jobs, the same number as last month. Meanwhile, manufacturing added 3,000 jobs in February, well below January's 15,000. Service-providing employment rose by 181,000 jobs in February, down from 206,000 in January. ... Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, said, "Job growth is strong, but slowing from the torrid pace of recent months. Job gains remain broad-based, although the collapse in oil prices has begun to weigh on energy-related employment. At the current pace of growth, the economy will return to full employment by mid-2016." This was below the consensus forecast for 220,000 private sector jobs added in the ADP report.  The BLS report for February will be released on Friday and the consensus is for 230,000 non-farm payroll jobs added in February.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:00 AM » Where Should You Move for a Decent Job Market and Affordable Housing?
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 9:00 AM by WSJ
    There are cities out there with decent job growth and affordable housing. They're not on either coast.
  • 9:00 AM » Housing market has long way to go: Lennar CEO
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 9:00 AM by CNBC
    The U.S. housing market still has a long way to go in order to fully recover from the 2008 financial crisis, Lennar CEO Stuart Miller said Wednesday.
  • 8:59 AM » MBA: Mortgage Applications Little Changed in Latest Weekly Survey
    Published Wed, Mar 04 2015 8:59 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Little Changed in Latest MBA Weekly Survey Mortgage applications increased 0.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 27, 2015. ... The Refinance Index increased 1 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.2 percent from one week earlier . ... The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.96 percent from 3.99 percent , with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.33 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. emphasis added Click on graph for larger image. The first graph shows the refinance index. 2014 was the lowest year for refinance activity since year 2000. 2015 will probably see more refinance activity than in 2014, but not a large refinance boom. The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.   According to the MBA, the unadjusted purchase index is essentially unchanged from a year ago.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • Tue, Mar 3 2015
  • 2:48 PM » Office Demand Exceeding New Supply
    Published Tue, Mar 03 2015 2:48 PM by WSJ
    The rate of business expansion is far outpacing the rate of new office building development, according to a new report from CBRE Group Inc.
  • 2:48 PM » Consumer spending is due for a pop
    Published Tue, Mar 03 2015 2:48 PM by CNBC
    The consensus among economists on Wall Street and at the Federal Reserve is that consumer spending will begin to increase in the coming months.
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More From MND

Mortgage Rates:
  • 30 Yr FRM 3.85%
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  • 15 Yr FRM 3.15%
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  • Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 3.82%
MBS Prices:
  • 30YR FNMA 4.5 108-20 (0-01)
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  • 30YR FNMA 5.0 110-30 (0-00)
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  • 30YR FNMA 5.5 112-12 (0-01)
Recent Housing Data:
  • Mortgage Apps 0.10%
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  • Refinance Index 0.46%
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  • Purchase Index -0.24%