As expected the Fed hiked rates for a 3rd time this year by .25%. The Dollar wobbled initially but stabilized while stocks and bonds moved higher. Usually higher rates are positive for currencies, and this has been the case for the Dollar until quite recently. Hard on stocks particularly after the 4th consecutive increase, were currently on number 8 as stocks mark new record highs. Hard on bonds as prices tend to go in the opposite direction, though they are largely higher today. Once again nothing matters at least from a historical perspective. That said record levels of debt, painfully high valuations and higher interest rates are a toxic combination that will assert itself at some point.
The Mortgage Bankers Association or MBA reports that mortgage activity increased 2.9% last week as refi’s gained 3.2% and purchase apps advanced 2.6%. The 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan jumped to 4.92%.
New home sales advanced in August, up 3.5% to 629,000 units annualized. Month’s supply slipped to 6.1, essentially normal. The median price fell 2.2% to $325,000. On a year ago basis prices have gained 1.9%. At the regional level sales were particularly strong in the west, up 9.1%, while the northeast erased all of last month’s huge decline and then some to manage a small net gain over the last 2-months
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