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Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence

The major averages enter the final hour mixed on little real news as the Chinese attempt to ameliorate the trade war tensions.

Mortgage activity slipped 1.9% last week as per the Mortgage Bankers Association Index. Refi’s fell 1.7% while purchase apps dropped 2%. The 30-Year contract rate for a jumbo loan slipped fractionally again to 4.53%.

The Consumer Price Index or CPI slipped .1% in March, on a notable drop in energy prices for the month. The year ago rate increased to 2.4% as energy prices remain the primary driver, and to a lesser extent services and food.

The retail apocalypse advances again as the combination of high debt levels, elevated lease rates and weak sales continues to take its toll. Moody’s reported 28-Rated companies defaulted in the first quarter. At the sector level an all-time high 9 retailers defaulted during the period in question. This was followed 5 oil and gas sector defaults as fracked energy continues to prove unprofitable at current price levels. Rated companies are generally large publicly traded outfits.

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