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Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence 

The Fed’s latest decision on monetary policy was another punt as the incoming data remains at best inconclusive neither supporting higher interest rates based on fears of an overheating economy and runaway inflation, or lower rates because growth can’t find traction without trillions in debt funded stimulus and emergency level interest rates despite the fact that we are doing better than most. That said the new Fed Chair will be announced tomorrow and December’s rate hike remains on track, at least for now.

Construction spending beat expectations in September with a .3% gain on strength in public construction, private and nonresidential both fell for the month. On a year ago basis construction spending is up 2%.

The Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Index slipped 2.1 points in October to 58.7 on minor broad based declines. Prices paid slipped 3 points to a still very high 68.5 and this is one of the few price metrics to show material upward pressure.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage activity fell 2.6% last week. Refi’s dropped 4.5% while purchase apps declined .8%. the 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan increased slightly to 4.16%.

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