From neighbor Sam - "Hackers latest scam: tricking home buyers into wiring them settlement funds". Evil never sleeps. Most of the title folks I deal with have something to this effect on the bottom of their emails.
From Stuart Crawford at VIP Mortgage:
Demand shifted from bonds to stocks over the past week with the economic data having little impact on the market. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week a little higher.
Under most circumstances, mortgage rates improve when stocks decline, and the reverse is true as well. We have seen an example of this relationship over the last few weeks. During the second half of September, stocks declined and mortgage rates improved. However, the trend reversed as the Dow has climbed about 600 points over the past week, while mortgage rates have also risen. Remember, it is simply a general “rule of thumb” that the two markets work inversely of each other, but not an absolute as we have experienced many times this year.
Investors were anxiously awaiting the release of the latest opinions of the Fed Board last week (the Minutes). There were no major surprises in the Minutes from the September 17th Fed meeting, and it was revealed that Fed officials held off on a rate hike due to uncertainty that inflation will rise to their 2.0% target level. The Minutes also noted that weakness in other countries added to the downside risk for economic growth and inflation in the U.S. Since the September 17th Fed meeting, the U.S. economic data has indicated slowing growth, justifying the Fed's decision and adding pressure for the Fed to hold rates steady longer.
Looking ahead, Retail Sales will be released this week, which account for about 70% of economic activity (so it can be a good reading of consumer confidence).
Stuart can be reached at 480.776.2954