Interest Rate Roundup

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Muddled market; LEI/Philly surprises

It seems like we've got a muddled market for now. Stocks, bonds, currencies -- they're all taking breathers from their recent trends. Jobless claims are hovering in the low 600s without making much progress either way. Industrial production was down 1.1% in May, while housing starts were up. The only clear trend: The refinance boom is dead and buried. Refi apps have plunged 73% from their January high, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

UPDATE: Leading Economic Indicators surged 1.2% in May, the biggest increase in any month going back to March 2004. The Philadelphia Fed index was also much better than expected at -2.2 vs. a forecast of -17. The new orders subindex jumped to -4.8 from -25.9, while the employment subindex increased more modestly to -21.8 from -26.8. The look-ahead index (which measures expectations for growth six months out) hit 60.1, the highest since September 2003. Before that, you won't find a higher reading since February 1993.


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