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Mortgage rates saved from hike

Despite healthy May job growth, federal funds rate expected to rise 'gradually'

Another very healthy employment report this morning should have taken mortgage rates above 6.5 percent, but we have been rescued by a new charm offensive from the Fed. May payrolls gained 248,000 jobs, close to forecast, but the immensely strong, 652,000-job gain in March and April together was revised upward by an additional 75,000 workers. Employment is increasing in all sectors, in hours worked, in overtime, and in earnings. The bond market immediately sold off, taking rates higher, then stabilized...and then recovered, mortgage prices no worse than yesterday, and some cases better. Talking economic heads have struggled all day to explain the absence of damage, like the baseball player who couldn't figure out how the ball wound up in his glove. A common attempt held that the employment report was a "Goldilocks" deal: not to hot and not too cold – a nice line, but not true. This is not some transient hot flash leading to economic menopause: the job market is on fire, and so ...

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