Home sales are strong and the U.S. economy continues to expand as the third-quarter real GDP was revised upward to 3.9 percent. However, several variables pointed to mixed feelings going forward. Consumer confidence declined for the fifth consecutive month. Leading economic indicators also declined for the fifth month in a row. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, economists have been hesitant to put too much emphasis on these declines because other economic factors have been positive. One of these positive factors in October was employment, as businesses added more than 300,000 new jobs during the month, for a total of 2.1 million (1.6 percent) jobs added over the last year. Adjustable mortgage rates rose 31 basis points, while fixed mortgage rates moderated and remained flat from the previous month. Our grading system of the economy and the housing market is a "bell curve" model, with statistics at an all-time high receiving an "A," statistics near the long-term ave...
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