Interest rates at all maturities rose last week were crossing important divides Friday morning, pushed by the prospect of more Fed tightening ahead, perhaps a lot more. Low-fee mortgages are still below 6 percent, but a deteriorating 10-year T-note suggests six-plus shortly. Current and forward-looking economic data are garbled into uselessness by Katrina/Rita. In an economy as large as ours, there is no way to isolate the storms' impact from the baseline of national economic activity. Pre-storm reports still trickling in contradict expectations for a late-summer slowdown: August orders for durable goods rebounded strongly from July. However, this week's employment data for September and purchasing managers' indices – the most important data in any month – won't tell us a thi...
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