The 10-year Treasury note has held below 4.75 percent, in turn holding mortgages below 6.5 percent, both despite certain knowledge that the Federal Reserve will raise its overnight rate on Tuesday to 4.75 percent and very likely signal intentions for one or more hikes ahead. After next week, the Fed will not meet again until May 10. If the economy does not tank in the meantime, and markets follow the mechanical pattern of the last two Fed hikes, then in April the 10-year note will move toward 5 percent and mortgage rates will rise above 6.5 percent. The economy is a long ways from the tank, but the newest data are nowhere near as strong as the stock market boomers would have it. Orders for durable goods, a key barometer for business investment and confidence, were flat in February (ex-aircraft). The first gain in sales of existing homes in six months had help from warm weather, but new-home sales dived 10.5 percent anyway. Mortgage purchase applications fell again, down 26 p...
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