Mortgage rates have held last week's improvement near 6.625 percent, taken and held by the 10-year T-note's retreat from 5.2 percent to 5.05 percent. The bond market is in a standoff, uncertain about everything except inflation at or over a dangerous edge, and waiting for next Friday's job data. A long weekend is a good time to sort the things we know from the things we don't. The financial chattering class is fond of announcing theories and hopes as fact, and these wannabe thunderbolts are especially confusing in an on-the-cusp situation. The first category for sorting: the housing market. As a national matter, the market is indeed slowing. The newest data were muddled by heavy revisions of prior periods, but it is clear that the slowdown is at a shallow slope. The "housing market" is an aggregation of zillions of micro-markets; some are in distress, some are booming, but in the aggregate it is a gentle cool-off. Yet, all commentary (Fed and otherwise) says that a housing slowdown wil...
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