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Mortgage rates slip this week

Sorting dogs that bark from dogs that bite

Mortgage rates are a hair lower, with the lowest-fee, 30-year stuff approaching 6.75 percent, taken by the 10-year T-note's decline to 5.05 percent. Why the 10-year has fallen toward the bottom of the four-month, 5-5.25 percent band is a matter of sorting dogs that bite from ones that merely bark. Ditto for measuring the odds of falling out of the bottom of that band. The 21st century is only five years old, but this week has brought another in an already long list of new-century lessons on the difference between the effective use of force and counter-productive use, whether in the name of self-defense, redress of grievance, or moral imperative. Events in and near Palestine this week do present a low-order risk of wider conflict and a threat to oil supplies. However, this latest spasm of righteous retribution among peoples who hate each other but are chained together has had little effect on financial markets, and instead produced widespread disgust at all parties involved -- even Arab...

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