The 10-year Treasury failed again to break below the 4.53 percent bottom, a level tested again and again since September, so mortgages are stuck just above 6 percent. This week's test and failure was different from the prior ones: the other rallies were broken by surprisingly strong economic data, especially the last two monthly payroll reports. This week the bond market got exactly the bad news it was hoping for: huge drops in wholesale and consumer prices, an off-the-table report on new-home construction, and minimal up-ticks in retail sales and industrial output. Background items offset some of the benefit of bad news: the Fed's October minutes contained not a syllable about a rate cut, and instead unanimous concern for inflation. Also, some housing numbers hint that the worst is over, ...
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