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Iraq and housing’s impact on economy

Mortgage market commentary

We're a day early because of a little local weather problem, but there's nothing in a second 3-foot snowstorm in one week to compare with the trouble brewing in the bond market. The 10-year T-note blew above 4.7 percent this morning on generally healthy economic data -- that's up from the 4.43 percent low three weeks ago, and will shortly put mortgages at 6.25 percent and at risk for a sustained move upward. The data since mid-month have not been all that strong, but enough to change the bond-market psychology from a debate about hard versus soft landing to soft landing versus no landing at all. Even if the economy does stay a tad soft, Gross Domestic Product growth in the 2 percent-something range, on current data there is no reason to expect the Fed to cut its rate from 5.25 percent, and that means that 10-year bond yields near 4.5 percent have been a tad silly. As regular readers know, the New Year ceremony at this rag is to recite Peter Drucker's dictum: "Nobody can predict the ...

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