Mortgage rates bottomed again at 6.5 percent, as they have since May, maintaining a consistently wide spread to the 10-year T-note, which bottomed at 3.8 percent. It will take a substantial negative economic event or news to break below these rates. Economic data were thin. The July index of leading indicators fell hard, the outsize 0.7 percent drop entirely due to rising claims for unemployment benefits and a big slide in building permits. July housing starts dumped another 11 percent, surprising the remarkable number of people still with faith in a housing bottom nearby -- rather like finding pigeons who want to bet 10 bucks on an instant replay. The last weeks of summer are poorly attended in the markets, movements meaning little. The world's central bankers are now convened in Jackson Hole, reports indicating a consensus forming around hope and the hazards of action. The shooting will start again immediately after Labor Day with fresh data from August, especially p...
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