This week marked the first of several collisions ahead between markets and U.S. plans to borrow. Treasury yields have soared, but mortgages are holding in the fours. New data failed to reinforce either the "Green Shooters" (economic optimists) or the "Agent Orangers" (economic pessimists), as prior historical guides are unreliable in a brand-new predicament. Leading indicators rose 1 percent, the first gain in seven months. However, Orangers note that 0.44 percent of the boost came from a suspect rocket by stocks; another 0.28 percent from the jump in long-term Treasury rates, more likely to be destructive than helpful; and another roughly 0.28 percent from consumer attitudes improving from desperate to merely miserable. The Shooters are adaptable. Tuesday's release of new housing starts and building permits was supposed to show housing bottom, and stocks rose in anticipation. The actual numbers, down 13 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively, were the wo...
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