Just when everyone was certain that long term rates would rise, they fell. Wednesday's 10-year Treasury-note auction drew more bidders than any since 1994, and its yield thumped down from near 4 percent to 3.85 percent, mortgages back down to 5.125 percent. The improvement is gradually reversing, but for the moment we're OK. An $11.5 billion dive in consumer credit in February more than wiped out a revised gain in January, the first in 11 months. New claims for unemployment insurance were supposed to continue improvement and drop to 433,000, but instead jumped to 460,000. Careful with the "hosannas" to March retail sales: the measure that jumped 9 percent was a year-over-year comparison, and March last year was the pit of panic. The easy Treasury auction revealed the...
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