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Commentary: Financial markets struggle against 'vacuum'

The world changed this week, big-time, as markets struggled to keep up with political shifts, then economic, then political again. The markets are still behind. Sad reports on housing routed the recovery brigade: May existing-home sales fell 2.2 percent from the previous month, and sales of new ones collapsed 32.7 percent. First-quarter U.S. gross domestic product was revised down (again) from the original 3.5 percent gain to 2.7 percent, and two-thirds of that remainder was inventory rebuilding. May orders for durable goods were still strong (up 0.9 percent), but that was it for positives. The Fed's post-meeting statement had the feel of can't-say-that. Prior statements have referred to "strengthening" recovery. This one said that recovery is "proceeding." Wherever this procession is going, nobody will mistake it for the Fourth of July parade. Money ran to bonds for safety, the 10-year T-note to its 3.09 percent low, mortgages about 4.75 percent, for o...

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