The unsettling rise in long-term rates has stopped for the moment, economic optimism colliding today with a simply awful employment report for November. The 10-year T-note has stalled just short of 3 percent (from 2.5 percent centerline, August to mid-November), and mortgages have risen almost to 4.75 percent. Some aspects of this rate rise have made sense, one has not, and one is trouble. The straight-line drop in the T-note from 3.99 percent on April 5 to 2.47 percent on Aug. 31 was overdue for a classic, technical, one-third countermove, and that's what it's done. As a matter of economic fundamentals, April-August was a time of double-dip expectation, but GDP has held the 2.5 percent area, and most data (all but housing) have shown some improvement. Third, the Fed's QE2 caused mor...
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