More positive U.S. data and relaxation of European frights have combined for higher interest rates and support for Wall Street's warm-fuzzy machine. One week ago, downgraded credit in Europe and another failure in Greek debt negotiations had taken the 10-year Treasury note to 1.85 percent and big-equity refinancings a hair below 4 percent. Today, nothing is resolved in Europe but nothing is falling, either, so 10-year Treasurys are back to 2.02 percent and even a 20 percent-down, low-fee mortgage is near 4.25 percent. Adios, refis. The mortgage spread to 10-year Treasurys, at 2.25 percent, is very wide, now opened in part by the new-mortgage surcharge inflicted by Congress and the White House to pay for part of the payroll tax cut. Which the public is largely unaware of, becaus...
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