Long-term rates have broken down this week (versus unanimous expectations for going up), now the lowest since the first week of December -- and if they fall another inch might drop another quarter-percent or more, taking lowest-fee mortgages back into the threes. I doubt it, but we’re on the threshold. First things first: what’s happening now, then what might happen. What's happening now: Overseas edition There is a lot going on. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un knocked off his half-brother with a banned neurotoxin. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this week went to Mexico on a repair mission. After meetings, the two of them were dumped in long underwear and bare feet thirty miles west of Nogales and told to find their own way north to Arizona, pronto. On the reassuring side, the security team with Michael Flynn replaced by H.R. McMaster is now the best in memory -- if allowed to operate. Europe is coming apart (again, cue...
- If long-term rates drop further, it could take lowest-fee mortgages back into the threes.
- The big spike in U.S. yields in the week after election, from 1.78 percent to 2.30 percent, was in anticipation of substantial economic stimulus from the new administration.
- So far, not much action on that stimulus has been seen.