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Fed on mission to ‘reflate’ economy

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

This was a quiet week, as markets were contained by Passover and Good Friday bookends. The 10-year T-note traded near 4.2 percent all week, just below an important technical mark at 4.25 percent; mortgages finished a little better than the worst of the Monday finale to the job-data panic, and are now 5.75 percent for the low-fee packages. I get the feeling that the economy in February and March shifted into a kind of overdrive–not necessarily faster GDP growth, but a more durable, healthier pattern. Further, there are more signs every day that the Fed is succeeding in its effort to "reflate," to bring the inflation rate up from sub-1 percent to about 2 percent. Every Thursday morning comes the report of the number of new claims for unemployment benefits, and yesterday was a surprise. Claims fell by 14,000 to 328,000, marking descent to another plateau from the 340,000 level at which claims had been stuck for a couple of months, in the succession of plateaus from 450,000 a year ...