Long-term Treasury rates broke 4 percent this week (barely, at 3.98-.99), which dragged 30-year mortgages to a six-month low of 5.69 percent with a modest "origination" fee, as reported by Freddie Mac, its time-lagged survey correct for once. The market drivers, in order of forcefulness: a fading stock market, $55/bbl oil, an economy losing forward momentum, and a growing belief that the Fed's next expected 0.25 percent hike (taking Fed funds to 2 percent on November 10) will be its last for quite some time. That said, it is almost impossible for mortgage rates to fall to the 5.25 percent record low unless the economy stalls out altogether. The stock market's woes may begin with $55 oil, as so many claim, but the most recent sag coincided with the New York attorney general's discovery of disgusting business practices among the nation's largest insurers (not all, by any means, but too many). Marsh & McLennan has dumped its reputation, $11.5 billion of its stock market va...
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