AgentIndustry News

Fed on a mission to slow economy

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

Interest rates at all maturities rose last week were crossing important divides Friday morning, pushed by the prospect of more Fed tightening ahead, perhaps a lot more. Low-fee mortgages are still below 6 percent, but a deteriorating 10-year T-note suggests six-plus shortly. Current and forward-looking economic data are garbled into uselessness by Katrina/Rita. In an economy as large as ours, there is no way to isolate the storms' impact from the baseline of national economic activity. Pre-storm reports still trickling in contradict expectations for a late-summer slowdown: August orders for durable goods rebounded strongly from July. However, this week's employment data for September and purchasing managers' indices – the most important data in any month – won't tell us a thing. In the vacuum, markets are trading on suppositions about the impact of energy cost, and consequences for the Fed. The near-dominant forecast holds that energy prices will inevitably knock consumer...