AgentIndustry News

Wrong move by Fed could explode bonds, real estate rates

Mortgage market commentary

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Mortgage rates are still holding between 6.5 percent and 6.75 percent for the low-fee deals, but the financial world moved this week into a realm of uncertainty, inflation risk and volatility that we have not seen in a long time. Early in the week, markets traded in happy belief that the Fed is about to halt its rate increases, perhaps concluding after a 16th hike to 5 percent at its May 10 meeting. Bonds woke to reality on news that March "core" CPI had jumped the fence, but the party roared on in stocks and commodities. Stocks finished at a six-year high, in largest part because everybody knows that every time the Fed stops a tightening campaign, stocks have a great run. That has been true in normal Fed cycles: the Fed tightens into an overheating economy, crushes it into recession, stops tightening, and the perfect time to buy stocks has been just before the Fed begins to ease into the ensuing recovery. Very cool, but this cycle is unlike -- in many ways the polar opposite -- of all...