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Mortgage market commentary

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Long-term rates have confirmed their over-the-holidays rise, but are taking strong economic news very well, mortgages holding at 6.125 percent.

December payrolls grew by a healthy 167,000 jobs, way above consensus forecast, and wages rose .5 percent in the month, nearly double the forecast. The December purchasing managers’ manufacturing index rose above break-even to 51.4, out of its November trough, and the service sector held a strong 57.1.

Christmas sales were on the shaky side, but most of the weakness can be charged off to warm-weather damage to clothing sales.