The 10-year T-note has been unable to break 4.5 percent in a half-dozen tries over three weeks, the same stopping point as last fall, which in turn has mortgages stuck above 6 percent. Without weak economic data, soon, long-term rates will rise.

The data is OK — lukewarm, but not falling apart. Retail sales were shaky in February, but the bad-weather excuse was legitimate. New claims for unemployment insurance have fallen below winter highs. The twin producer- and consumer-price indices are not improving as fast as the Fed would like, but were no cause for alarm.

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