Mortgage rates set to dip below 6%

Commentary: Spread between Treasurys, mortgages raises concern

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In one of life’s larger mixed blessings, a return of financial panic is pushing mortgage rates lower. The approach to 6 percent is taking longer than I thought, but the week’s events make crossover to the fives more likely than ever.

Signs of slowdown are accumulating: Retail sales in October rose a meager 0.2 percent; new claims for unemployment insurance are now rising (slowly, but rising), and October industrial production slipped by 0.5 percent.