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Lousy numbers escape recession dunce cap

Commentary: Global economy gives us a jolt

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After six weeks in a narrow range, a little not-so-bad economic news blew long-term rates to the highs of 2008: the 10-year Treasury to 4.13 percent (the first time above 4 percent since New Year's) and low-fee mortgages to 6.375 percent. Both of those yields are better this morning, but we will not see five-something mortgages again without a new round of bad economic reports. The psychology-reversing news came in two pieces. The rout started on Wednesday with the report of April orders for durable goods: down 0.5 percent, overall, but ex-transportation (airplanes and autos) up 2.5 percent, and "non-defense capital goods" plus 4.5 percent. Yesterday's coup de grace: First-quarter GDP was revised to plus 0.9 percent from 0.6 percent. If these two reports seem like less-than-spectacular signs of resurrection, you are well on your way to a degree in economics. These are lousy figures describing an economy with hardly any forward momentum. However, they are not rece...