Sizing up housing's role in new economy

Commentary: A sideshow or headliner?

Just when everyone was certain that long term rates would rise, they fell.

Wednesday’s 10-year Treasury-note auction drew more bidders than any since 1994, and its yield thumped down from near 4 percent to 3.85 percent, mortgages back down to 5.125 percent. The improvement is gradually reversing, but for the moment we’re OK.

An $11.5 billion dive in consumer credit in February more than wiped out a revised gain in January, the first in 11 months. New claims for unemployment insurance were supposed to continue improvement and drop to 433,000, but instead jumped to 460,000.