The great indicator — the 10-year Treasury note — for the second week in a row held all of its straight-line gains since early April, from 3.6 percent to 3.15 percent.
Despite the Fed mumbling about reversing extraordinary ease (some decade ahead), despite all sorts of positive media spin, despite LinkedIn’s post-initial public offering value of $10 billion (649 times earnings), global investors are buying U.S. Treasurys for safety.
Low-fee mortgages touched 4.625 percent for the first time in six months, refinancing applications up, purchase applications sinking 3 percent last week. April housing starts fell 10.6 percent and permits 4 percent, both versus expectations for gains.
Sales of existing homes fell 0.8 percent from March, as reported by the National Association of Realtors’ highly questionable, seasonally adjusted "lipstick factory."
Industrial production was flat in April, but distorted by parts-supply interruption in Japan. Although the Philadelphia Fed index crumped from 18.5 in April to near-breakeven 3.9 in May, manufacturing is still a bright spot.