Markets & Economy

Housing-led recovery will take time

Commentary: Strength of healthy markets has distorted perceptions of reality

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A lot of movement under the covers. Although few sounds, nobody talking, most of the lumps are recognizable. Long-term rates have fallen here and everywhere since late March, and have taken a new leg down today, 10-year Treasurys to 1.67 percent for the first time since December. Some of today's move may be "event risk" bond-buying to protect against Syria. If they've really used Sarin, in a region vastly more dangerous than, say, North Korea…. It's more likely that the wrestling under the sheets is economic action. Starting with today's GDP report, Q1 2013 annualized growth at 2.5 percent versus expectations of 3.1 percent, and dreams of 4 percent and even 5 percent before March data turned down. March data have been so poor that odds favor a downward revision from the 2.5 percent. The Chicago Fed's index whipped to minus .23 in March from plus .76 in February, and new orders for durable goods tanked 5.7 percent versus expectations for a decline half that size -- even strip...