Markets & Economy

Don’t count on Federal Reserve to hike rates until there’s upward pressure on wages

Increase in short-term rates won't necessarily translate into higher mortgage rates

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Long-term rates rose last week. In our perverse world, the cause was too much good news. online poll by Opinion Stage // As always, rate-watching is a probability business, surprise the only constant. Odds have shifted from the May-June flirtation with lower rates toward a test of the highs of this year. But the good news is not good enough to pull forward a rate hike by the Fed. Short holiday weeks usually magnify data surprises, but this one seems to have suppressed response. Thursday's all-important employment report found 288,000 net-new jobs in June plus prior months' upward revision of another 29,000. Average hourly earnings before inflation have risen only 2 percent in the last year, but in the last two months at a 3 percent annual pace. As all the bond market smarty-pants now understand, incomes are everything. The number of jobs, the unemployment rate -- none of that matters except to a White House grasping for a life jacket. We have no idea what the U.S. w...