Good news about the economy is bad news for mortgage rates

Look for Fed to shed light on time frame for ending zero interest rate policy

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In the backwards world of bonds and mortgages, in which good news is bad, good news pushed up long-term rates this week. U.S. data may encourage the Fed to accelerate the end of ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) at its meeting next week, possibly, maybe, perhaps, tentatively pre-hinting a rate hike by removing “for a considerable period” from its post-meeting statement. Threats of war have receded. Czar Vladimir will continue to make trouble, but Russian troops are not headed for Kiev, instead pulling out of Ukraine after preserving the pretense of separatist rebellion. ISIS? More wise old heads say this eighth-century mob is a local threat in a locality beyond redemption. Newtonian physics are in play: the more dangerous either of these bad actors, the more resistance will gather against them. U.S. economic data have been seen for years through two lenses. Worrywarts fear that we are in a protracted period of stagnation defiant of remedy. Optimists have thought recovery...