Markets & Economy

Coming Fed hike ups mortgage rate risk

Consumers pocket cash saved at the pump

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

After a wild six weeks from Christmas forward, the 10-year T-note stone-falling from 2.35 percent to 1.65 percent and then rebounding to 2 percent, global anxiety rising ... this week’s news is an extended sermon from The Church of What’s NOT Happenin’ Now. Interest rates did not move. Low-fee mortgages stayed just under 4 percent, the 10-year T-note 2.02 percent today. German and Japanese bonds, euro, yen, yuan ... quiet. U.S. retail sales did not rise. Or fall, really. The unquenchable optimists believe that lower gasoline prices will boost consumer spending. Arithmetic contradicts. January retail sales fell 0.8 percent, which optimist loons dismissed as the work of lower gas prices -- we bought the same amount of gas, but at lower prices, hence aggregate dollars fell. However, the dollars not spent on gas were supposed to be spent on something else, right? Leaving aggregate spending unchanged? And if consumers felt stimulated, they spent more? None of the above. So...