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Mortgage interest rates are flirting with record low territory again according to the results of Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The survey results released on Thursday set 2009 lows for several types of mortgages.

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Mixed data caused US equities to simply plummet yesterday, marking the third straight decline in markets. The benchmark S&P 500 fell 2.6% on the day, putting the week’s loss at -3.14%. Shares in the Nasdaq were even worse with a 3.06% nosedive.

The rapid sell-off spread overseas this morning. “Virtually every overseas equity market is down, with the notable exception of China,” said Sal Guatieri from BMO Capital Markets.

Treasuries are absorbing investors money, driving the 10-year yield down two basis points to a four-month low of 3.16%. That’s giving a boost to the
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housing market, as 30-year mortgage rates remain below 5% at the lowest rates in four months....(read more)
This morning’s employment report was called “terrible,” “dreary,” “bleak,” and “painful,” but halfway through the session equity markets are only modestly lower. It appears that yesterday’s 2.6% setback in the S&P 500 was deep enough to satisfy investors who believe the stock market had overheated.

As of 12:30, the S&P is down 0.23% to 1,027, the Dow is trading 0.11% lower at 9,498, and the NASDAQ is down 0.12% to 2,055....(read more)
The Federal Reserve today reported on their weekly purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). In the five trading days between September 24 and September 30, the Federal Reserve purchased a total of $29.10 billion agency MBS. In those five days the Federal Reserve sold (dollar rolls) a total of $9.10 billion agency MBS, bringing the weekly net total to $20.00 billion.

The goal of the Federal Reserve's agency MBS program is to provide support to mortgage and housing markets and to foster improved conditions in financial markets more generally. Only fixed-rate agency MB
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S securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae are eligible assets for the program. The program includes, but is not limited to, 30-year, 20-year and 15-year securities of these issuers....(read more)
The Office of Thrift Supervision and the Office of Comptroller of the Currency reported on Tuesday that mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures are still rising but efforts to keep borrowers in their homes are increasing at an even faster pace....(read more)
In their monthly summary, Fannie Mae today said their retained portfolio was unchanged at $779.4 billion in August of 2009. This follows an 18.2% contraction in July and brings Fannie Mae's year to date portfolio growth to a rate of -1.5%. Last week Freddie Mac reported their retained portfolio contracted by almost 30% to $779.4 billion in August. Year over year Freddie Mac's portfolio has shrunk by 4.7%...(read more)
Home prices continued to stabilize in 18 of the 20 metropolitan areas surveyed in July, an industry survey showed Tuesday. Thirteen of the 20 metro areas have seen prices increase for three or more consecutive months, indicating that the deflationary spiral in the housing market has likely come to an end. (Well, assuming you don't live in Las Vegas...)...(read more)
US equities were quick out of the gate on Monday morning. In just a few hours stocks have came close to erasing all of last week’s losses. As of 1pm, the NASDAQ is trading 2.16% higher at 2,136, the S&P 500 is up 1.74% to 1,063, and the Dow is up 1.42% to 9,802....(read more)
Equity futures are looking slightly up in anticipation of some major data releases this morning. Global markets have been mixed, while the US$ is stronger and Gold is once again below $1,000 per ounce.

Today’s schedule includes Durable Goods, New Home Sales, and Consumer Sentiment. In addition, headlines from the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh could shake up the afternoon.

One headline so far has been of particular importance for emerging nations. The White House stated earlier that the Group of 20 will become “the permanent council for international economic cooperation,” th
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ereby supplanting the G8....(read more)
New home sales increased for the fifth straight month in August, but the 0.7% gain didn’t match the median estimate of +1.6%. The annual pace of sales is now 429,000, or 3.4% below the August 2008 rate.

Not only were sales lower than expected, they were also so lopsided that only one of the four areas even experienced growth. Sales in the West jumped 12.1%, but sales fell 16.3% in Northeast and 5.8% in the Midwest, while activity in the South was flat....(read more)
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