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March 14, 2012

Fundamentals 3/14: Mortgage Apps, Import/Export

March 14, 2012

Fundamentals 3/14: Mortgage Apps, Import/Export

Mortgage Applications
-Purchase Index, Week/Week +4.4%
-Refinance Index, Week/Week -4.1%
-Composite Index, Week/Week -2.4%

Refinancing this week will be hammered by the sharp increases in Treasury yields yesterday and today. Let’s regard the Purchase Index as mildly encouraging.

Import/Export Prices
-Export Prices, Month/Month +0.4%
-Export Prices, Year/Year +1.5%
-Import Prices, Month/Month +0.4%
-Import Prices, Year/Year 5.5%

We look at Import/Export prices to get some idea about what GDP will be. I see no message in this data. Higher gasoline prices do take a bite out of discretionary spending and that does hurt jobs and GDP but there is probably more political effect. American’s still possess the irrational notion that the President has some responsibility for gas prices.

I have no idea why the Treasury market reacted (as in lots of selling and higher yields) so much to Bernanke’s testimony. GDP and jobs growth is still slow considering how far into recovery we are. The fiscal situation is so completely out of control that no monetary policy can help GDP and tax receipts enough. What we are seeing this morning is the result of Japan and Europe reacting to yesterday’s domestic selling.