Two Ways: Rush to Refinance
Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.
With mortgage rates at record low levels, a refinancing boom is underway - a sign that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's plan to revive the struggling economy may be working.
It was reported yesterday that US fixed 30-year mortgage rates fell to 4.78%. According to Freddie Mac, these are levels not seen since 1971. Mortgage applications rose for the fourth straight week, following a rise in new home sales in February.
The rush to refinance is putting cash in the pockets of consumers, leading some economists to believe consumer spending may be on the incline. All of this is positive and the economy may finally be showing signs of a recovery.
From the Bull Pen: It's awfully difficult to purchase stocks after this run, so until proven otherwise, buying pullbacks makes sense. The easiest way to gain exposure is by using an ETF. The S&P 500 Depository Receipts (SPY) could be bought on a pullback toward $80.
From the Bear Cave: On yesterday's Buzz & Banter, Professor Bill Feingold initiated a short position in Brinker International (EAT) based on valuations concerns. Those bearish can initiate a short position here with a buy stop at $18.
Quick Check Around the World
Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng 0.16%, Nikkei 0.34%, Taiwan 1.02% and Shanghai -0.23%.
Glancing towards Europe, we see the CAC -0.10%, DAX 0.77%, FTSE -0.43%, ATX 1.48%, Swiss Market 1.65% and Stockholm 0.95%.
As of 7:50 AM EST, S&P Futures are trading +2.00 to 837.50, and Nasdaq futures are +6.75 to 1308.25.
Over in commodities, crude oil is trading up 0.33 to 52.97 while gold is down -4.30 to 904.60 this morning.
A quick check of the dollar/euro 1.3439 and the yen/dollar 99.875.
On the Radar
08:30 Change in Non Farm Payrolls -657k
08:30 Unemployment Rate 8.5%
08:30 Change in Manufacturing Payrolls
08:30 Average Hourly Earnings MoM & YoY
08:30 Average Weekly Hours
10:00 ISM Non-Manufacturing Composite
Click here for the full trading radar.
Good luck and have a great day!
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