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Two Ways: Rush to Refinance

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Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.

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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

Economics

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!



In memory of our fallen friend and trusted colleague, Bennet Sedacca, 100% of the donations made to the RP Foundation through April will be channeled to philanthropic endeavors consistent with the RP mission, working closely with the Sedacca clan in the distribution of those funds. We thank you kindly for your support as we strive to effect positive change in the lives of children.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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