Jul

19

In This Issue

Last Week in Review: Washington has done it again, passing major financial reform legislation. Find out what this will mean for our economy… and the great home loan rates we’ve been seeing.
Forecast for the Week: A double dose of housing news is in store, and earnings season continues with reports from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and more.
View: The web is all a “twitter” these days. Find out what the big deal is, and how “tweeting” can help you or your business.
Last Week in Review

They say the only constant is change… And more change is coming, as the sweeping Financial Regulation Bill was passed by the Senate last week and will be signed by President Obama in short order to become law. So what does this change mean… and how will it impact home loan rates? Here’s what you need to know.
The Bill calls for a new consumer protection agency and prohibits Banks from taking risky bets. While those things are important, it’s also important to realize that this legislation… over 2,000 pages worth… amazingly does nothing to address the core reasons for the financial collapse. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are completely left out of this legislation. The credit rating agencies, who may have played the largest role in the financial collapse, also go unmentioned.
In fact, when former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan was asked about the Financial Regulation Bill, he noted that this was the first time the Fed was not asked to write a regulation of this kind. He also said that there are “unintended consequences” in every page of this bill.
And one consequence we’ve seen already is that corporations are hoarding cash, and are somewhat stuck like a deer in the headlights due to the uncertainty that this and other pending legislation is creating. And when corporations hoard cash, they don’t typically hire workers, and job creation is crucial to our recovery.
What all this will mean for our economy and home loan rates remains to be seen… which is why now is the perfect time to act, while home loan rates continue to be some of the best they have ever been! If you or anyone you know would like to learn more about this exceptional opportunity, please don’t hesitate to call or email. Or forward this newsletter on to anyone you think may benefit and I’d be happy to talk to them free of charge.
In other news, there hasn’t been much change on the inflation front, which is good news for Bonds and home loan rates. Remember: inflation erodes the return of an asset like a Bond… so inflation is the arch enemy of Bonds and home loan rates. Both the Producer Price Index – which measures inflation at the wholesale level – and the Consumer Price Index for June showed that inflation continues to remain tame.
However, two changes that would be welcome are in the retail sales and manufacturing areas. Retail Sales for June came in lower than expected for the second month in a row. Although details of the report were mixed, the overall indication is that consumers and businesses remain cautious on purchasing big-ticket items. In addition, the Empire State Manufacturing Index and Philly Fed Index showed that factories and manufacturing still look very sluggish overall. Changes for the better in both of these areas will be reflective of our economy growing stronger, and these are things to watch for moving forward.
All in all, the news from last week helped Bonds and home loan rates reach record levels again, and they ended the week about .125 percent better than where they began.
GROWING YOUR BUSINESS IS ALWAYS CHANGE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. CHECK OUT THE MORTGAGE MARKET GUIDE VIEW FOR AN ARTICLE FROM KIPLINGER.COM ON “TWEETING” YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS.
Forecast for the Week

There’s a double dose of housing news this week. Tuesday’s Housing Starts and Building Permits Reports will give us an update on the health of the new construction sector of the housing market, while Thursday we will get a read on Existing Home Sales.
Thursday also brings another Initial Jobless Claims Report, and any changes for the better in this area will be welcome! In fact, last week, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) reported that its monthly “Small Business Optimism” index turned weaker in June. This is important to follow, because small businesses represent an important job creation engine – and the NFIB said the decrease was “a very disappointing outcome.”
In addition, earnings season continues this week and some reports to look for include IBM after the markets close Monday, Goldman Sachs before the markets open on Tuesday, and Coca Cola and Morgan Stanley before the markets open on Wednesday.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result.
As you can see in the chart below, Bonds and rates ended the week on an improving trend though they were unable to improve beyond a tough ceiling reflective of their best levels. I’ll be watching closely to see what happens this week.

The Mortgage Market Guide View…

“Tweets” Can Help Grow Your Business
Twitter is spreading like wildfire and companies are using it to boost sales. By Michael Doan, Kiplinger.com
You know Twitter – the social networking and microblogging service that allows people to keep in touch through “tweets” – short snippets of text sent to cell phones, BlackBerrys and PCs.
Businesses are making use of the Web format for marketing, research and customer services. Computer maker Dell sends coupons to its Twitter users. Whole Foods Market offers $25 gift cards as prizes for people who submit the catchiest messages promoting Whole Foods. Other companies send messages to foster community and build loyalty to stores and products. Uncle Sam is a player, too. The Food and Drug Administration uses Twitter to help get out the word about product recalls.
Because most Twitter messages are searchable on the Web, businesses can also use it to track customer comments and answer complaints – even offer immediate help or advice. Among firms closely tuned in to what customers are saying are Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, Comcast and Boingo, which provides Wi-Fi service at airports.
Jeremy Pepper, public relations manager of Boingo, receives and tracks all Twitter messages, blogs and other Web comments that mention the company. If, for example, someone complains to a friend about a weak Wi-Fi signal at Washington Dulles International Airport, he may get an immediate message from Pepper.
In such a case, Pepper says he’ll ask: “‘Where you are sitting…have you thought of moving? Which terminal are you in? Let me check to see if there are problems at the airport,'” he says. Once a problem is resolved, he’ll send a tweet saying he was happy to help and “have a safe flight.”
Quick, helpful responses via Twitter can go a long way to changing customers’ opinions about a firm, even turning detractors into company promoters.
Keep messages informal and conversational. “Being boring is the worst thing you can do,” says Jeffrey Mann, vice president of research at Gartner Group, an information technology research firm. Business tweets should be personalized; you may want to designate one or more employees to twitter on behalf of the company. Keep in mind that Twitter messages – limited to 140 characters each – are seen by people who choose to become “followers” of a business or an individual.
Twitter is a good tool to use at trade shows, helping to draw attendees to exhibitors’ booths as well as press conferences and receptions hosted by a company or trade group. The Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, for example, puts out messages about its Schmooza Palooza networking party and trade show before, during and after the event in hopes of spreading buzz about it. Results are good; attendance has grown dramatically.
Twitter is great for small businesses, too, because it’s easy and doesn’t add any expense. The only cost is the employee time it takes to write and follow others’ messages.
Consider registering your company’s name with Twitter, even if you don’t expect to use it. It’ll help prevent misuse by someone else. Go to www.twitter.com.
Reprinted with permission. All Contents ©2010 The Kiplinger Washington Editors. www.kiplinger.com.
Economic Calendar for the Week of July 19-23, 2010
Remember, as a general rule, weaker than expected economic data is good for rates, while positive data causes rates to rise.
Economic Calendar for July 19-23, 2010
Economic Calendar for the Week of July 19 – July 23
Date ET Economic Report For Estimate Actual Prior Impact
Tue. July 20 08:30 Building Permits Jun 575K 574K Moderate
Tue. July 20 08:30 Housing Starts Jun 570K 593K Moderate
Wed. July 21 10:30 Crude Inventories 7/17 NA -5.06M Moderate
Thu. July 22 08:30 Jobless Claims (Initial) 7/17 445K 429K Moderate
Thu. July 22 10:00 Existing Home Sales Jun 5.04M 5.66M Moderate
Thu. July 22 10:00 Index of Leading Econ Ind (LEI) Jun -0.4% 0.4% Low

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