Stocks are higher this morning as yesterday’s rally has follow-through on overseas markets. Bonds and MBS are down.
Mortgage Applications rose 8.2% last week as purchases fell 3.7% and refis rose 16%.
Housing starts came in 1.1 million, missing the 1.17 million estimate. Building Permits were flat at 1.2 million.
The Producer Price Index rose 0.1% in January. The core index (ex food and energy) rose 0.4%. The headline number was up 0.6% YOY and the core number was up 0.8%.
Industrial Production jumped in January by 0.9%, however the preior month was revised lower from -0.4% to -0.7%. Manufacturing Production rose 0.5%. Capacity Utilization improved markedly from 76.4% to 77.1%.
At 2:00 pm, we will get the FOMC minutes. Given the uncertainty around the Fed’s future plans, we could see the market more sensitive to these than usual.
Neel Kashkari of the Minneapolis Fed gave a speech to Brookings yesterday, calling for even more regulation for the banks and to turn them into public utilities. Of course any examination over whether the Fed had a hand in creating the real estate bubble in the first place is nowhere to be found.
The new enemy for consumer direct is not the government – it is a new robot designed to waste a telemarketer’s time.