Surprise: Fed moves to maintain stimulus

Reuters: "U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve surprised investors and economists by keeping its stimulus measures intact. U.S. Federal Reserve defied market expectations on Wednesday by postponing a wind-down of its massive monetary stimulus, saying it would wait for more evidence of solid economic growth. The Fed will continue, for now, with its $85 billion monthly bond purchases which have propped up economic growth and equity markets for much of the year."

 

After Fed move, are we still heading toward 5% mortgages?

CNNMoney: "Prospective buyers who have been shying away from the housing market due to rising rates may have reason to start shopping again. Rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage are currently averaging 4.6%, up from 3.35% in early May. But now that the Fed has said it will continue to purchase the bonds, rates will likely retrace some of those gains. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac, expects rates to hit about 5% by mid-2014.

 

U.S. jobless claims rise, but government analyst says backlog distorting data

Reuters: "The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose last week, but it was difficult to get a clear read on the labor market's health because a Labor Department analyst said two states appeared to be working through a backlog of unprocessed claims."