Homebuilders are not getting a bump from lower mortgage rates

Mortgage applications to purchase a newly built home dropped 11 percent in November, annually, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. MBA economists predict that sales of newly built homes in November fell 5 percent annually. 
Real Estate

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Mortgage rates drop to 2-month low—an unexpected holiday gift to housing

Mortgage rates are falling sharply, as investors head to the relative safe haven of the bond market. The average rate on the 30-year fixed has fallen 21 basis points in the past week to 4.73 percent, according to Mortgage News Daily. 
Real Estate

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Mortgage applications rise 2%, but buyers seem unimpressed by lower rates

While price gains are now shrinking, affordability is still at the lowest level in a decade and proving to be the biggest barrier to housing demand. Sales of newly built and existing homes continue to suffer.
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Linguistic study finds ‘the I’s have it’ when it comes to education rates

“I learn,” “you learn,” “she learns,” “they learn,” yet, according to a surprising new linguistic study, in countries where the dominant language allows personal pronouns such as ‘I’ to be omitted, learning suffers.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Fed’s Kashkari says rates should not go up when job creation is strong and inflation is tame

Hiking rates too forcefully before necessary could risk causing a recession in the U.S. economy, says Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari.
Economy

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Stocks Rally After Powell Says Rates “Just Below” Neutral – U.S. Commentary

After moving moderately higher early in the session, stocks saw further upside over the course of the trading day on Wednesday. The major averages climbed firmly into positive territory, further offsetting the weakness seen last week.
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Trade tariffs, higher interest rates are slowing global economic growth, OECD says

Amid prolonged trade disputes and rising interest rates, the global economy will continue to slow down next year, according to the OECD's latest forecasts. But the Paris-based group doesn't see a recession on the horizon. 
World News & Analysis

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Tyson Foods Q4 Adj. EPS Rises On Lower Enacted Tax Rates

Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN) reported fourth-quarter adjusted net income per share attributable to Tyson of $ 1.58 compared to $ 1.43, prior year. The company noted that the lower enacted tax rates positively impacted the fourth quarter adjusted EPS by $ 0.20. On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 1.35 for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
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Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged, Notes Slowdown In Business Investment Growth

After raising rates by a quarter point at its previous meeting, the Federal Reserve announced its widely anticipated decision to leave interest rates unchanged following a two-day meeting ending on Thursday. The Fed decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2 to 2.25 percent.
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Mortgage Rates Are Rising. Here’s What That Means if You Want to Buy a Home

Earlier this year, mortgage rates hit a seven-year high, fueling speculation that it was time to buy if you were in the market for a new house.

But mortgage rates have continued to climb since then — up nearly a full percentage point this year to 4.85% in mid-October. And data from the National Association of Realtors suggests potential homebuyers may finally be feeling the pinch.

Existing home sales have fallen 4% since January, and the number of new homes under construction has dropped 10% during the same period.

So far, a monthly mortgage payment on a $ 250,000 home has gone up about $ 150, Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Leonard Kiefer told The Penny Hoarder. “And that is quite substantial.”

And with the Fed likely to raise interest rates further in the coming year, it will just get pricier to take out a mortgage in 2019.

“Economists across the board are starting to forecast higher rates,” Kiefer said. And a lack of new housing just keeps pushing home prices up.

Still, there is some pent-up homebuying demand. The U.S. has one of the tightest labor markets in years, so the market might see modest growth in 2019, despite rate increases.

So if you are ready to make the leap from renting to buying, there are concrete ways to find savings.

Mortgage rates and housing prices vary across U.S. cities and lenders, Kiefer said. So if you are still planning to buy a home, make sure to do your research on the local market. Also, shop around for the lowest mortgage rate possible.

Getting one additional quote before locking in a rate and buying a home could save you $ 1,500 over the life of the loan, according to Freddie Mac.

Once you find the right rate, here are some other slick ways to save money on your mortgage.

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. He’s feeling the sting of regret for not shopping around for his mortgage.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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Housing stocks get hit hard amid weak data and worries on Wall Street about rising interest rates

Housing stocks fall broadly after analysts at Credit Suisse lowered their ratings and price targets on several companies in the sector.
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Rising prices and interest rates are a ‘one-two punch’ to homebuyers, Lennar chairman says

"Of course, we respect, like many, the independence of the Fed, but at the same time, would we like them to slow down the pace? Of course we would," Lennar Executive Chairman Stuart Miller said.
Real Estate

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Weekly mortgage applications fall 1.7% as interest rates move above 5%

Extremely weak demand for mortgage refinances has been driving the overall drain on mortgage lending. Refinance volume fell another 3 percent last week and was 32 percent lower than a year ago.
Real Estate

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The Fed’s interest rates push could slow down the economy

When will rising interest rates be a real problem for the stock market? Nobody has the answer to that question, although a lot of people are venturing guesses now that rates are climbing steadily. The problem with those guesses is that a complex combination of factors is at work. The stock market suffered sizeable declines…
Business | New York Post

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Football Concussion Rates Plummet After One Simple Rule Change, Study Shows

Concussions plunged in Ivy League football after the kickoff line was moved to thwart what might be the game’s most dangerous play, according to a study published Monday.

The aim of the 5-yard move was to have more kickoffs land in the end zone and reduce returns. That play is one of the only times “where players on both teams have the space to get up to full speed” rushing at each other and potentially risking a head-on tackle, said University of Pennsylvania researcher Douglas Wiebe, the lead author.

The 2016 change came at the recommendation of league coaches after data from the previous year showed kickoffs accounted for 6 percent of all plays but 21 percent of concussions. With NCAA approval, they moved the kickoff line from the 35-yard line to the 40. The touchback line was also moved, from the 25-yard line to the 20.

The NCAA approved the changes on an experimental basis for the eight private universities in the Ivy League. Other NCAA teams have kickoffs at the 35.

The researchers compared the two seasons since the change with the previous three years. They found the average concussion rate per 1,000 kickoffs plummeted from almost 11 to just 2.

Touchbacks increased to nearly 50 percent from almost 18 percent during the previous three years.

Concussion rates for other types of play were lower than those for kickoffs throughout the study years and only declined slightly after the rule change.

The research appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It was paid for by the Ivy League and Big Ten.

“It’s very promising that we’re able to see an effect like that,” said Zachary Kerr, a researcher in the University of North Carolina’s exercise and sport science department. Kerr, who was not involved in the study, said the NCAA should take the results seriously as it considers policy changes to reduce injuries.

While the Ivy League has been especially aggressive about modifying its playing and practice rules, all levels of football — from Pee Wee to professional — have taken steps to decrease the frequency of kickoff returns. The risks of the play, which creates high speed crashes, are common knowledge.

Dartmouth College Coach Buddy Teevens eliminated players tackling each other at most of his team’s practices — even before the Ivy League passed a league-wide rule about it. He also invented a robotic dummy that is used in tackling drills.

Teevens said the decision to push up the kickoff line was made collaboratively among the Ivy League’s coaches.

“Our thing for our game at our level has been productive,” he said. “I’m happy to see the results and share them with the country and certainly the NCAA and maybe other people follow suit.”

The NCAA implemented a new rule this season at all levels of college football that allows players to call for a fair catch on kickoffs that come down short of the end zone but inside the 25-yard line. A fair catch means the kick cannot be advanced and a ball carrier is not tackled. The result of the play is the equivalent of a touchback, where the ball is placed at the 25. The Ivy League uses the fair catch rule, along with kicking off from the 40.

Boston University concussion expert Dr. Robert Cantu, who was not involved in the research, considers the return “the most dangerous play in football.” He noted that after data showed NFL concussions overall increased slightly last season, the league’s rules committee considered eliminating the kickoff return, but decided not to.

“The Ivy League is really leading the charge into bringing about rule changes to make football safer,” Cantu said.

In 2011, the NFL moved the kickoff line to the 35-yard line from the 30, but a published analysis concluded that overall kickoff play injuries dropped but not head injuries.

While the Ivy League’s rule was an experiment, the study results likely will solidify it as formal policy, Wiebe said.

“It’s a real public health success story,” he said.

___

AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo contributed to this report.

Sports – TIME

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Romania CB Holds Rates Steady

Romania’s central bank left its key interest rate unchanged on Wednesday, as it expects inflation to fall within its target in the coming months. The board of the National Bank of Romania left its monetary policy rate unchanged at 2.50 percent, in line with economists’ expectations. The bank kept its deposit facility rate at 1.50 percent and the lending facility rate at 3.50 percent.
RTT – Economic News

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Black Women Face High Risk, Dangers And Death Rates With Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October presents another opportunity to spread information about the disease and how it affects Black women. The disease is responsible for a high death rate in women of color, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Black women are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer despite doctors diagnosing the disease in African-American and white women at about the same rate, the CDC reported. Also, Black women are more often found to have triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive type that frequently returns after treatment.

Age is also a big factor: breast cancer incidence rates were higher among African-American women younger than 60 years old but lower among those who are 60 or older.

One reason for this statistic could be that medical professionals tend to find this cancer at an earlier stage in white women.  Also, Black women may have inadequate medical care, including limited access to cancer screening technology.

Doctors encourage women, especially those at high risk due to a family history or having BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, to get out ahead of the disease. Early detection measures such as mammograms and screenings are strongly recommended. Women can visit local hospitals that offer low-cost mammograms or call their local American Cancer Society chapter for help with screenings or doctor referrals.

In addition, researchers continue to look into why some women are more susceptible to triple-negative breast cancer, in order to find better treatment options.

Women can also choose a healthier lifestyle for a better chance of lowering risks for the disease. BreastCancer.org recommends exercise, a nutritious diet and avoiding smoking and alcohol as important in the battle against breast cancer — one that many women can win regardless of race.

Many women are speaking out to spread awareness about breast cancer and helping women to fight it. Serena Williams posted a powerful message about the disease recently.

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