BY FRED ARNOLD
So Bill Gates and the chairman of GM are arguing over which company is better. Bill Gates boast, " If cars grew in technology as fast as computers did, we would be driving v-32 instead of v-8, our cars would get 5000 miles to the gallon, the top speed would be Mach seven. Anyway the sticker price for a car would be 50 dollars." And which the GM replies, " Sure, but would you really want a car that crashes 4 times a day!"
The story this week has been the booming stock market and rising interest rates. The stock market has been on a rapid rise hitting new all-time highs almost daily my friends, Brian Jacobs, Chris Luechtefeld, Greg Hoelzel, Michael Berger, John Vance and Dennis DeYoung (financial advisor professionals) are all smiling! Monday the Federal Reserve officials suggested that the central bank will continue to support the economy even as it continues to improve. This simply means that they plan on keeping interest rates artificially low allowing businesses and consumers to continue to borrow money at very low interest rates. Funny thing, when I tell clients rates have risen .25% to 3.75% (30 year 417K loan 3.894 APR) they complain on how high rates are at first until I them the that rates are still at multi-generational lows!
Tuesday the market hit another record high during the day as investors continued to believe that the global economy will continue to improve because governments around the world are all doing what is necessary to support economic stability and growth. Wednesday the market closed at yet another new record based upon the optimistic ADP employment report indicating that the economy added 198,000 jobs. Additionally the prior months report was revised upward by 23,000 up to 215,000. Although payrolls did not increase as much as the prior month, the employment sector continues to show modest improvement. Finally, on Thursday the market once again topped the previous close. Manufacturing was up and first time jobless claims were less than expected.
Mortgage rates have been rising all week long in response to the strong gains in the markets. The positive movement in the stock markets and expectations of the continued economic improvement has investors putting more money into the stock market while selling off their bond investments. The selling of bonds and mortgage backed securities drives the yield on securities higher causing interest rates to rise.
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The forecast from Fiserv Case-Shiller predicts that home prices will increase by an average of 3.3% annually from now through September 2017. This would be a completely different picture than what we have experienced since 1997 where house prices rose and fell sharply. Between 1998 and 2006 prices averaged increases of 5% or more per year however once the real estate bubble burst home prices fell 30.5% from 2006 to September 2012.
Lastly the government spending cuts that went into effect on March 1st have not seemed to dampen the mood of consumers and business owners. The public seems to have gotten used to the craziness coming from the government and since many of the cuts do not impact the bulk of the population, most people are just going about their daily business. I am headed to DC tonight to see how I can convince law makers that additional tightening of mortgage lending standards is not necessary!
Next week's market moving reports are few and far between:
- Wednesday March 13th - MBA Applications and Retail Sales
- Thursday March 14th - First Time Jobless Claims and Producer Price Index
- Friday March 8th 2013 Consumer Price Index and Industrial Production
As your mortgage professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate information. I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can. Please feel free to reach me at 661-505-4300 .