Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Mortgage rates keep climbing * Long-term U.S. mortgage rates continued to surge this week in the aftermath of Donald Trump's election win. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Wednesday that the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan shot up to 4.03 percent, the highest since July 2015 and up from 3.94 percent a week earlier. The rate on 15-year home loans climbed to 3.25 percent, up from 3.14 percent last week and the highest since January. Long-term rates are rising because bond investors believe Trump's plan to cut taxes and spend massively on roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure could ignite inflation. When they foresee rising inflation, investors demand higher long-term rates and pay lower prices for bonds.

Consumer sentiment at 6-month high * U.S. consumer sentiment brightened after the presidential election as Americans expressed greater confidence in the outlook for their personal finances and prospects for economic growth, a survey said on Wednesday. The University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its consumer sentiment index rose to a final reading of 93.8 for November, up from both the preliminary reading of 91.6 earlier in the month and October's final reading of 87.2. The rise pushed the index to its highest level since May.

Jobless aid applications rise * More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, but claims remain at levels showing that overall, workers have job security. Applications rose by 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 251,000. They had fallen the previous week to the lowest level since 1973. The less-volatile four-week average slid by 2,000 to 251,000. The overall number of people collecting unemployment was 2.04 million, down more than 6 percent from a year earlier. Weekly claims have come in below 300,000 for 90 straight weeks, the longest streak since 1970.

Big gain for durable goods * Orders for big-ticket manufactured good rose 4. …

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