Brentwood TN Homes: Finance Market Update April 4, 2011
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People say that "life is full of surprises."
And last week’s Jobs Report offered a few surprises of its own. But
were those surprises positive, and what do they mean for Brentwood TN home loan rates
overall? Read on for details.
The headline Jobs Report number showed that 216,000 jobs were created
in March, which was a positive surprise as this was above expectations.
In addition, 230,000 jobs were created in the private sector, which was
also better than expectations and offset a decline in government jobs. A
small 2,000 upwards revision to February's prior release added some
more jobs as well.
In addition, the Unemployment Rate surprisingly dropped to 8.8%,
which is the lowest unemployment rate since March of 2009. Remember, the
Unemployment Rate is derived from the Household Survey (exactly as it
sounds, from calls made to households), and is considered to be more
accurate than the Current Employment Statistics or Business Survey
(again as it sounds, from calls made to businesses), which is used to
determine the headline jobs number.
The one negative within the report is Hourly Earnings coming in at
0.0%. This is the second month in a row where earnings growth is 0.0%.
Why is this significant? If earnings don't grow, people have less to
spend and as a forward looking indicator on job growth, it shows that
businesses are presently not under any pressure to raise wages. This
means they may not have to hire new people as quickly because they may
have room to raise wages for present workers down the road.
Overall, the Jobs Report was a good report and reminds us that the trend in the labor market is improving. But
keep in mind, while lowering unemployment is good for our economy
overall – as are the other two goals (creating inflation and boosting
Stock prices) of the Fed’s current Quantitative Easing (QE2) program –
these goals can also lead to higher Brentwood TN homes loan rates over time.
In fact, inflation continues to be a growing concern both around the
world and here in the U.S., as several members of the Fed, including St.
Louis Fed President James Bullard, have expressed concern that if the
Fed waits "too long (to remove accommodative monetary policy) we will
get a lot of inflation in the United States and around the world."
What does this mean in the
long run? Like the Treasury Department, at some point the Fed will start
selling some of its massive holdings and unwind their QE1 and QE2
purchases. And when it does, not only will the Bond market lose a buyer
in the Fed, but they will gain a seller and this will make it hard for
Mortgage Backed Securities and home loan rates, which are tied to these
types of Bonds, to meaningfully improve.
If you have been thinking about purchasing or refinancing a Brentwood TN
home, call or email me to learn more about how you can benefit. Or
forward this newsletter on to someone you know who may benefit from
today’s historically low rates.
With the nuclear crisis continuing to unfold in
Japan, and the turmoil in the Middle East, world events may continue to
surprise our markets. Otherwise, it’s a quiet week when it comes to
economic reports, but be sure to look for:
- The minutes from the Fed's March 15 meeting
of the Federal Open Market Committee will be released on Tuesday.
These always have the potential to move the markets, especially if
inflation (which is the arch enemy of Bonds and home loan rates) is
- Thursday’s weekly Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims Report.
Last week’s Initial Jobless Claims were reported at 388,000, just above
expectations, but below that important 400,000 marker which shows that
the labor market continues to improve.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes
money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and Brentwood TN homes loan
rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite
As you can see in the chart below, Bonds and home loan
rates managed to end the week about the same place as where they
began... despite the volatility. I’ll be watching closely to see what
this week brings.
10 Ways to Guard Against Identity Theft When Traveling
Follow these steps to protect your personal information when you're away from home.
By Kimberly Lankford, Kiplinger.com
It’s easy to become a victim of identity theft while traveling,
whether for work or pleasure. Follow these tips to protect yourself.
1. Let your credit-card company know if you’ll be traveling (especially if you’re leaving the country).
Financial institutions’ fraud departments are becoming more vigilant
about any unusual activity on your card, which can be a great way to
detect a problem. But if you’re away from home when the bank calls to
verify the charges, you could end up with a frozen account while you’re
out of town. Avoid the hassles and notify your bank before you leave
2. Don’t automatically call back the phone number that claims to be from the bank.
If you get a phone call or e-mail about suspicious activity on your
card, don’t automatically call back the number on the message -- that’s a
common ploy by identity thieves to capture personal information. Call
the customer service number on the back of your credit card instead. If
the call was legitimate, they’ll be able to connect you to the
3. Secure your mail while you’re gone. Have a
trusted neighbor or friend pick up your mail every day, or stop your
mail at the post office if you’ll be gone for a while. Your mail can be a
treasure trove for criminals -- containing your credit-card numbers as
well as personal information that could lead to identity theft. "There’s
no greater magnet for burglars than a mailbox that is overflowing with
mail," says Adam Levin of Credit.com and Identity Theft 911. And don’t
announce the dates of your travel on your Facebook page. That’s like
issuing an open-invitation to thieves (see 5 Facebook Posts That Put You at Risk).
4. Weed out your wallet. Tourist destinations are
often a haven for pickpockets, so go through your wallet and take out
unneeded credit cards and personal information before you leave. Don’t
carry your Social Security number in your wallet, and only take the
credit cards that you need. Make copies of all of your important
documents, such as your passport, driver’s license, health insurance
card and tickets, so you’ll have access to the information if your
wallet is stolen, says Levin. Leave the copies with a trusted family
member or scan them into an encrypted file on your computer. Also keep a
list of contact numbers for your credit-card company and bank with you,
so it will be easy to call if your wallet is stolen or you have any
trouble with your account.
5. Be wary of generic ATMs. Banks have been
reporting an increase in ATM-skimming incidents. This is when thieves
install a card reader in an ATM to capture your account information and
PIN number, so they can steal from your account. Levin recommends
sticking with bank ATMs at a branch to be safe. "There’s a greater level
of security," he says.
6. Check your accounts regularly for suspicious activity.
"Spend a few minutes online every day looking at your bank and
credit-card accounts, and make sure every transaction is yours," says
Levin. This is a good idea all the time, but it’s particularly important
when you’re out of town and might miss a call from your bank about
suspicious activity. Some banks offer a service that will notify you by
text message or e-mail whenever a transaction above a certain size is
made on your card.
7. Be careful with hotel computers. Don’t access
your accounts or personal information on public hotel computers, which
could have software that logs keystrokes and records your passwords and
account numbers. And be very careful when using an unsecure wireless
8. Don’t leave personal information lying around in your hotel room.
Keep your credit cards and other important information with you or lock
them up in the hotel safe, says Levin, and leave your checkbook in a
safe place at home, if possible. Safeguard your laptop computer, too,
especially if it has account information that is not encrypted.
9. During long absences, freeze your credit. If
you’ll be traveling for a long time and won’t be able to check your
accounts regularly for suspicious activity, consider putting a freeze on
your credit report. A freeze prevents potential lenders from accessing
your credit report without your authorization, which can prevent
identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name. You can still
make charges to your current cards without unfreezing your account. It
generally costs $10 at each credit bureau to freeze the account and $10
to unfreeze it. For this precaution to be effective, you must freeze
your credit report at all three credit bureaus. Contact Equifax.com, TransUnion.com and Experian.com individually.
10. Be vigilant after you return home. Identity thieves are known for their patience, and it can take them a long time to pounce. Check your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com
for any suspicious activity -- you can get one free copy of your report
from each of the three credit bureaus every 12 months, and you can
stagger your requests so you can see one copy every four months. This is
a good move for everyone to do, even if they haven’t left home in a
For more information and steps to take to report ID theft, see the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft Site. Also see my Tricks ID Thieves Use column for ID theft red flags, How to Avoid ID Theft for steps to take if your wallet has been stolen, and Your ID Theft Prevention Kit for more information about protecting your identity.
Reprinted with permission. All Contents ©2011 The Kiplinger Washington Editors. www.kiplinger.com.
Economic Calendar for the Week of April 4-8, 2011
Remember, as a general rule, weaker than expected economic data is good for rates, while positive data causes rates to rise.
Economic Calendar for the Week of April 04 - April 08
|Tue. April 05
|ISM Services Index
|Tue. April 05
|Thu. April 07
|Jobless Claims (I|
Courtesy Billy Winfree Pinnacle Financial Partners 615-743-8397
Permission to Re-publish
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