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It is clear that there remain lots of investors with money on the sidelines waiting for prices to dip before jumping in. This week was one of those times. The markets rose considerably on Thursday (Friday the markets were closed for Good Friday). Much of that upward activity was caused by investors trying to take advantage of what they perceived to be depressed valuations for some stocks, particularly the recently beat up technology sector. For the quarter, though, the S&P 500 is down 1.2% as concerns about rising interest rates, tariffs and doubts about the sustainability of the values of technology stocks have weighed down investor sentiment.


According to Mortgage News Daily, rates have been hovering in the same range of late. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.5%. The average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.89%.


The U.S. dollar just had its fifth straight quarter where its value decreased. The currency was down 2.6% according to the Wall Street Journal Dollar Index which measures it against 16 other currencies. The dollar has been challenged by uncertainty over U.S. trade policy and the acceleration in growth abroad. The weaker dollars helps U.S. companies that export, lifting their stock prices. It also increases prices for commodities such as oil and gold.


Of course, a weaker dollar can also encourage inflation. In February, inflation rose by 0.2%. Overall inflation is running at 1.8% from February of last year as compared with a 1.7% rate that had been holding for the prior three months.



MORTGAGE RATES: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/844171.aspx
DOLLAR FALLING: https://www.wsj.com/articles/dollar-extends-last-years-slide-into-2018-1522584000
INFLATION INCHING HIGHER: https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-annual-inflation-posts-strongest-increase-in-nearly-a-year-1522329173