It’s the End of the Year and I Know It

Last day of the year!  Make sure that you pay your state taxes and tie up any loose ends to avoid trouble on Thursday.  Interest rates are holding their own but definitely in an upward pattern:

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Consumer Confidence jumped up 8% from last month, and the Case-Shiller 20 City Index shows a 13.6% home price increase from last year at this time.  As more and more good news comes rolling in, the economy will pick up steam and rates will start rising more quickly.  I think that at best we can hope for an Olympic size ski jump at the end of our hill on the graph shown here.  That’s a matter of speculation and timing—and a foolish bet if you are holding out for better rates since they are steadily marching upward.

Home for the Holidays

The last few days of the year are upon us.  Wall Street is all but vacant again this week, unlike my house which is full of over-sugared children already claiming to be bored of the bounty received less than a week ago.

Pending Home Sales ticked up 0.2% last month, well under the 1.5% increase expected.  I guess that folks decided to spend all of their money on presents last week.  They should have bought a new home instead of all of the gifts under the tree; there’d be more to show for the expenditure and the kids would be just as excited.

Plus, the 4-4.5% 30 year interest rate on a home loan is much cheaper than what credit companies charge 🙂

Undomesticating American Brands

There is continued upward pressure on interest rates as we wind up 2013.  Rates have been at 50 year lows for the last 18 months, helping Stocks to have one of their best years ever.  Celebrating another all-time-high close yesterday at 1,842.02, the S&P has achieved new highs a whopping 50 times this year.  Rebounding Housing and Job markets have the Fed closely monitoring their direct involvement in asset purchases probably for the next few years. 30 Year interest rates are hanging on to the 4.0-4.5% range.  My guess is that these’ll rise to 4.25-4.625% by the end of next week.

Speaking of large purchases, did you know that these iconic American companies are no longer owned by Americans