Pending Home Sales rose 1.6% last month, beating the 0.6% expected rise by 1.0%–if I did my math right.  November’s number showed a -2.5% decline, so we’ll gladly take a positive number to start out the new year.

Personal Income rose 0.3% last month, a little off the 0.4% increase expected, but better than the goose egg 0.0% from November. Consumer Spending rose 0.5%, which was right in line with expectations.  Mr. T pities the fool who spends more than they earn, be it a family or a country.

The Fed hasn’t been throwing any new money into the mortgage market, but is still buying $8-9 Billion in mortgage backed securities each and every week as their current investments mature.  This has done more to keep mortgage rates low than the Fed Funds Rate manipulation, but we haven’t even talked about TARP in any way for a few years.  Maybe Janet Yellen will mention the program at the conclusion of the FOMC meeting on Wednesday.  Their goal had been to eventually get out of the the purchasing game and let rates stabilize on their own.  The MBS purchasing program has been going on now form almost nine years and has kept rates at record lows during the entire time.

This week brings a Fed Meeting (and the slim possibility of a rate hike), housing data, and a jobs report.