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Easing off the throttle by another $10B, the Fed will purchase a total of $15,000,000,000 in mortgage backed securities and Treasuries (10 billion in Treasuries and five billion in mortgages) next month.  This is down from the original 85 billion per month when Quantitative Easing began almost six years ago….  The DOW took the news well, closing at another all-time record high of 17,156, up 24 points, while Mortgage Bonds lost 25 basis points to fuel the surge in Stocks.  The DOW is up almost 100 already this morning as Mortgage Backed Securities settle in at the lowest price of the last five month, putting upward pressure on interest rates.

Although they are phasing out their purchase of long term debt, the Federal Open Market Committee yesterday reaffirmed their commitment to keep the Fed Funds Rate (which directly affects short term interest rates like credit cards) at the current level for a “considerable time”.

Among this morning’s data released, Building Permits decline 6% to just under 1MM (annualized), and Housing Starts are also just under 1MM, a drop of over 14% from the month prior. Jobless Claims fall 36K to just 280,000 new filings for Unemployment Compensation last week.