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Well I thought I’d get back on the horse after a nice week off and a frantic two days getting caught back up.  This scatter diagram I caught in the New York Times on Monday adds additional impetus to get back to work, showing that men and women who earn more can expect to live longer lives.  The snapshot was taken of the individuals’ earnings in their 40’s, and then shows when they died.  Causality shares the same argument that has plagued both the chicken and the egg: do higher earnings/lower earnings allow/suppress a healthier lifestyle or does one earn more because he/she enjoys a healthier work life?  Who cares; the correlation is so linear that there is no room for questioning the integrity of the data.  Work hard and take care of yourself (by taking a week off every now and then?).

In the markets today, the Producer Price Index dropped -0.1% again, putting a another downer on the positive expectations. Retail Sales were also down -0.3% despite the number being anticipated to read above zero.  On the flipside, the Atlanta Fed had forecast Q1 GDP at 0.1%, and the New York Fed is showing a reading of 1.1%. Cat fight?

All of this economic data hovering around zero has helped mortgage pricing to improve to near yearly highs over the last two weeks.  However, profit taking and speculation have caused a 50bp drop since Monday.  Money is still super cheap!