Economic Report: Mortgage rates tick down, but can borrowers seize the opportunity?

Rates for home loans ticked down as the bond market moved sideways and the housing market made little headway. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.52% during the July 19 week, down one basis point, according to the weekly data from mortgage provider Freddie Mac. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.00%, down from 4.02%. The 5-year … Read more

Democrats Plan to Obstruct Trump’s Pick to Head IRS

Several Senate Democrats say they’ll vote against President Donald Trump’s choice to head the IRS to protest a new agency policy allowing some groups to hide their donors’ identities. Critics say the policy will let more dark money — including from foreign interests — flood into the U.S. political system. With Republicans in the majority … Read more

Farmers Hope for Quick End to Tariffs as US-China Trade War Escalates

Many anxious American farmers are delaying purchases and investment while hoping for a truce in a U.S.-China trade war that has left their crops at a competitive disadvantage because of tariffs overseas. “I fully support my president, but it’s tough to defend it. We don’t really defend tariffs; we defend fair trade. We wish there … Read more

Bond Report: Treasury yields fall as Trump says he’s not happy about Fed hiking rates

Long-dated Treasury prices were on track to fall for a fourth straight day, pushing yields higher, as fixed-income investors mostly focused on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s expectation that the central bank would remain on a steady rate-hike trajectory amid signs of increased wage and inflationary pressures. Investors will be watching for a fresh round … Read more

All those aerobic and meditation classes may not boost company profit—or morale

Does that lunchtime aerobic workout or afternoon meditation really help you become a happier, healthier and more productive employee? Health insurers and fitness gurus have long said that wellness programs can reduce medical spending, increase productivity, and improve well-being. However, a study released in June from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found little evidence … Read more

Capitol Report: Trump’s CFPB nominee suggests she would support action against Equifax

C-SPAN Kathleen Kraninger spent most of her confirmation hearing to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday ducking questions about her involvement in Trump administration policies such as the zero-tolerance immigration enforcement and Puerto Rico rebuilding efforts. But one thing she made clear was that she supported the agency’s taking enforcement action … Read more