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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for February 10th

Monday, February 10, 2020 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

Fed Chair Powell will be on Capitol Hill this week in front of Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday testifying on the state of the U.S. economy. Mr. Powell's speech to Congress was released Friday with little fanfare stating the U.S. economy grew modestly and the labor market continued to strengthen last year. Downside risks have diminished somewhat while the coronavirus poses a new concern.

The death toll from the coronavirus is nearly 1,000 while there are more than 40,000 cases. It is reported that workers are beginning to return to work in China while factories begin to slowly reopen. The problem with the coronavirus story is that it remains highly uncertain. We still don't know where it came from and if the spread outside of mainland China will continue. U.S. stocks are higher today, having shrugged off opening losses with the Dow, S&P and NASDAQ just below all-time highs.

Fears of a slowdown in oil consumption in China have pushed prices lower in the past few weeks. The decline has pushed U.S. gas prices at the pumps lower for the second straight week. The national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline is at $2.42, down from $2.47 last week and down from $2.60 a month ago. Gas prices are $0.16 more than last year but that gap has been declining for the past two months. The highest price ever recorded was $4.11 back on July 17, 2008.

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