News for Prescott AZ - AmericanTowns.com

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Weekly Rate Lock Advisory

Rate Lock Advisory - Sunday Dec. 27th



This week brings us the release of only one piece of economic data that is considered important to mortgage rates in addition to two important Treasury auctions. It is another holiday-shortened week with the New Years Day holiday Friday, so the data may have a heavier impact on trading than usual if it varies from forecasts by much. The bond market will close early Thursday and remain closed Friday as it did last week. With that type of schedule, many traders will not be working the latter part of the week, so any unexpected news or data may lead to a larger than usual reaction in the markets.

There is no relevant news scheduled for release tomorrow. Look for any significant changes in stocks to drive bond trading and mortgage rates. If the major stock indexes remain fairly calm, it is possible that bond prices and mortgage rates may follow suit.

The first important release comes late Tuesday morning when the Conference Board will post its Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for December. This is a pretty important release because it measures consumer willingness to spend. If consumers are more confident in their personal financial situations, they are more apt to make large purchases. Since consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, any related data is watched closely by market participants and can have a significant influence on mortgage rate direction. Current forecasts are calling for an increase in confidence from November's reading of 49.5. Analysts are expecting Tuesday's release to show a reading of 53.0. The lower the reading, the better the news for bonds and mortgage pricing.

This week also has Treasury auctions scheduled the first three days. The two that are most likely to influence mortgage rates are Tuesday's 5-year and Wednesday's 7-year Note sales. If those sales are met with a strong demand, particularly Wednesday's auction, bond prices may rise during afternoon trading. This could lead to improvements to mortgage rates shortly after the results of the sales are posted at 1:00 PM ET each day. But a lackluster investor demand may create bond selling and upward revisions to mortgage rates.

The bond market will close at 2:00 PM ET Thursday and all of the U.S. financial markets will be closed Friday in observance of the New Year's Day holiday. They will reopen for regular hours next Monday morning.

Overall, as we saw last week, a shortened trading week by no means translates into calmness. The thin trading often creates larger than usual fluctuations in the major indexes. Despite last week's shortened schedule, we saw plenty of movement in mortgage rates. This week likely will be the same as investors look to make year-end adjustments to their portfolios. Accordingly, I recommend keeping in contact with your mortgage professional if still floating an interest rate and closing in the immediate future.

If I were c onsidering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Float if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Float if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now... This is only my opinion of what I would do if I were financing a home. It is only an opinion and cannot be guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers.

 

This is not the opinion of Brad Bergamini, Realty Executives Northern Arizona or any of its affiliates.  This post is for informational purpose only and is not guaranteed and does not render as legal advice.  Buying and selling Real Estate in Arizona or Prescott Arizona is a serious task and should be consulted with personally with Realtor or Real Estate Attorney.  Please visit my website for contact information

http://bradbergamini.com

 

 

>> Market Update

 



 

>> Market Update 

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE  Last week presented us with divergent housing news. First, November Existing Home Sales came in UP 7.4%, at an annual rate of 6.54 million. This was way ahead of estimates and a 44.1% sales jump over a year ago. We had increases in all regions of the country, all due to single-family homes.

The median price went up to $172,600, down 4.3% from a year ago, but a big improvement from January, when prices were off 17.5% from the prior year. The supply declined to 6.5 months, as inventories fell to 3.52 million, their lowest level since December 2006. In the past three months, Existing Home Sales are up 28.5%. One more sign of housing market recovery came in a report that prices for homes financed with conforming mortgages increased 0.6% in October.

Now for the news in the other direction. November New Home Sales fell 11.3%, to an annual rate of 355,000. But November was an unusual month, with uncertainty over the tax credit slowing things down. New Home Sales are still UP 7.9% from January and inventories dropped in November to 235,000. This is the lowest level since 1971 and a 58.9% decline from the mid-2006 inventory peak. So even at this slower sales pace, experts feel home building will have to increase over the next few months to meet the demand that's out there.

>> Review of Last Week

UP WE GO... Four days of trading saw gains in the Dow of 85, 50, 1.5 and 53 points. These amounted to a weekly gain of almost 2%, a strong move up. The other major indexes went up even more and all hit new 52-week highs, so some observers think we may be off on another bull run. Inspiring investor confidence were some good economic data points. 

Tuesday, real growth in Q3 GDP was revised to a +2.2% annual rate from the previous +2.8% estimate. This was fine with investors, who saw that most of the downward revision was from lower inventory figures, which they feel should boost growth estimates for Q4. Hey, last January, the consensus forecast was only a +1.2% growth rate for Q3 GDP and +2% for Q4. And the odds were still 45% that the recession would last through the end of the year.

Wednesday, November Personal Income was up for the eighth month in a row, while the PCE inflation reading was up less than expected. The personal saving rate is at 4.7%, averaging 4.6% for the last 12 months. (It was less than 1% in early 2008!) The short week ended with an early Christmas present for the economy. Core capital goods shipments were up three months in a row, after October's 0.3% decline was revised to a strong 1.5% rise. Some economists now feel real GDP growth may come in at a +5% annual rate for Q4!

For the week, the Dow was UP 1.9%, to 10520.10; the S&P 500 was UP 2.2%, to 1126.48; while the Nasdaq was UP 3.3%, to 2285.69.


As stocks continued their upward moves, bonds prices dropped for the week. Adding to the downward price pressure, investors are feeling the economic recovery is taking hold and now worry about longer-term inflation. The FNMA 30-year 4.5% bond we watch ended the week down 141 basis points, closing at $99.81. Mortgage rates inched up for the third straight week, but still remain at historically low levels.

>> This Week’s Forecast

A QUIET WEEK FOR SANTA CLAUS... The four days leading up to New Year's are slim on economic news. Consumer Confidence looks at our mindset and the Chicago PMI gauges manufacturing, on the mend for several months now. The big thing to look for is a "Santa Claus Rally" sending stocks northward to finish the year. Stock and bond markets will be closed Friday for the holiday.

May you and yours enjoy a healthy, prosperous and Happy New Year!

>> The Week’s Economic Indicator Calendar

Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and rising loan rates.

Economic Calendar for the Week of December 28 – January 1

 Date

Time (ET)

Release

For

Consensus

Prior

Impact

Tu
Dec 29

10:00

Consumer Confidence

Dec

53.0

49.5

Moderate

W
Dec 30

09:45

Chicago PMI

Dec

55.1

56.1

HIGH

W
Dec 30

10:30

Crude Inventories

12/25

NA

–4.84M

Moderate

Th
Dec 31

08:30

Initial Unemployment Claims

12/26

465K

452K

Moderate

Th
Dec 31

08:30

Continuing Unemployment Claims

12/19

NA

5.076M

Moderate

 

>> Federal Reserve Watch   

Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months. With last week's benign inflation readings and revised Q3 GDP growth, experts feel the Fed will hold to their commitment to keep rates low for an extended period. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% certainty the rate will stay the same.

Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%–0.25%

After FOMC meeting on:

Consensus

Jan 27

0%–0.25%

Mar 16

0%–0.25%

Apr 28

0%–0.25%


Probability of change from current policy:

After FOMC meeting on:

Consensus

Jan 27

     1%

Mar 16

     5%

Apr 28

    11%

 

 

This is not the opinion of Brad Bergamini, Realty Executives Northern Arizona or any of its affiliates.  This post is for informational purpose only and is not guaranteed and does not render as legal advice.  Buying and selling Real Estate in Arizona or Prescott Arizona is a serious task and should be consulted with personally with Realtor or Real Estate Attorney.  Please visit my website for contact information

http://bradbergamini.com

 

 

Monday, December 07, 2009

Smart Mortgage Update

 

Effective December 12, Fannie Mae is lowering their maximum allowable debt to income ratio for borrowers.  Their current 55% maximum will be lowered to 45%.  A debt to income ratio is determined by taking a borrowers monthly debt (PITI mortgage payment + Auto Payments + Student Loan payments + Minimum payment on credit cards) divided by their Pre-Tax monthly income.  A borrowers monthly income is still determined by underwriting rules.  Bonus/Commission/Overtime require a 2 year average and Self Employed/1099 borrowers base income on their tax returns (usually the Adjusted Gross Income).  Also, Fannie will no longer allow fico scores under 620 regardless of any other loan factors.

 

 

This is not the opinion of Brad Bergamini, Realty Executives Northern Arizona or any of its affiliates.  This post is for informational purpose only and is not guaranteed and does not render as legal advice.  Buying and selling Real Estate in Arizona or Prescott Arizona is a serious task and should be consulted with personally with Realtor or Real Estate Attorney.  Please visit my website for contact information

http://bradbergamini.com

 

 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekly Rate Lock Advisory

Rate Lock Advisory - Sunday Nov. 22nd



This holiday-shortened week brings us the release of seven relevant economic reports for the markets to digest. All of the week's data is being posted over just three days, so the first part of the week should be interesting for mortgage shoppers.

October's Existing Home Sales data will be posted late tomorrow morning. This report, along with Wednesday's New Home Sales data are the least important reports of the week. They give us a measurement of housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand, but the bond market generally does not rely heavily on their results. They both are expected to show increases in sales, indicating that the housing sector may be strengthening.

The first important data comes early Tuesday morning when the first revision to the 3rd Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be posted. The GDP revision is expected to show a downward revision from last month's preliminary reading of a 3.5% annual rate of expansion. Curre nt forecasts call for a reading of approximately 2.9%, meaning that there was less economic growth during the third quarter than previously thought. This would be good news for the bond market and mortgage rates, but it will likely take a smaller than expected reading for this report to improve mortgage rates.





November's Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) will be released by the Conference Board late Tuesday morning. It gives us a measurement of consumer willingness to spend. If consumer confidence is rising, analysts believe that consumers are more apt to make larger purchases, essentially fueling economic growth. This raises inflation concerns and usually pushes mortgage rates higher. Analysts are expecting to see little change from last month's 47.7 reading, meaning consumer were just as concerned about their own financial situations as they were last month. A weaker than expected reading should be good news for mortgage rates, but a stronger than expected reading could push mortgage rates higher Tuesday.

There are four reports scheduled to be posted Wednesday morning. October's Durable Goods Orders is the first and will be posted early morning. This data helps us measure manufacturing strength by tracking orders for big-ticket items, but is known to be quite volatile from month-to-month. It is expected to show a 0.5% increase in new orders. A smaller than expected rise would be considered good news for the bond market and mortgage rates.





The second is October's Personal Income and Outlays data. This data is thought to measure consumers' ability to spend and their current spending habits. This is important because consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy. It is expected to show that income rose 0.2% and that spending increases 0.5%. Smaller than expected readings would be good news for bonds and could lead to improvements in mortgage rates.

The revised November reading to the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment will also be posted late Wednesday morning. Analysts are expecting to see an upward revision to the preliminary reading of 66.0. Unless we see a significant variance from the forecasted reading, I don't think this data will cause much movement in mortgage rates Wednesday.





October's New Home Sales is the last report, but it is the least important. I don't think this data will influence mortgage rates unless it varies greatly from forecasts and the rest of the day's news matches forecasts.

The financial markets will be closed Thursday in observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. There will not be an early close Wednesday ahead of the holiday, but they will close early Friday and will reopen next Monday morning. I suspect that Friday will be a very light day in bond trading as many market participants will be home. Banks have to be open Friday , but we will likely see little change to mortgage rates that day.





Overall, I believe that it is going to be an active week for the mortgage market, particularly the first half. Friday will be the least important day of the week and either Tuesday or Wednesday will be the most important. I expect to see plenty of movement in rates the first couple of days, so please be careful and maintain contact with your mortgage professional if you have not locked an interest rate yet.

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Float if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Float if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now... This is only my opinion of what I would do if I were financing a home. It is only an opinion and cannot be guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other b orrowers.

 

This is not the opinion of Brad Bergamini, Realty Executives Northern Arizona or any of its affiliates.  This post is for informational purpose only and is not guaranteed and does not render as legal advice.  Buying and selling Real Estate in Arizona or Prescott Arizona is a serious task and should be consulted with personally with Realtor or Real Estate Attorney.  Please visit my website for contact information

http://bradbergamini.com

 

 

 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Here is some good information on the new home buyer tax credit.

Here is some good information on the new home buyer tax credit.

 

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

·         A First Time Home Buyer is defined as someone who has not owned a Primary Residence in the past 3 years

·         Once you marry a homeowner you automatically become a homeowner regardless of who is on the title and the loan (IRS rules, not my rules)

·         The buyer must have an accepted purchase contract by April 30, 2010 and fund/record by June 30, 2010 to qualify.

·         In Arizona, there is no way to use this money upfront for down payment or closing costs unfortunately

·         The Tax Credit is the lesser of 10% of the purchase price or $8000

·         The Tax Credit is “real money” that you get as part of your tax refund

·         This credit does not need to be repaid if you live in the home for 3 years

·         The credit begins to “phase out” for Singles with income above $125k/year and Married above $250k/year

·         The max purchase price of the home is $800k.

·         If Mom and Dad (that own a home) Co-Sign for their child to help him qualify, the child can still take the Tax Credit.  Perfect for an FHA loan!

·         This Tax Credit is a Tax Related issue and therefore you should consult a tax professional for advice.  Two good websites for info are www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com and http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206294,00.html  (IRS site still needs to be updated for the move-up buyer tax credit).

·         To claim the credit the buyer must include IRS tax form 5405 along with a Final Stamped HUD-1 Settlement Statement issued by the title company after a successful close.

 

”Move-Up Buyer” Tax Credit

·         A “Move-up Buyer” is defined as a home owner who has owned and resided in the same home for at least five consecutive years of the eight years prior to the purchase date.

·         The buyer must have an accepted purchase contract by April 30, 2010 and fund/record by June 30, 2010 to qualify.

·         In Arizona, there is no way to use this money upfront for down payment or closing costs unfortunately

·         The Tax Credit is the lesser of 10% of the purchase price or $6500

·         The Tax Credit is “real money” that you get as part of your tax refund

·         This credit does not need to be repaid if you live in the home for 3 years

·         The credit begins to “phase out” for Singles with income above $125k/year and Married above $250k/year

·         The max purchase price of the home is $800k.

·         This Tax Credit is a Tax Related issue and therefore you should consult a tax professional for advice.  Two good websites for info are www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com and http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206294,00.html  (IRS site still needs to be updated for the move-up buyer tax credit).

·         To claim the credit the buyer must include IRS tax form 5405 along with a Final Stamped HUD-1 Settlement Statement issued by the title company after a successful close.

·         Loan underwriting guidelines still state that a move-up buyer needs to qualify with both mortgage payments unless the primary residence that the borrower is vacating has 25%/30% (FHA/Conventional) equity along with a rental contract and proof of security deposit. 

 

 

Take Care,

 

Monday, November 09, 2009

YOU COULD BE A JAILBIRD IF...

I was sent an email the other day with the following. Please read all the way through. This in not scare tacticts just scary.

 

JAIL FOR NO INSURANCE UNDER PELOSI BILL

The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation reported that the House version of the health care bill specifies that those who don't buy health insurance and do not pay the fine of about 2.5% of their income for failing to do so can face a penalty of up to five years in prison!

The bill describes the penalties as follows:

* Section 7203 - misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

* Section 7201 - felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years." [page 3]

That anyone should face prison for not buying health insurance is simply incredible.

And how much will the stay-out-of-jail insurance cost?  The Joint Committee noted that "according to a recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, the lowest-cost family non-group plan under HR 3862 (the Pelosi bill) would cost $15,000 by 2016."

Obama's bill only provides subsidies to help pay this enormous sum after families making about $45,000 have paid 8% of their income for insurance and after those earning a household income of about $65,000 have kicked in 12%. 

The Joint Committee on Taxation noted that while the Senate Finance Committee version of the bill did not include criminal penalties, "The House Democrats' bill, however, contains no similar language protecting American citizens from civil and criminal tax penalties that could include a $250,000 fine and five years in jail."

Remember that simply buying catastrophic insurance, which may be all the young uninsured family needs, does not constitute having adequate insurance under the Obama bill.  It has to be total, all inclusive insurance for one to avoid the penalties in the legislation.  That is because Obama wants to use these premiums from the currently uninsured to subsidize his program.

So Ms. Pelosi is requiring Americans to pay these steep premiums, or a fine of 2.5% of their income for not doing so, or, potentially, go to prison!

Anyone who is familiar with the U.S. prison system can attest to the large number of people incarcerated for similar white collar offenses.  That the House bill would treat failure to carry health insurance or pay the fine as tax evasion or willful nonpayment is amazing!

And where is the constitutional basis for requiring everyone to buy insurance?  It is OK for a state to make drivers pay for automobile insurance.  Driving is not a right, it is a privilege, and the state may regulate it by demanding insurance.  Banks can require homeowners to buy insurance as a condition of their lending.  But how does the federal government get the right to require a family to buy health insurance or face a civil penalty and, failing that, to face either a criminal fine or jail?

The tough penalties in the House bill are designed to keep insurance companies from opposing the bill.  It was the relaxation of these penalties in the Senate Finance Committee version of the legislation that led the companies to reverse field and come out in opposition to the legislation.  The insurance companies want to see their coffers swell when tens of millions of new customers are required to buy insurance.  The more draconian the penalties for failing to pay them large sums of money to pad their bottom lines, the better.

The more you read this bill, the worse it gets.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tax Credit

By COREY BOLES and JOHN D. MCKINNON

WASHINGTON -- Senate negotiators reached a tentative deal to extend a tax credit for first-time home buyers, but its passage remains uncertain.

The agreement would extend the existing credit for first-time home buyers, worth up to $8,000, while offering a new credit of up to $6,500 for some existing homeowners, Senate aides said. The reduced credit would be available to all home buyers who have been in their current residence for a consecutive five-year period in the past eight years.

The new provisions are aimed at broadening availability of the credit beyond first-time buyers and giving the weakened real-estate market a bigger boost while preventing real-estate investors from benefiting.

Many property experts have cited the credit as a reason for signs of recovery in the housing market in recent months. But that recovery was somewhat undercut by the September drop in new-home sales reported Wednesday.

The credit would be extended from its current expiration date of Dec. 1 to all contracts entered into by April 30, and closed before July 1. It is expected that income limits on people claiming the credit would be increased to $125,000 for singles and $250,000 for couples, from the current $75,000 and $150,000, aides said. The credit phases out for people making more than those amounts.

While Senate lawmakers appear to have reached a deal on the substance of the tax credit, they are still at odds over how it would be brought to the Senate floor. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) hopes to add it to a bill currently on the Senate floor to extend federal unemployment insurance benefits. But agreement on that hasn't been finalized.

While Senate Republicans are likely to support the measure, House Democrats have raised concerns that it carries a high cost to the government. The Internal Revenue Service is examining the program for alleged abuse.

=

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Time to Read Between the Lines

 

 

 

Last Week in Review

 

 

"THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS..." Or so the famous saying goes. And when it comes to really understanding the various reports and events unfolding in the economy, it's important to take a look at the details - not just the headlines. Here's what you need to know.

On the inflation front, the Producer Price Index, which measures wholesale inflation, unexpectedly fell due to a drop in energy prices. While that seems like good news on the surface, keep in mind that next month's number could climb higher again, as oil and natural gas have both been on a tear higher lately.

In housing news, Housing Starts and Building Permits both came in a bit below expectations, but this may be a sign that builders are exercising some caution - particularly in the face of the $8,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers that is presently set to expire on November 30th. Existing Home Sales came in better than expected - and a whopping 45% of those homes were sold to first time homebuyers - rushing to move in on that credit. Recent studies have shown that many who qualify for this tax credit aren't even aware of it...so please let me know if you or someone you know needs more information - the clock is ticking!

Additionally, the level of existing homes inventory shrunk to a 7.8 month supply, down from a recent high of 10.1 months in April.

-----------------------
Chart: Existing Home Sales (Supply in Months)

In other news, 3rd quarter earnings season continues, where companies report their status as of the end of September. While many companies are beating expectations, it's important to realize that many of those companies achieved better earnings by cost cutting and layoffs, not from increased sales. This is a big disconnect between Wall Street and "Main Street". Stocks are rocketing higher based on these "positive" reports, but the cost cutting and job cutting measures can only go so far...you can't simultaneously grow the ranks of unemployment - and then grow your business, hoping for increased sales to those same people who are without jobs.

Last week's Jobless Claims numbers seem to confirm this as Initial Jobless Claims rose more than expected. In addition, the number of individuals continuing to receive unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since March, but this is likely the result of people's unemployment benefits expiring, without them having been able to find jobs.

Also worth noting is the news that ratings agency Moody's lead analyst, Steven Hess, said that the US needs to cut its deficit or it could lose its "AAA" rating in the next 3 to 4 years, which we have maintained since 1917! Think of all we've been through - two World Wars, the Depression, three Wall Street collapses and major terrorist attacks...yet our credit quality has maintained that AAA rating, allowing us to issue debt at the most favorable rates. Hess went on to say that if the US doesn't "get the deficit down in the next 3-4 years to a sustainable level, then the rating will be in jeopardy." And just like on a mortgage when the credit rating gets reduced, interest rates move higher. This will definitely be something we'll keep an eye on in the months ahead.

After all the week's action, Bonds and home loan rates ended the week slightly worse than where they began.

AS THE PRESIDENT HAS DECLARED H1N1 - "SWINE FLU" - TO BE A NATIONAL EMERGENCY - GETTING THE FACTS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER. DO YOU KNOW HOW TO TELL WHAT'S JUST A COLD...AND WHAT IS ACTUALLY SWINE FLU? READ THIS WEEK'S MORTGAGE MARKET VIEW - AND PASS ON THE DETAILS TO YOUR FRIENDS AND COWORKERS.

 

Forecast for the Week

 

 

Another record sized round of Treasury auctions are on tap this week - and the massive amounts of supply that continue to flood the market can cause home loan rates to move higher, if there is ultimately not enough demand to sop up all the supply. Additionally, there are several economic reports which could be market movers. Tuesday brings both the Consumer Confidence and Durable Goods Reports, the latter of which gives us an update on consumer and business consumption and buying behavior via data on items that are non-disposable, such as cars, furniture, appliances, games, cameras, business equipment, etc.

On Wednesday, there will be more news on the housing front with the New Home Sales Report, while Thursday brings another Initial Jobless Claims Report. Thursday also brings a read on the economy with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report, which is the broadest measure of economic activity. And the week could end with a bang, as Friday brings the Fed's favorite gauge of inflation, the Core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Index, found within the Personal Income Report.

Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result.

As you can see in the chart below, Bonds held their ground for most of the week but ultimately were unable to remain above a key technical support level. I'll be watching closely to see what happens in the week ahead - and as always, reach out to me if you or others in your network need more information or questions answered...I'm here to help.

Chart: Fannie Mae 4.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Oct 23, 2009)

Japanese Candlestick Chart

 

The Mortgage Market View...

 

 

H1N1: Information is the Best Defense!

Despite predictions from researchers at Purdue University that the H1N1 outbreak will peak this week, the reality is that it won't be going away any time soon. Let's not forget that the news is filled with shortages of the vaccine, as the number of H1N1 cases continues to surge across the country. And federal officials have warned that a second, larger outbreak could occur in early January.

The reality is that the best way to stop the spread of H1N1 is to know the symptoms and to take steps to protect yourself-and others-from it. The following information can help.

What are the symptoms of H1N1... and how are they different from the common cold?

Symptom

Cold

H1N1 Flu

Fever

Fever is rare with a cold.

Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.

Coughing

A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.

A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).

Aches

Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.

Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

Stuffy Nose

Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.

Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.

Chills

Chills are uncommon with a cold.

60% of people who have the flu experience chills.

Tiredness

Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.

Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.

Sneezing

Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.

Sneezing is not common with the flu.

Sudden Symptoms

Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.

The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.

Headache

A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.

A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat

Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.

Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.

Chest Discomfort

Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.

Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

If you think you have the H1N1 flu, you should take a few common-sense steps to protect your friends, family members, and coworkers. For instance, if you feel sick, stay home until you feel better and have gone at least 24 hours without relying on medicine to break your fever.

In addition, wash your hands, linens, dishes, and so on thoroughly. And cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze--and then throw the tissue away immediately. Finally, if you have to share a small space with other people, consider wearing a facemask to help make sure you don't spread the flu to the people around you.

Follow these steps and monitor your symptoms to help stop the spread of H1N1...and remain happy and healthy!

 

The Week's Economic Indicator Calendar

 

 

Remember, as a general rule, weaker than expected economic data is good for rates, while positive data causes rates to rise.

Economic Calendar for the Week of October 26 - October 30

Date

ET

Economic Report

For

Estimate

Actual

Prior

Impact

Tue. October 27

10:00

Consumer Confidence

Oct

54.0

 

53.1

Moderate

Wed. October 28

08:30

Durable Goods Orders

Sept

0.7%

 

-2.4%

Moderate

Wed. October 28

10:00

New Home Sales

Sept

440K

 

429K

Moderate

Wed. October 28

10:30

Crude Inventories

10/23

NA

 

1.31M

Moderate

Thu. October 29

08:30

Jobless Claims (Initial)

10/24

525K

 

531K

Moderate

Thu. October 29

08:30

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Q3

3.1%

 

-0.7%

Moderate

Thu. October 29

08:30

GDP Chain Deflator

Q3

1.3%

 

0.0%

HIGH

Fri. October 30

10:00

Consumer Sentiment Index (UoM)

Oct

70.0

 

69.4

Moderate

Fri. October 30

09:45

Chicago PMI

Oct

48.5

 

46.1

HIGH

Fri. October 30

08:30

Personal Consumption Expenditures and Core PCE

YOY

NA

 

1.3%

HIGH

Fri. October 30

08:30

Personal Consumption Expenditures and Core PCE

Sept

0.2%

 

0.1%

HIGH

Fri. October 30

08:30

Personal Spending

Sept

-0.4%

 

1.3%

Moderate

Fri. October 30

08:30

Personal Income

Sept

0.0%

 

0.2%

Moderate

Fri. October 30

10:00

Employment Cost Index (ECI)

Q3

0.5%

 

0.4%

HIGH

 

 

Equal Housing Lender          

 

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