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Low 15 and 30 year interest rates for home mortgage plans act as catalyst; Freddie Mac Market Survey Data; Should Homeowners Refinance

Posted on | October 22, 2014 | No Comments

Lower mortgage interest rates should continue to support housing sector recovery in 2014:
Interest rates for the standard 30 and 15 year fixed home loan plans recently dropped lower again. Freddie Mac reported that the average interest rate for the 30 year fixed plan dipped below the 4 percent mark in the most recent assessment. Dropping below the 4 percent level is a psychological barrier that, now surpassed, will likely open the doors for many more potential home loan and refinancing candidates. Refinancing numbers are currently on the rise and the low rates are a primary reason.
Current mortgage interest rates for the 30 and 15 year fixed plans:
According to Freddie Mac’s mortgage market survey data, the current interest rate for the 30 year fixed plan posts at 3.97 percent down from 4.12 percent the week prior. This mark represents the lowest level for the 30 year home loan since June of 2013. The average interest rate right now for the 15 year fixed plan posts at 3.18 percent, down from 3.3 percent the week prior. The 15 year interest rate plan is historically a popular plan for those looking to refinance, and so the dip sparked additional refinancing activity in the marketplace last week.
Additionally, the average rate of the five year adjustable rate mortgage plan dropped to 2.92 percent from the 3.05 percent that posted the week prior.
More Americans are currently in the process of determining if refinancing is the best option for them. The lower rates are definitely a benefit, but the cost of the refinancing paperwork may offset the cost of the refinance itself. Homeowners should keep this in mind when considering a possible refinance.

Stephen Johnson

Gas and crude oil rates stay low; Contract oil price per barrel and AAA gas per gallon rate update today October 22, 2014

Posted on | October 22, 2014 | No Comments

Crude oil price per barrel and crude oil global market news review today October 22, 2014:
Many investors and analysts are wondering the same thing, has oil price hit rock bottom yet? Fears and uncertainty associated with global economic growth slowdowns, as well as the ongoing increase in crude supply around the globe, continue to fuel the fear associated with dropping oil prices. Crude oil price fell lower again to open this trading week. November contract crude contract price dipped by .05 percent to close the opening trading session of this week at the floor rate of 82.71 per barrel. One month and one year price change remain negative at this time. According to price change analysis, price change for oil is negative by approximately 9.2 percent over the last month. One year price change for crude oil is negative right now by approximately 16 percent. Oil prices have plunged this year and it does not appear to be stabilizing. Fears linked to the economic slowdowns in Europe and Germany are specifically problematic. Sluggish demand in these countries, as well as in China, has taken a toll on Crude oil exports and prices. Also, the dollar maintained a strong trend this year, and as is often the case, a stronger dollar can translate into lower prices for commodities like gold and oil. This has happened this year.
During the last full trading session, crude oil prices notched higher on the day by .12 percent to close at the floor rate of 82.81 per barrel. The slight rise in oil price last session was due, in part, to the perceived increase in demand out of China. Implied oil demand in China rose by more than 6 percent. This news moved the needle considering that China is the world’s largest energy consumer. The slight rise in oil prices last session have many wondering if oil prices have hit rock bottom and if prices will begin to climb again.
Although crude oil contract price notched higher during the last full trading session, crude oil price trends have been pressured for months as is evidenced via the one month and one year change analysis. The overabundance of crude oil supplies pushes crude price lower and is ultimately causing gas prices to dip as well.
According to the AAA gas gauge report, the current average price for a gallon of gasoline posted at $3.09 which was lower than the price of $3.10 that posted one day prior. One year ago, a gallon of regular gasoline posted at $3.35 according to AAA.



Camillo Zucari

Brandy Melville Fashion Sense makes little sense to some; America’s Girls must drop weight to fit in

Posted on | October 21, 2014 | No Comments

Fashion News review Brandy Melville Notes Today October 21, 2014:
One of the hottest teen clothing lines in the U.S. right now is the Brandy Melville clothing line. The garments include tanks, tees, shorts and jeans. The Brandy Melville chain includes 18 stores in the U.S. in hot spots such as California and New York City. The brand is trending with young teens in America and getting hotter. According to a recent survey via Piper Jaffray, the brand is growing swiftly with the American teen contingent. The growing popularity though has not come without its share of criticism.
Body image and perception, and the way that the brand promotes its line of clothing, is the concern. Almost all of the items sold by the Brandy Melville stores are labeled as “small” or “one size.” Apparently, the marketing employes tactics that many find disheartening and some find grotesque. Typical Brandy Melville cloths are small and if a body can fit into the clothes, then they get to fit into the “Brandy Melville group.” The pants that Brandy Melville offers are almost exclusively between a size 0 and 2. This size will not fit the average American girl.
The controversy with the brand and it’s marketing strategy centers around fat shaming. To fit into the exclusive brand name, a girl’s body size must be below the average weight of the standard teenage girl in the U.S. To be cool, many young girls may have to go to unnatural lengths to fit into Brandy Melville. The body image marketing tactic employed by Brandy Melville could be a toxic message for America’s impressionable youth.



Nancy Lee

low oil price per barrel black crude contract; black gold news; Oil rate drop could be bad for Global Economy

Posted on | October 21, 2014 | 1 Comment

Crude oil price and oil market news update today October 21, 2014:
Crude oil prices have been tracking lower over the course of the last few months and contract crude oil price per barrel dipped once more during the opening trading session of this week. Opening day was a choppy trading session this week as U.S. and global crude benchmarks ended the day lower. The price drop was due, in part, to concerns associated with the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Crude oil contract price close and price change review today:
November contract crude price dipped lower last session by .05 percent to close the day at the floor rate of 82.71 per barrel. The negative close extended oil contract’s losses this year. One month price change for light crude contract is currently negative by approximately 10.44 percent. One year price change for crude is negative right now by approximately 16.37 percent.
The most recent price drop in crude came as concerns intensified that the surplus of oil in the world will only increase given the news that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will maintain high production levels despite the growing global supply and the decrease in demand from other countries that are producing more. Countries, like the U.S., have increased their production numbers in recent years and this is putting a strain on countries that normally count on certain levels of exports to finance their national budgets. As a result, investors and analysts are currently mixed on their opinions of future oil prices at this time.



Camillo Zucari

Current Low 15 and 30 year fixed mortgage interest rates spark Housing Sector in U.S.; Will rates move even lower this year for home buyers

Posted on | October 21, 2014 | No Comments

Mortgage interest rates and housing sector news review today October 21, 2014: Mortgage interest rates recently dipped lower again which is good news for potential home buyers. Lending has been tighter in recent years and so the mortgage interest rate drop should act as a catalyst to push could-be home buyers from the sidelines and into the housing sector marketplace in early fall. Housing sector data has also been positively skewed and this could be motivating as well. Potential home buyers will want to lock in lower rates and prices before they rise again.
Housing starts rose in September and this is a good sign for the U.S. housing sector. More deals are being made and more money is changing hands. Competition is thus on the rise and this could push home prices higher. Housing starts in September rose 6.3 percent from the month prior to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.017 million units. Building permits increased by 1.5 percent which is another great sign for the future of the U.S. housing sector. Single family units, which represents approximately 66 percent of the market, rose 1.1 percent in September and starts are up about 3.8 percent through this point this year compared to the same point last year.
The positively skewed housing sector data will pair with the drop in mortgage interest rates to act as a catalyst for deal making. Freddie Mac just reported that interest rates for the standard 30 and 15 year fixed plans dropped lower. According to Freddie Mac, the average interest rate for the 30 year fixed mortgage plan dropped to 3.97 percent. The 15 year fixed rate dipped to 3.18 percent according to the most recent Freddie Mac mortgage market survey.



Stephen Johnson

low fixed 15 and 30 mortgage interest rates says Freddie Mac; buyers take notice at shocking rate drop

Posted on | October 20, 2014 | No Comments

Home loan interest rate review and housing sector news update U.S. today October 20, 2014:
Although the primary buying and selling season in the U.S. housing sector is behind us, the recent drop in mortgage interest rates should entice many Americans to consider the Fall of 2014 for home buying. Financing rates are at relative lows and have been tracking lower overall for weeks. This is a good time to lock in a low fixed rate to take advantage of savings for years to come. Freddie Mac recently reported that the average interest rate for the standard 30 and 15 year fixed home loans dropped again. Potential home buyers on the fence are taking notice.
Current mortgage interest rates for the standard 30 and 15 year fixed home loans today October 20, 2014:
According to Freddie Mac’s recent weekly survey, the average rate on the 30 year fixed mortgage plan dropped to 3.97 percent from 4.12 percent the week prior. The dip below the 4 percent mark is a big psychological barrier that opens the doors for many. The last time this rate was this low was June of 2013. The 15 year fixed loan dropped lower to 3.18 percent according to Freddie Mac.
If you are thinking of jumping into the marketplace and wondering if now is the right time to make a dream home purchase, the current rates should be very enticing. The average interest rate on the 30 year fixed loan dipped below 4 percent last week for the first time in 16 months. Lenders, as well as buyers, went into a frenzy after this drop. Refinancing deals are rising significantly as well due to the rate drop. Competition is on the rise and lenders are busy. The significant uptick in activity makes it appear that the majority in the U.S. believe that now is the time to lock in rates before they begin to climb once more.



Stephen Johnson

Today’s DJIA Index Dow Jones Industrial Average Stocks and News; Will Steep Declines of Last Week Weigh on stocks again this week?

Posted on | October 20, 2014 | No Comments

Stock market Dow and economic news update today at open October 20, 2014:
Economic news was positive as the last week came to a close and the primary U.S. stock indices responded favorably. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, as well as the Nasdaq and the S&P 500, finished the last full trading session with gains across the board.
DJIA, Nasdaq, S&P 500 stock index close review: The Nasdaq finished the last full trading session up by 1.29 percent to close at 1,886.76. The Nasdaq rose by .97 percent to close the last session at 4,258.44 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose higher by 1.63 percent to close at 16,380.41. United Health Group was a top stock on the Dow Jones Industrial Average last session. United Health Group Inc. (UNH) stock rose by 3.27 percent to close at 88.18 as of last session close.
The stock rally that closed out the week was prompted, in part, by the better than expected economic news that closed out the week.
Consumer sentiment, jobless claims and U.S. housing starts were all better than expected. Consumer confidence rose in October to its highest level in seven years. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary sentiment index increased to 86.4 which is the highest level since 2007. Jobless claims dropped to their lowest levels since 2000 and U.S. housing starts moved up by 6.3 percent in September. Building permits rose 1.5 percent. All of this data helped to boost investors’ confidence as the week came to a close. Investors enter into the marketplace today hoping to see the positive trends continue. Stock futures were inching their way higher prior to opening bell today. Investors will look to earnings from Apple and IBM to gain direction this week. Hopefully, the last week of steep declines is history.



Frank Matto

How Rude of Crude; low oil per barrel prices affect global economy; Price change analysis today

Posted on | October 20, 2014 | No Comments

Oil rate per barrel and sector news review today at open October 20, 2014:
Although crude oil price per barrel rose higher during the last full trading session, oil prices have been on a steady decline. Countries around the globe are on watch to see how oil price will affect their economic well being as this week unfolds.
As of last session’s close, crude oil contract for November delivery rose by .06 percent to close at the floor rate of 82.75 per barrel. One month price change for crude is still negative at this time by approximately 10.86 percent. One year change for crude oil price is in the red by approximately 16.3 percent at this time.
The dropping price for crude oil has been significant with the biggest drop in two years posting this month. Primary reasons behind the price drop include weakened global demand and increased oil productions in places like the U.S. Countries, like the U.S., are importing less and so oil rich areas like the Middle East are exporting less. This reality is causing concerns to increase regarding global economic growth. According to recent numbers via the Energy Information Agency, U.S. oil production has risen by approximately 300,000 bpd in the last three months.
In addition to the heightened production numbers in various parts of the world, weakened demand in areas like Europe and Asia will also affect oil price and ultimately the global economy. The drop in oil prices negatively affects export revenues in countries that produce and export oil. Russia is one particular country worried about the future of oil price due to its reliance on export revenues. Budgets have been set, and the falling price of oil was not considered when budgets were drawn up. Much of the world looks on in worry.



Camillo Zucari

Gold, Gold, Gold per ounce rate Spot silver trend review at open October 20, 2014

Posted on | October 20, 2014 | No Comments

Gold rates and silver rates trending news review today October 20, 2014:
Stocks bounced higher during the last full trading session and precious metal gold prices tracked lower to close. Both gold and silver contracts closed the last full trading session with floor rates on the negative side of break-even as recent economic news sparked a stock market turn-around. The rise in investor confidence translated into weakened demand for precious metal safe havens like gold.
Last close for gold and silver per ounce contract rates:
December contract silver price fell by .61 percent and closed the day at the floor rate of 17.33 per ounce. December contract gold price fell last session by .18 percent to close at the floor rate of 1,239.00 per ounce.
One month price change for both gold and silver contracts is mixed at this time. Price change for gold is currently positive by approximately 1.4 percent right now and one month price change for silver is negative by approximately 6.3 percent at this time.
Spot gold per gram and spot silver per ounce price review today October 20, 2014:
Spot gold per gram price posted at 39.72 and spot silver per ounce price posted at 17.27 prior to opening bell today.
Investors and analysts will enter into this week with a bearish tone. A majority of participants in the most recent Kitco News gold survey believe that gold prices will track lower throughout the course of this trading week. If stock indices continue to climb, fewer investors will look to side with precious metal safe havens.



Camillo Zucari

Golden Opportunities Faded; Gold rate per ounce spot gold per gram spot silver per ounce precious metal news

Posted on | October 19, 2014 | No Comments

Gold rates and silver rates precious metal news review today October 18, 2014:
Gold and silver prices mixed through the last trading week. The initial half of the week was mostly positive for precious metal gold as investors’ worries and uncertainty took hold. Investors felt pressure due to global economic growth slowdown concerns, as well as worry over the ongoing battle versus ISIS. The fight to stop the spread of Ebola also weighed on investors’ minds. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had one of its worst days of the year in recent sessions and this pushed safe haven appeal early this week. The dollar’s strength faded some as well and this also prompted additional safe haven buying earlier in the week. During the last full trading session though, gold and silver contract prices tracked in a negative direction. Both gold and silver contract prices finished the last full trading session on the negative side of break-even.

Gold per ounce contract and silver per ounce contract close review today:
December contract gold price fell back by .61 percent to close at 17.33 per ounce. December contract gold price dropped .18 percent to close at the floor price of 1,239.00 per ounce.

Spot gold per gram and spot silver per ounce price review today October 18, 2014:
Spot gold per gram and spot silver per ounce prices dipped also. Spot gold per gram price fell to 39.80 and spot silver per ounce price dropped to 17.25 as of last session’s close.



Camillo Zucari

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