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Last Week in Review:

Apple, Congress negate solid jobs numbers

I-Phone maker, Apple, was a downer this week as the company announced a surprise weak sales and earnings forecast for the first quarter of 2019.

Stocks and interest rates fell on the bad news, concerned that Apple, the first big tech firm to report weak growth in 2019, is the canary in the coalmine and that more companies will report weaker sales and earnings.

Regardless of Apple's current woes, the U.S. economy is still humming along as was evident in Friday's Jobs Report which showed an eye-popping 312,000 jobs created in December.

Adding to the good news in the Jobs Report was a 3.2% hike in wage gains year over year - the highest level in a decade. 

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Remember, jobs buy houses, not rates, so the positive jobs numbers and wage growth are great for housing.

But while we are on the subject of rates, the bad Apple news helped rates improve again this week to the lowest levels in nearly a year.

Rates have been steadily improving since early November. What happened in early November? Congress became divided. Bonds and home loan rates love uncertainty, chaos, stalemates and bad news - Congress can provide plenty of it from time to time.

Tags: Market Trends