Category Archives: News

Meet Mosha, the elephant with a prosthetic leg

Prosthetic limbs aren’t just for people. They can be for elephants, too.

Meet Mosha the elephant. She has been given a second shot at mobility with the help of a prosthetic leg. 

The three-legged elephant is a resident of the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation hospital in Lampang province in northern Thailand. According to Today, she lost her leg to a land mine near Thailand’s border when she was seven months old, which was over a decade ago. 

As she grew, it became increasingly difficult for her to remain mobile while living with three limbs. Dr. Therdchai Jivacate, a Thai orthopedist, designed her first prosthetic limb when she was two-and-a-half years old. As of today, Mosha is on her ninth prosthetic leg. As she has grown, Dr. Therdchai has designed new, longer and stronger legs for her.

“The way she walked was unbalanced and her spine was going to bend,” Dr. Therdchai, 72, told Reuters. “That means she would have hurt her cartilages badly and eventually stopped walking. And she would have died because of that.”

When Mosha was wounded, she weighed about 1,300 pounds. Today, she weighs more than 4,000 pounds. 

The New York Times reports that Mosha is one of more than a dozen elephants who have been wounded by land mines in the Thai border region, where rebels have been fighting the Myanmar government for decades. She was the first elephant to receive a prosthetic limb at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation hospital, which now has 17 patients. 

The Thai Elephant Conversation Center estimates that there are 2,000 to 3,000 elephants living in the wild in Thailand and about 2,700 domesticated ones.

RELATED: Very good dog helps clean up the ocean by diving for plastic

Article source: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/03/23/meet-mosha-the-elephant-with-a-prosthetic-leg/23685115/

Freddie Downgrades Economic Forecast but Bullish on Housing

Like virtually all the experts,
including those at the Federal Reserve, Freddie Mac’s economists have reduced
their expectations for economic growth

The company’s March forecast is for growth in the first quarter of 2019
to shrink to 1.2 percent.  They do see it
regaining its footing later in the year, but it will still decelerate from 2018
to 2.0 percent this year and 1.8 percent in 2020.  They blame the first quarter retrenchment on
a decline in residential fixed investment, consumer spending, and the effects
of the partial government shutdown
in January.

The economists see a brighter
picture for the real estate market
, with the significant decline in mortgage
rates since last fall being one of the main drivers of improvement. The
forecast is for existing home sales to bounce back and trend higher for the
rest of the year, reaching 5.94 million this year and increasing to 6.14
million in 2020.  Friday’s report on
existing homes sales from the National Association of Realtors was a good down
payment on that prediction.  The more
than 11 percent surge compared to January brought the annual rate of sales to
5.51 million units in February.

Recent increases in building permits
point to a gradual uptick in housing starts over the next two years with most
of the growth coming from single-family housing starts. Total housing starts
are expected to increase to 1.27 million units in 2019 and to 1.33 million
units in 2020.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate
is expected to change little
over the course of the year, averaging 4.5 percent
then increasing to 4.8 percent in 2020

Single-family mortgage originations are expected to increase by 1.6
percent to $1.67 trillion in 2019 and remain at a similar level in 2020.  Price growth expectations have been lowered
to increases of 3.5 percent this year and 2.5 percent next year.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief
economist, says, “The real estate market is thawing in response to the
sustained decline in mortgage rates and rebound in consumer confidence – two of
the most important drivers of home sales. Rising sales demand coupled with more
inventory than previous spring seasons suggests that the housing market is in
the early stages of regaining momentum.”

The company also anticipates that
the growing chasm between job openings and available labor, as well as the slow
increase in nonfarm payroll will cause unemployment to dip to 3.8 percent in
2019 and rise only slightly next year.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/03222019_freddie_mac_forecast.asp

Freddie Downgrades Economic Forecast but Bullish on Housing

Like virtually all the experts,
including those at the Federal Reserve, Freddie Mac’s economists have reduced
their expectations for economic growth

The company’s March forecast is for growth in the first quarter of 2019
to shrink to 1.2 percent.  They do see it
regaining its footing later in the year, but it will still decelerate from 2018
to 2.0 percent this year and 1.8 percent in 2020.  They blame the first quarter retrenchment on
a decline in residential fixed investment, consumer spending, and the effects
of the partial government shutdown
in January.

The economists see a brighter
picture for the real estate market
, with the significant decline in mortgage
rates since last fall being one of the main drivers of improvement. The
forecast is for existing home sales to bounce back and trend higher for the
rest of the year, reaching 5.94 million this year and increasing to 6.14
million in 2020.  Friday’s report on
existing homes sales from the National Association of Realtors was a good down
payment on that prediction.  The more
than 11 percent surge compared to January brought the annual rate of sales to
5.51 million units in February.

Recent increases in building permits
point to a gradual uptick in housing starts over the next two years with most
of the growth coming from single-family housing starts. Total housing starts
are expected to increase to 1.27 million units in 2019 and to 1.33 million
units in 2020.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate
is expected to change little
over the course of the year, averaging 4.5 percent
then increasing to 4.8 percent in 2020

Single-family mortgage originations are expected to increase by 1.6
percent to $1.67 trillion in 2019 and remain at a similar level in 2020.  Price growth expectations have been lowered
to increases of 3.5 percent this year and 2.5 percent next year.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief
economist, says, “The real estate market is thawing in response to the
sustained decline in mortgage rates and rebound in consumer confidence – two of
the most important drivers of home sales. Rising sales demand coupled with more
inventory than previous spring seasons suggests that the housing market is in
the early stages of regaining momentum.”

The company also anticipates that
the growing chasm between job openings and available labor, as well as the slow
increase in nonfarm payroll will cause unemployment to dip to 3.8 percent in
2019 and rise only slightly next year.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/03222019_freddie_mac_forecast.asp

Zion Williamson a high-flying human highlight reel in NCAA Tournament debut (Videos)

Zion Williamson is the biggest college basketball superstar in decades. He might be the last true college basketball superstar ever. And on Friday night, he got his one and only NCAA Tournament underway in rather loud fashion.

Duke’s fabulous freshman bagged 25 points on 16 shots in the Blue Devils’ 85-62 pounding of North Dakota State. Among the 25 points were a few fierce dunks and a 3-pointer. Fellow frosh R.J. Barrett had a game-high 26 as the No. 1 overall seed sped away from the Bison in the second half.

Zion’s fast start

In some 33 seconds – coincidentally, the exact amount of time it took him to blow through his shoe a month-and-a-half earlier – Zion steamrolled through two North Dakota State defenders for a bucket, then soared and swatted a shot out of bounds.

Incredibly, the Bison hung around for much of the first half. They jumped out to a 14-7 lead, challenging Zion and even scoring over him twice.

But Zion’s first NCAA tourney dunk gave Duke a lead.

Zion’s first NCAA tournament dunk

Here’s another look:

And another look that reinforces the unparalleled power of the 6-foot-7, 285-pound freshman:

Duke led 31-27 at halftime. Williamson and Barrett each had 10, though Zion was very quiet over the latter portion of the half.

In the second half, though, Duke quickly sprinted out of sight.

Zion’s revolutionary idea of a four-point play

After the tight first half, Duke put away the Bison with two dominant minutes to open the second. It outscored the No. 16 seed 9-0. Zion had six of the nine.

Up Next

See Gallery




Four of those six came in one sequence. He scored through contact and went to the free throw line, from which he put his revolutionary spin on the four-point play. He left the free throw well short, but collected his own rebound and slammed for two more.

Then he won a race for a loose ball and scored in transition.

The Blue Devils extended their four-point halftime lead to 14 in less than four minutes. A minute later, Williamson drilled his only 3-pointer of the game for good measure.

More dunks from Zion and R.J. Barrett

With the game out of reach, Zion continued to throw down. So did his roommate.

First, it was Williamson’s turn.

Then it was Barrett’s turn on an uncontested fast break.

At the second half’s under-12 TV timeout, Williamson was up to 23 points. The two fab freshmen together had already doubled their first-half point total. Duke had stretched its lead to 61-35. Zion would add two more, then exit the game midway through the period.

All eyes (and cameras) on Zion

Zion didn’t go a single minute during Friday’s game without a camera on him. And that’s not just some clever way of describing the unrelenting attention he receives. CBS literally has a “Zion Cam” that will follow the freshman throughout Duke’s NCAA tournament run.

Of course, other cameras, of all kinds, were on him as well. Even in pregame warmups.

The attention will only ramp up as the Blue Devils bear down on the Final Four.

More from Yahoo Sports:

 

Article source: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/03/22/zion-williamson-a-high-flying-human-highlight-reel-in-ncaa-tournament-debut-videos/23698906/

Zion Williamson a high-flying human highlight reel in NCAA Tournament debut (Videos)

Zion Williamson is the biggest college basketball superstar in decades. He might be the last true college basketball superstar ever. And on Friday night, he got his one and only NCAA Tournament underway in rather loud fashion.

Duke’s fabulous freshman bagged 25 points on 16 shots in the Blue Devils’ 85-62 pounding of North Dakota State. Among the 25 points were a few fierce dunks and a 3-pointer. Fellow frosh R.J. Barrett had a game-high 26 as the No. 1 overall seed sped away from the Bison in the second half.

Zion’s fast start

In some 33 seconds – coincidentally, the exact amount of time it took him to blow through his shoe a month-and-a-half earlier – Zion steamrolled through two North Dakota State defenders for a bucket, then soared and swatted a shot out of bounds.

Incredibly, the Bison hung around for much of the first half. They jumped out to a 14-7 lead, challenging Zion and even scoring over him twice.

But Zion’s first NCAA tourney dunk gave Duke a lead.

Zion’s first NCAA tournament dunk

Here’s another look:

And another look that reinforces the unparalleled power of the 6-foot-7, 285-pound freshman:

Duke led 31-27 at halftime. Williamson and Barrett each had 10, though Zion was very quiet over the latter portion of the half.

In the second half, though, Duke quickly sprinted out of sight.

Zion’s revolutionary idea of a four-point play

After the tight first half, Duke put away the Bison with two dominant minutes to open the second. It outscored the No. 16 seed 9-0. Zion had six of the nine.

Up Next

See Gallery




Four of those six came in one sequence. He scored through contact and went to the free throw line, from which he put his revolutionary spin on the four-point play. He left the free throw well short, but collected his own rebound and slammed for two more.

Then he won a race for a loose ball and scored in transition.

The Blue Devils extended their four-point halftime lead to 14 in less than four minutes. A minute later, Williamson drilled his only 3-pointer of the game for good measure.

More dunks from Zion and R.J. Barrett

With the game out of reach, Zion continued to throw down. So did his roommate.

First, it was Williamson’s turn.

Then it was Barrett’s turn on an uncontested fast break.

At the second half’s under-12 TV timeout, Williamson was up to 23 points. The two fab freshmen together had already doubled their first-half point total. Duke had stretched its lead to 61-35. Zion would add two more, then exit the game midway through the period.

All eyes (and cameras) on Zion

Zion didn’t go a single minute during Friday’s game without a camera on him. And that’s not just some clever way of describing the unrelenting attention he receives. CBS literally has a “Zion Cam” that will follow the freshman throughout Duke’s NCAA tournament run.

Of course, other cameras, of all kinds, were on him as well. Even in pregame warmups.

The attention will only ramp up as the Blue Devils bear down on the Final Four.

More from Yahoo Sports:

 

Article source: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/03/22/zion-williamson-a-high-flying-human-highlight-reel-in-ncaa-tournament-debut-videos/23698906/

Mortgage Rates Down 0.25% This Week

At the end of last week, the average top-tier 30yr fixed mortgage rate quote was 4.375%.  As of today, the exact same scenario would be at 4.125%–a quarter of a percentage point lower.  That’s an uncommonly big move for a single week, but it’s one we’ve been tracking eagerly in recent days.

Why is it happening?

The first phase of the move had to do with the Fed’s surprisingly friendly policy announcement on Wednesday.  Due to the time of day that the Fed news came out, markets didn’t have a chance to fully react to it until yesterday.  Even so, the drop in rates was already much bigger than average.  But this morning took it to the next level.  

In the middle of the night (in the US, anyway), economic data for Europe was released that showed a serious slowdown in German and French manufacturing.  The Fed has repeatedly cited European growth concerns  as a reason for its aggressive policy changes, so the news was all the more meaningful.  European bonds tanked by the time US markets opened (“tanked” in this context refers to rates moving lower).  Early in the domestic trading session, US economic data was similarly weak, thus reinforcing another warning from the Fed about European weakness spilling over to the US. 

With that, bond yields fell rapidly at home and abroad–to the point where there was a bit of a frenzied rush to buy (when traders buy bonds, rates move lower).  

Will this continue to happen?

There’s never any way to know if a certain move in rates is sustainable or susceptible to a quick bounce.  In general, it will be up to the incoming economic data.  After all, whether we’re talking about Fed policy or the global growth implications themselves (both things that rates care about), it’s the economic data that will cast the biggest votes.


Loan Originator Perspective

Bond markets (particularly treasuries) posted more gains today, as Brexit and potential EU economic concerns spooked investors.   It’s been a remarkable run since Wednesday  as rates have dropped nearly. 25%.  Can’t blame those who want to lock in these gains, nor buyers who float cautiously here.  Remember, pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered.  Don’t get too greedy!  –Ted Rood, Senior Originator

Today’s Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED – 4.125-4.25
  • FHA/VA – 3.875-4.00
  • 15 YEAR FIXED – 3.875%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  3.875-4.25% depending on the lender


Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
 

  • Early 2019 saw a rapid reevaluation of big-picture trends in rates and in markets in general

  • The Federal Reserve has been a key player, and while they aren’t the ones pulling the global economic strings, their response to the economy has helped rates fall more quickly than they otherwise might.

  • Based on the Fed’s laundry list of concerns, their current outlook for rate hikes and economic growth, and their bond-buying policy shifts, we’ve all but certainly seen the highest rates of this economic cycle in late 2018.  
  • Rates discussed refer to the most frequently-quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers among average to well-priced lenders.  The rates generally assume little-to-no origination or discount except as noted when applicable.  Rates appearing on this page are “effective rates” that take day-to-day changes in upfront costs into consideration.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/905433.aspx

Mueller concludes Russia probe, delivers report to AG Barr

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday turned over his long-awaited final report on the contentious Russia investigation that has cast a dark shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency, entangled Trump’s family and resulted in criminal charges against some of the president’s closest associates.

The comprehensive report, still confidential, marks the end of Mueller’s probe but sets the stage for big public fights to come. The next steps are up to Trump’s attorney general, to Congress and, in all likelihood, federal courts.

The Justice Department said Mueller delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr and officially concluded his probe of Russian election interference and possible coordination with Trump associates. The report will now be reviewed by Barr, who has said he will write his own account communicating Mueller’s findings to Congress and the American public.

Barr said he could send his account to Congress quickly.

“I am reviewing the report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the special counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend,” Barr said in his letter the top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate Judiciary committees.

With no details released at this point, it’s not known whether Mueller’s report answers the core questions of his investigation: Did Trump’s campaign collude with the Kremlin to sway the 2016 presidential election in favor of the celebrity businessman? Also, did Trump take steps later, including by firing his FBI director, to obstruct the probe?

But the delivery of the report does mean the investigation has concluded without any public charges of a criminal conspiracy between the campaign and Russia, or of obstruction by the president.

Up Next

See Gallery




It’s unclear what steps Mueller will take if he uncovered what he believes to be criminal wrongdoing by Trump, in light of Justice Department legal opinions that have held that sitting presidents may not be indicted.

The mere delivery of a confidential report will set off immediate demands, including in the Democratic-led House, for full release of Mueller’s findings. Barr has said he wants to make as much public as possible, and any efforts to withhold details will prompt a tussle between the Justice Department and lawmakers who may subpoena Mueller and his investigators to testify before Congress. Such a move by Democrats would likely be vigorously contested by the Trump administration.

The conclusion of Mueller’s investigation does not remove legal peril for the president. Trump faces a separate Justice Department investigation in New York into hush money payments during the campaign to two women who say they had sex with him years before the election. He’s also been implicated in a potential campaign finance violation by his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who says Trump asked him to arrange the transactions. Federal prosecutors, also in New York, have been investigating foreign contributions made to the president’s inaugural committee.

No matter the findings in Mueller’s report, the investigation has already illuminated Russia’s assault on the American political system, painted the Trump campaign as eager to exploit the release of hacked Democratic emails and exposed lies by Trump aides aimed at covering up their Russia-related contacts. Over the 21-month investigation, Mueller has brought charges against 34 people, including six aides and advisers to the president, and three companies.

The special counsel brought a sweeping indictment accusing Russian military intelligence officers of hacking Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign and other Democratic groups during the 2016 election. He charged another group of Russians with carrying out a large-scale social media disinformation campaign against the American political process that also sought to help Trump and hurt Clinton.

Closer to the president, Mueller secured convictions against a campaign chairman who cheated banks and dodged his taxes, a national security adviser who lied about his Russian contacts and a campaign aide who misled the FBI about his knowledge of stolen emails.

Cohen, the president’s former lawyer, pleaded guilty in New York to campaign finance violations arising from the hush money payments and in the Mueller probe to lying to Congress about a Moscow real estate deal. Another Trump confidant, Roger Stone, is awaiting trial on charges that he lied about his pursuit of Russian-hacked emails ultimately released by WikiLeaks. It’s unclear whether any of the aides who have been convicted, all of whom have pleaded guilty and cooperated with the investigators, might angle for a pardon. Trump has left open the idea of pardons.

Along the way, Trump lawyers and advisers repeatedly evolved their public defenses to deal with the onslaught of allegations from the investigation. Where once Trump and his aides had maintained that there were no connections between the campaign and Russia, by the end of the probe Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani was routinely making the argument that even if the two sides did collude, it wasn’t necessarily a crime. The goalpost shifting reflected the administration’s challenge in adopting a singular narrative to fend off allegations.

Equally central to Mueller’s work is his inquiry into whether the president tried to obstruct the investigation. Since the special counsel’s appointment in May 2017, Trump has increasingly tried to undermine the probe by calling it a “witch hunt” and repeatedly proclaiming there was “NO COLLUSION” with Russia. But Trump also took certain acts as president that caught Mueller’s attention and have been scrutinized for possible obstruction.

One week before Mueller’s appointment, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, later saying he was thinking of “this Russia thing” at the time.

He mercilessly harangued Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing from the Russia investigation two months before Mueller was named special counsel, a move that left the president without a perceived loyalist atop the probe. And he helped draft a misleading statement on Air Force One as a Trump Tower meeting between his eldest son and a Kremlin-connected lawyer was about to become public.

The meeting itself became part of Mueller’s investigation, entangling Donald Trump Jr. in the probe. Mueller’s team also interviewed the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, multiple times.

Even as Trump blasted Mueller’s team, his White House and campaign produced thousands of documents for the special counsel, and dozens of his aides were interviewed. The president submitted written answers to Mueller regarding the Russia investigation, but he refused to be interviewed

Article source: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/03/22/mueller-concludes-russia-probe-delivers-report-to-ag-barr/23698830/

US hits Iran with new sanctions while Pompeo visits Lebanon

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration hit Iran with new sanctions on Friday while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was denouncing Iran’s growing influence on a visit to Lebanon.

The Treasury Department said the sanctions target 31 Iranian scientists, technicians and companies affiliated with Iran’s Organization for Defense Innovation and Research, which had been at the forefront of the country’s former nuclear weapons program. Officials said those targeted continue to work in Iran’s defense sector and form a core of experts who could reconstitute that program. Fourteen people, including the head of the organization, and 17 subsidiary operations are covered by the sanctions.

RELATED: Trump pulls U.S. from Iran nuclear deal

Up Next

See Gallery




The sanctions freeze any assets that those targeted may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from any transactions with them. But, officials say the move will also make those targeted “radioactive internationally” by making people of any nationality who do business with them subject to U.S. penalties under so-called secondary sanctions.

U.S. secondary sanctions apply to foreign businesses and individuals and can include fines, loss of presence in the American economy, asset freezes and travel bans. Officials said the threat of such sanctions will significantly limit the ability of those designated to travel outside of Iran, participate in research conferences or be hired for other jobs.

“Individuals working for Iran’s proliferation-related programs — including scientists, procurement agents, and technical experts — should be aware of the reputational and financial risk they expose themselves to by working for Iran’s nuclear program,” the State Department said in a statement.

The move is unusual because the sanctions are not being imposed based on what those targeted are currently doing.

Instead, they were imposed because of their past work on nuclear weapons development and the potential that they would be at the forefront of any Iranian attempt to restart that program. Iran pledged not to resume atomic weapons work under the 2015 nuclear deal and the U.N.’s atomic watchdog says Iran continues to comply with the agreement.

The U.S., however, pulled out of the agreement last year, saying it was fatally flawed and allowed Iran to gradually begin advanced atomic work over time. The Trump administration has re-imposed U.S. sanctions that were eased under the terms of the deal and is continuing to impose new ones as part a pressure campaign to force Iran to renegotiate the agreement.

Officials said the decision to move ahead with the sanctions was in part based on Israel’s recovery of what it and the U.S. call a “secret archive” of documents from Iran that they say shows Iran deliberately preserved and stored its early nuclear weapons work, known as the “Amad plan,” with the intent to someday resume development of a bomb.

“As the world has learned from the recently-discovered secret Iranian nuclear archive — which revealed the names of some of the individuals sanctioned today — unanswered questions remain regarding Iran’s undisclosed past nuclear-related activities under the Amad plan, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile,” the State Department said in a statement.

The announcement came as Pompeo was in Beirut warning Lebanese officials to curb the influence of the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement. He says Hezbollah is a terrorist organization and should not be allowed to set policies or wield power despite its presence in Lebanon’s parliament and government.

Article source: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/03/22/us-hits-iran-with-new-sanctions-while-pompeo-visits-lebanon/23698706/

Mortgage Rates Move Deeper Into Long-Term Lows

Granted, we’re not back to the sub-4% mortgage rates that dominated much of the past 8 years, but breaking into the high 3% range is a valid consideration after the past few days.  Yesterday’s surprising Fed news hit the rates that were already holding near their lowest levels in well over a year. The net effect has been a decisive break lower with the average lender easily able to offer 4.375% on a typical 30yr fixed scenario.  Many lenders are at 4.25%, and the interesting thing about 4.25% is that it currently doesn’t cost much more to buy your way down to the next lower rate: 4.125%.  

All of the above has to do with the upfront prices associated with interest rates.  For instance a lender is going to earn more money from a 4.375% rate than a 4.25% rate, so they’re willing to pay a bit more to get it (which means a borrower wouldn’t need to pay as much in terms of upfront costs in a scenario that’s otherwise apples to apples).  Based on today’s average rate sheet, it would cost about half a point ($500 for a 100k loan) to drop your rate from 4.375% to 4.25%.  But to get to the next rung lower (4.125), it would only cost another $170-200. 

Paying that money upfront is going to save you $7/mo, which means you’ll break even in 24 months.  Even if you’re starting from 4.375% and looking at buying the rate down to 4.125%, it would only take about 4 years to break even, on average.  Personal preferences vary when it comes to buying down one’s rate (especially considering an unfortunate negative stigma surrounding the practice of “paying points”), but it’s certainly another option to consider.  Generally speaking, it makes more sense for those who aren’t planning on moving or refinancing any time soon.

As far as rates’ ability to maintain or press farther into long-term lows, we’re taking things one day at a time.  That said, this is now the most convincing argument we’ve seen for “lower rates in 2019.”  The only thing that would really derail the positive momentum would be stronger economic data at home and abroad in the coming weeks.


Loan Originator Perspective

Bond traders digested yesterday’s big Fed news, and both MBS and treasuries retained yesterday’s robust gains.  Since it typically takes a few days for market improvements to hit rate sheets, my pricing improved today.  Folks close to closing could sure do worse than locking here, but I’m not in a hurry to lock files closing in May and beyond.  The trend is still our friend. –Ted Rood, Senior Originator

If you floated through FED yesterday, well done.   The announcement was very dovish and friendly for rates.   With the decent improvement on rate sheets today, i think it would be wise to go ahead and lock in these gains. –Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage

Today’s Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED – 4.375%
  • FHA/VA – 4.0-4.125%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED – 4.0 – 4.125%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  4.25 – 4.625% depending on the lender


Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations
 

  • Early 2019 saw a rapid reevaluation of big-picture trends in rates and in markets in general

  • The Federal Reserve has been a key player, and while they aren’t the ones pulling the global economic strings, their response to the economy has helped rates fall more quickly than they otherwise might.

  • Based on the Fed’s laundry list of concerns, their current outlook for rate hikes and economic growth, and their bond-buying policy shifts, we’ve all but certainly seen the highest rates of this economic cycle in late 2018.  
  • Rates discussed refer to the most frequently-quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers among average to well-priced lenders.  The rates generally assume little-to-no origination or discount except as noted when applicable.  Rates appearing on this page are “effective rates” that take day-to-day changes in upfront costs into consideration.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/905310.aspx

Mike Huckabee’s Beto O’Rourke ‘joke’ is bizarrely specific and needlessly gory

Mike Huckabee, right-wing pundit and a former Republican governor of Arkansas, has added a strange new “joke” to his Twitter repertoire ― and it got dark in a hurry.

Huckabee shared a story about Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s reputation for pranks, including supposedly putting a hunk of baby poop in a bowl and telling his wife it was avocado.

O’Rourke told the Washington Post he didn’t remember the gag but admitted that it sounded like something he would do

The story was weird enough. But then Huckabee added his own violent spin to it:  

Huckabee has a reputation for making bad jokes on Twitter, so much so that comic Patton Oswalt has on occasion turned them into mocking standup routines on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

**ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, OCT 31** El Paso City Representatives Steve Ortega, left and Beto O’Rourke pose with a backdrop of Downtown El Paso, Texas, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2005. The two and three other colleagues, all political newcomers under 35, were elected this year to the El Paso city council. The group of young up-and-comers say they took on their public roles to make El Paso the kind of city it should be, the kind it has long struggled to become. (AP Photo/El Paso Times, Victor Calzada)

US Rep. Beto O’Rourke (R), D-TX, speaks during a meeting with One Campaign volunteers including Jeseus Navarrete (L) on February 26, 2013 in O’Rouke’s office in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGANWith the United States days away from billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts, anti-poverty campaigners fear that reductions in foreign aid could potentially lead to thousands of deaths. The world’s largest economy faces $85 billion in cuts virtually across the board starting on March 1, 2013 unless the White House and Congress reach a last-minute deal ahead of the self-imposed deadline known as the sequester. While the showdown has caused concern in numerous circles, activists are pushing hard to avoid a 5.3 percent cut in US development assistance which they fear could set back programs to feed the poor and prevent disease. ‘The sequester is an equal cut across the board, but equal cuts don’t have equal impact,’ said Tom Hart, US executive director of the One campaign, the anti-poverty group co-founded by U2 frontman Bono. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

US Rep. Beto O’Rourke , D-TX, meets with One campaign volunteers on February 26, 2013 in O’Rouke’s office in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. With the United States days away from billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts, anti-poverty campaigners fear that reductions in foreign aid could potentially lead to thousands of deaths. The world’s largest economy faces $85 billion in cuts virtually across the board starting on March 1, 2013 unless the White House and Congress reach a last-minute deal ahead of the self-imposed deadline known as the sequester. While the showdown has caused concern in numerous circles, activists are pushing hard to avoid a 5.3 percent cut in US development assistance which they fear could set back programs to feed the poor and prevent disease. ‘The sequester is an equal cut across the board, but equal cuts don’t have equal impact,’ said Tom Hart, US executive director of the One campaign, the anti-poverty group co-founded by U2 frontman Bono. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. citizen Edgar Falcon, second from right, and Maricruz Valtierra of Mexico, second from left, laugh while El Paso congressman Beto O’Rourke, right, and Judge Bill Moody, left, congratulate them after the couple was married at U.S.-Mexico border, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 in El Paso, Texas. Like many other couples made up of a US citizen and a foreigner, Falcon and Valtierra, who has been declared inadmissible after an immigration law violation, hope immigration reform will help them live together in the U.S. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)

Congressman Beto O’Rourke, center, speaks at a new conference accompanied by Lillian D’Amico, left, mother of a deceased veteran, and Melinda Russel, a former Army chaplain, in El Paso, Texas, Wednesday, June. 4, 2014. A survey of hundreds of West Texas veterans conducted by O’Rourke’s office has found that on average they wait more than two months to see a Veterans Affairs mental health professional and even longer to see a physician. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)

Democratic candidate for the US Senate Beto ORourke addresses his last public event in Austin before election night at the Pan American Neighborhood Park on November 4, 2018 in Austin, Texas. – One of the most expensive and closely watched Senate races is in Texas, where incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz is facing Democratic Representative Beto O’Rourke. O’Rourke, 46, whose given names are Robert Francis but who goes by Beto, is mounting a suprisingly strong challenge to the 47-year-old Cruz in the reliably Republican ‘Lone Star State.’ O’Rourke, a three-term congressman and former member of a punk band, is drawing enthusiastic support from many urban dwellers in Texas while Cruz does better in conservative rural areas.

Plucking the Senate seat from Cruz, who battled Donald Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, would be a major victory for the Democratic Party. (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP) (Photo credit should read SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, left, and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, take part in a debate for the Texas U.S. Senate, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, in San Antonio. (Tom Reel/San Antonio Express-News via AP, Pool)

Up Next

See Gallery




True to form, Huckabee’s latest bit didn’t exactly deliver many laughs in his mentions: 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Article source: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/03/22/mike-huckabees-beto-orourke-joke-is-bizarrely-specific-and-needlessly-gory/23698386/

WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com
Bunk Beds