In the Money

U.S. job growth cools as economic tensions heat up

The nation's unemployment rate holds steady at 3.6% in May
In May, the U.S. economy added only 75,000 jobs, according to the latest Employment Situation Summary report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions Chief Economist said that this report, combined with nerves around tariffs, will be enough to force a rate cut from the Fed in either June or July.
Read More

WSJ: Chance of a rate cut at next FOMC meeting is 25% as trade worries mount

"Darker economic outlook" may force policymakers to take accommodative stance
The chance the Federal Reserve will cut its benchmark rate in two weeks at its next meeting in Washington, D.C., is mounting as trade tensions threaten the economy. Traders in futures markets are putting about a 25% chance of a rate cut at the June 18-19 meeting and a 75% chance of a cut at the meeting after that, on July 30-31, according to data from CME Group.
Read More

U.S. home values reach a record high of $26.1 trillion in Q1, Fed says

Home equity rises to the highest level since 2002
The value of all U.S. owner-occupied homes increased to a record $26.1 trillion in the first quarter, according to the Federal Reserve report released Thursday known as the Flow of Funds. Americans owned 60.4% of their homes in the first quarter, measuring the share of their home that was unmortgaged, the highest level of equity since 2002.
Read More

May's job report reveals the labor market is tightening

Construction jobs fell by 36,000 jobs in May
The National Employment Report indicates that private sector employment increased by only 27,000 jobs from April to May, according to the ADP Research Institute and Moody’s Analytics. ADP Research Institute Vice President Ahu Yildirmaz said May marked the smallest gain since the expansion began.
Read More

Congress approves a 4-month rescue of flood insurance program

A lapse in NFIP would have nixed about 40,000 home sales a month, NAR says
Congress passed a bill late Monday, two days after the start of the U.S. hurricane season, that extends the National Flood Insurance Program by four months. The move came on top of a stopgap vote on Thursday that kept the program from expiring over the weekend. FEMA estimates the need for flood insurance will expand by up to 45% by 2100 because of climate change.
Read More

Fed's Bullard says cutting benchmark rate "may be warranted soon"

Says global trade disputes may be difficult to resolve
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said Monday that a lowering of the central bank’s short-term target rate "may be warranted soon." The Fed "faces an economy that is expected to grow more slowly going forward, with some risk that the slowdown could be sharper than expected due to ongoing global trade regime uncertainty," Bullard said.
Read More

SoFi raises $500 million more in funding as Qatar buys in

New investment values online lender at $4.3 billion
SoFi is no stranger to raising money, as the online lender has raised nearly $2 billion over the last few years. And now, SoFi is broadening its investor base even more. The online lender announced Wednesday that it raised more than $500 million in equity financing led by Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar.
Read More

Morningstar to acquire DBRS in $669 million deal

Two of the largest credit ratings agencies join forces
Morningstar Credit Ratings announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire DBRS – the fourth-largest credit ratings agency in the world – in a $669 million deal. Combined, the two companies will become one of the largest ratings agencies for U.S. mortgage bonds. Click the headline for the full story.
Read More

House passes bipartisan bill that will make saving for retirement easier

Offers greater retirement security, lifts IRA rules, improves 401(k)s
The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill Thursday that would significantly improve Americans' ability to save for retirement by making it easier for employers to offer 401(k)s and for employees to live off those balances in their later years. If passed, it would impose the greatest changes to the nation's retirement system in 13 years.
Read More

Tariff wars: What do Walmart and Target prices have to do with the housing market?

Bond investors who set mortgage rates keep a wary eye on inflation
When a top executive at Walmart told Wall Street analysts last week that tariffs on Chinese goods would lead to higher prices for his customers, people who follow the housing and mortgage industry felt a sense of foreboding. Higher consumer prices lead to higher inflation, which leads to higher mortgage rates.
Read More