Thursday, July 19, 2012 – 12:15 p.m.
Here’s news of interest flowing across the transom this week.
Unemployment claims surge
First time claims for jobless benefits surged to 386,000 last week.
The number was well above estimates and not a good sign for the economy. The previous week’s figure was revised upwards by 2,000.
Housing starts up
New housing starts climbed 6.9% in June.
An improvement that may not be long-lived.
Mortgage rates continue fall
The average rate on the 30-year mortgage has fallen to a record low of 3.53%.
Expect the number to fall further as the economy slows and the Federal Reserve tries to keep the country out of a second recession in four years.
Romney-Obama race even tighter this week
According to RealClearPolitics.com, the average of several polls released this week shows President Barack Obama with an overall average lead of just 1.2% over Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
At this point Romney is performing better in polls of likely voters vs. registered voters.