Daily Market Update 3/12/09

Mortgage rates moved lower Thursday following a brief rally in mortgage-backed securities markets late Wednesday. Retail Sales declined 0.1% in February, far less than expected. January figures were adjusted up to +1.8% from +1.0%. Lower fuel prices and deep discounts by retailers were largely credited with the gains. Still, the data may indicate consumer spending has begun to stabilize. Weekly Jobless Claims rose to 654,000, above consensus. Stocks were mostly higher. The Treasury will auction $11 billion of 30-year notes this afternoon. No other data will be released today.

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