Daily Market Update 8/18/11

Rates inched lower Thursday as weakness in global stock markets lifted mortgage-backed securities.  The Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has increased its scrutiny of large European banks with U.S. operations over concerns that the banks may lack reliable access to the funds needed for day-to-day operations.  In economic news, weekly Jobless Claims rose to 408,000, above the consensus forecast of 400,000.  The July Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.5% from June, more than expected, and was 3.6% higher than one year ago.  Core CPI, which excludes food and energy components, rose a more tame 0.2%, in line with expectations.  Existing Home Sales fell unexpectedly by 3.5%.  Leading Indicators rose 0.5%, beating forecast.  No other key economic data will be released today.

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