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Market Update: March 21, 2016

All the latest mortgage and real estate market news, but first -- a quick recap of last week:

The Federal Reserve took a big step back last week.  On Wednesday the Fed cut its outlook for interest rate increases in 2016 to two from four, telling the markets - which were long betting against four rate hikes from the Fed this year - that they were right all along.

The Fed turned a clear eye towards international developments in its statement, which said that, "global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks."

Elsewhere in markets this week we saw the Dow and the S&P 500 both move back into positive territory for 2016, even if just barely. After what was a brutal start to the year many investors started be living this could be the year the post-crisis bull market finally cracked. And while this still might be the case, stocks have proven resilient so far.

This week we'll get several updates on the US housing markets, as well as data readings on the services and manufacturing sectors, and the final measure of economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Markets are closed on Friday for Good Friday, and so here's what you need to know ahead of a short week for markets and the economy.

The Fed turned a clear eye towards international developments in its statement, which said that, "global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks."

Elsewhere in markets, we saw the Dow and the S&P 500 both move back into positive territory for 2016, even if just barely.  After what was a brutal start to the year, many investors started believing this could be the year the post-crisis bull market finally cracked.  And while this still might be the case, stocks have proven resilient so far.

Markets are closed on Friday for Good Friday, and here's what you need to know ahead of a short week for markets and the economy.

Reported this morning: Existing Home Sales for Februrary were down 7.1% to a 5.08M unit annual pace.  This was a miss and didn't meet expectations, but is coming off the second best number in 9 years.  A big reason was lower inventory levelos, which dropped 1.1%.  There are 1.88 million existing homes on the market for sale and is a bit of a concern.  This has been very supportinve of home prices, however, with the Median Home Price now at $210,000, up 4.4% year over year.

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Tuesday - FHFA House Price Index: Expectations are for home prices to rise 0.5% over the prior month, more than the 0.4% month-on-month increase seen in December.

Wednesday - Mortgage Apps, New Home Sales: New home sales should rise at a pace of 3.2% in February to an annualized rate of 510,000 homes. February's report is due out at 10:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday. January's report showed a 9.2% drop in the pace of sales, which almost all came from an appreciable drop in sales from western US states.

Thursday:  Durable Goods Orders, Initial Jobless Claims: Durable goods orders should fall 3% in February with orders excluding defense and aircraft orders falling 0.5% from the prior month.  The weekly report on initial jobless claims should show new filings for unemployment insurance totaled 268,000 last week, up slightly from the prior week's 265,000.

Friday - GDP: Expectations are for no revisions to come up in Friday's report with fourth quarter growth expected to be affirmed at 1% while consumption growth will remain at 2% and the quarterly increase in consumer prices, excluding the cost of food and gas, will hold at 1.3%.

Author:  Kirsten Hamling