Jobless claims fall, remain high
New claims for state unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell by 9,000 in the May 17 week to 365,000. But the 4-week average of claims rose 5,000 to 372,500, close to April's post-Katrina peak. The number of people continuing to claim benefits were unchanged at a 4-year high of 3.073 mil in the week ended May 10, the latest data available.
Loan disclosure guidance issued
The Fed, FDIC and other federal fin'l regulators issued suggested disclosures to make sure borrowers are aware of the risks involved with adjustable rate mortgages with short-term teaser rates. They include bold-faced warnings about the ability to refinance, and charts showing how high payments could rise after rates reset.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 3 basis points this week to 5.98%, the lowest in 5 weeks, Freddie Mac said. The 15-year fixed rate fell 5 ticks to 5.55%. But 1- and 5-year adjustable rates rose. IMF: Oil, food to dampen growth
The International Monetary Fund said it's maintaining its global outlook for now, but warned that higher prices for oil and food could further slow growth. The IMF in April forecast '08 worldwide growth of 3.7% vs. 4.1% in Jan. and 4.8% in Oct. An IMF spokesman said banks' ability to raise capital was "reassuring," although a protracted adjustment in balance sheets still is likely.
Food prices will stay high for the foreseeable future, potentially forcing millions more people into hunger, 2 reports from the U.N. and the OECD showed. COMING UP FRIDAY
Existing-home sales for April, 10 a.m. EDT (forecast: 4.85 mil).