WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The nation’s financial services watchdog on Friday proposed requiring lenders to make available no-fee, no-point mortgages to make it easier for prospective homeowners to comparison shop. The proposal from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would force lenders to make such loans available unless consumers were “unlikely” to qualify for such a loan. It also would force lenders to offer interest rate reductions when consumers did elect to pay such upfront points or fees. The proposal differs from an initial outline the agency provided in May, in that the May outline would have banned origination charges that weren’t flat. The CFPB is opening the rule up to a 60-day comment period and is proposing to adopt final rules in January.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index rose to a preliminary August reading of 73.6 from a final July reading of 72.3, according to Friday reports. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected the index to decline to 71.8 in August, due, in part, to ongoing economic uncertainty. The sentiment gauge, which covers how consumers view their personal finances as well as business and buying conditions, averaged about 87 in the year before the recession. Economists watch sentiment data to get a feel for the direction of consumer spending.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The preliminary August reading of the University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index is due at 9:55 a.m. Eastern. Economists polled by MarketWatch expect the index to decline to 71.8 in August from a final July reading of 72.3, due, in part, to ongoing economic uncertainty. Economists watch sentiment data to get a feel for the direction of consumer spending. At 10 a.m., the Conference Board will report its index of leading indicators, and economists expect an increase of 0.3% for July, after a 0.3% decline in June. The LEI is a weighted gauge of 10 indicators designed to signal business cycle peaks and troughs.