Mortgage Market News

Plunging gas prices at the pump led consumer prices lower in November, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The November Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell by 0.3% when economists were looking for a decline of 0.1%. The -0.3% was the largest monthly drop in six years. The price of gas fell 6.6% in November, the most since 2008 with the current national average price for a regular gallon of gas at $2.50. On a year-over-year basis, CPI fell to 1.3% signaling that inflation pressures are subdued.
Big news out of Washington, D.C. today were headlines that the U.S. may be easing the embargo of Cuba that began in 1961. The U.S. will also look to open an embassy on the island of 13 million Cuban people. The news comes after Cuba released American citizen Alan Gross, who has been held in prison in Cuba for the last five years, as he was accused of espionage for trying to bring Internet services to Jewish communities in Cuba. However, Cuba would have to pay back $5 billion to the U.S. due to the illegal seizure of American businesses in the late 1950s.
On the lighter side, Toys "R" Us announced it will extend its operating hours for 39 straight hours from 6 a.m. Tuesday, December 23, through 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Just last week, Kohl's said that it will keep its 1,100 stores open around the clock for five days leading up to Christmas. Retailers are pulling out all the stops to increase sales this season as they look to make the most out of holiday sales.
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