Wednesday’s Mid-Day Movers: 3 Stories Driving Markets

The U.S. equity markets were posting thin gains on Wednesday afternoon after having opened lower. The most recent round of earnings helped restore some investor confidence, even as concerns remained that a gathering of euro-zone finance officials tomorrow would bring bad tidings.

At 1:00 p.m.: DJIA: +0.04%, S&P 500: +0.08%, NASDAQ: +0.03%.

Here are three stories moving markets on Wednesday afternoon:mortgagepic1

1) Despite increasing interest rates, applications for home mortgages in the United States rose last week and refinancing accounted for a slightly smaller portion of that activity.

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The Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday that its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity — which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand — jumped 3.4 percent in the week ended February 1. This compares to a decrease of 8.1 percent in the previous week. On an unadjusted basis, the index jumped 16 percent. This report follows data released yesterday that revealed that home prices increased year-over-year in December for the tenth consecutive month, partially due to low mortgage rates… (Read more.)