1. 30-year mortgage rates
fell to a new record low this week of 3.94%, along with a new record low for 15-year rates at 3.21%.
2. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey
for manufacturing activity showed a strong improvement in December. The general business conditions index for New York State rose nine points to 9.5, the highest level since last May.
4. The Association of American Railroads
reported gains in weekly rail traffic for the week ending December 10, with carloads up by 3.7 percent compared with the same week last year and intermodal volume up 3 percent over last year.