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More jobs, higher rates — maybe

By Polyana da Costa ·
Friday, February 3, 2012
Posted: 10 am ET

The economy added 243,000 jobs in January. That's the biggest gain since April and more than analysts had expected. The unemployment rate also fell slightly to 8.3 percent.

Great news! But not good enough to cheer up the 12.8 million people who remain out of work. An additional 11 million are working part-time jobs because they can't find full-time work or have simply stopped looking for a job.

The jobs gained in January certainly indicates that we are crawling in the right direction, even though the  United States still has about 5.6 million fewer jobs than it did at the end of 2007, when the recession began.

But any good news is welcome at this point.

The positive job news injected confidence in the stock market today. The yields, or rate of return, on the 10-year Treasury note also is up since the job figures came out.  After reaching a low of 1.82 percent Thursday, the yield on the 10-year note is now 1.94 percent.

What does all that mean for mortgages rates? Normally, happy investors and higher Treasury yields translate into higher mortgage rates.

You'll likely see rates rise slightly while the optimism lasts.

Follow me on Twitter @Polyanad

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