I am about to close on a new house December 29. I am not that much up on how interest rates work. I just know they are a little above 7 percent right now. What will happen to them if Greenspan lowers the rate by a quarter of a percent? And, how long does it take for mortgages for follow suit? (December 9, 2000)

  Mortgages have been trending down and we believe they will continue to do so over the next several months. We are not mortgage brokers, but it is our experience that it does not take long for mortgage rates to be impacted by rate cuts, particularly if the bond market rallies.

Market orders. We often say beware of market orders. The after hours session Friday is a good reason to beware. The Florida court announced its decision 2 minutes after the market closed. Stocks had been flying up at the close on strong volume, confirming the rally that started the previous Friday. That had a lot of investors putting in market orders to buy as many prefer to buy at the close as opposed to the open. There were many orders to by at the close and orders being entered in after hours trading. Then the bombshell hit. JNPR dropped from 166 to 155 in about 30 seconds. Then it got bizarre. It looks as if many of those market orders were filled at the 166 level while sell orders were being executed anywhere from 155 to 160. That went on for about a half hour after hours. When something like this happens, get rid of market orders. Better yet, don't use them. The risks are tremendous. As some people found, they bought a stock at 166 and it was selling for 155 seconds later or simultaneously.


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