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Initial Jobless Claims Drop to 5-Year Low

Unemployment

First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending April 27 dropped 18,000 to 324,000, the lowest level in more than five years, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected claims to increase to 354,000 initial claims. Initial jobless claims for the week ending April 20 were revised up to 344,000 from the originally reported 342,000.

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Servicing Veteran Steps into COO Position at ZVN

New

ZVN Properties, Inc., operating out of Ohio, welcomed David Dolan as COO. With nearly three decades of experience in all facets of banking, lending, and mortgage field servicing, Dolan has worked to transform both private and publicly held businesses through his leadership, industry knowledge, and consumer insight.

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Fannie Mae Reports Slip in March Business

Fannie Mae's book of business shrank at a compound annualized rate of 1.5 percent in March, closing the quarter with a negative average monthly rate of 1.7 percent. The book totaled $3.177 trillion as of the end of the first quarter. New business acquisitions totaled $71.4 billion, meanwhile, down from $80.2 billion the previous month and $95.3 billion the year before. The last time new business was this low was in June 2012, when acquisitions totaled $70.6 billion.

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FOMC Votes to Continue Low Rates, Bond Buy Program

Fed

With a swipe at both the President and the Congress and concerns about downside risks to the economy, the Federal Open Market Committee voted 11-1 Wednesday to leave interest rates unchanged and to continue its program of purchasing agency mortgage backed securities and longer term Treasury securities to maintain downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative. Kansas City Fed President Esther George cast the lone negative vote.

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Residential Construction Spending Ticks Up in March

The Census Bureau released Wednesday a report showing a decline in construction spending throughout March. According to Census data, construction spending in March was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $856.7 billion, a 1.7 percent drop from February's revised estimate of $871.8 billion. While total spending fell, spending for housing construction inched up. According to the report, residential construction spending was at annual rate of $301.6 billion.

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