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Today in the Market (2/23/2022)

Good Evening. Here is everything you need to know about today’s recap on the in’s and out’s of the major market and economic events.

Stocks continued to fall on Wednesday, following a sharp sell-off on Tuesday that sent the S&P 500 and Dow to their lowest levels in 2022.

The Dow Jones closed 1.38% lower, while the S&P 500 closed 1.84% lower. The Nasdaq Composite also dropped by 2.57%.

LEGAL

A six-year legal battle over gender discrimination between some members of the USWNT and the sport’s governing body, US Soccer, came to an end with a $24 million settlement. In exchange for a new collective bargaining agreement, the men’s and women’s teams will get equal salaries in the future.

The USWNT has won four World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals, making it one of the most successful sports teams in the world. Even so, during the regular season, the team’s players earn 89 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. In addition, the men’s team earns incentives that are approximately double those earned by the women’s team for World Cup appearances.

Because of this gap, five great players, including Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe, filed a pay discrimination petition with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016, igniting a long legal battle that didn’t end until Wednesday.

What does the deal entitle? The 61 women who are part of the agreement will receive $22 million in back pay as compensation for being underpaid in comparison to the men’s team. A total of $2 million will be put into post-career activities and charity fund.

REAL ESTATE

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Mortgage applications fell for the third week in a row last week, reaching their lowest level since December 19, as interest rates rose.

For the week ending Feb. 18, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly market composite index trading mortgage loan application volume declined 13.10% week over week. This came after a decline of more than 5% the week before.

Refinances dropped by 16% from the previous week, and by a whopping 56% from the same week last year. When corrected for seasonality, purchases, on the other hand, declined 10% week over week. Purchases were down 6%, not seasonally adjusted, compared to the same period the previous year.

Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said in a press statement “The 30-year fixed rate was 4.06%, almost a full percentage point higher than a year ago. Higher mortgage rates have quickly shut off refinances, with activity down in six of the first seven weeks of 2022.” He goes on to say “Purchase applications, already constrained by elevated sales prices and tight inventory, have also been impacted by these higher rates and declined for the third straight week. While the average loan size did not increase this week, it remained close to the survey’s record high.”

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