Mortgage application volume ground out a 0.6% increase last week according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications are 18.5% higher than a year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home are 13% higher than one year ago. Refinance applications are up 22.4% from a year ago. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit its highest level since June at 3.73%.

Housing starts posted a 1-1/2-year low in September amid a steep decline in the construction of multi-family homes. Housing starts dropped 9.0%. Single-family home starts jumped 8.1%. Multi-family starts plunged 38.0%, but rents are rising at their fastest pace in 10 years. (Reuters)

Wells Fargo is under criminal investigation by the California attorney general. The investigation centers the creation of over two million unauthorized accounts for unsuspecting customers by the bank’s sales staff, involving identity theft. (AP)

Mattel, the largest U.S. toymaker, saw Q3 sales increase less than half of a percent but profits climbed almost 6%. Barbie worldwide sales increased 15.8%, Hot Wheels sales climbed about 6% and sales of American Girl jumped 14%. (Reuters)

S&P 500 is flat and the NASDAQ is flat. MSCI International Index is flat.

Oil is down 78 cents at $50.88 a barrel. Yesterday oil hit a 15-month high of $51.60 per barrel, due to a decline in American inventories and an expectation of an OPEC-led production cut. (Reuters)

Gold is up $2 at $1272 a Troy ounce.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.