COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | GEORGE CHAMBERLIN

George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

Remember yesterday's column where I referenced a MarketWatch.com report saying stocks were due for a "rough" day? Well, add the warning to the long list of failed efforts by the website -- owned by the Wall Street Journal -- to extend the Q3 stock market declines. Turns out, at the end of the day, the Dow industrials were up 139 points, making it five sessions in a row to the upside and, of those five days, four were increases of more than 100 points.

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It is interesting how the markets have changed direction after the sharp declines in September, mostly because of Fed concerns. The mere prospect of a rate hike has sent traders into a selling frenzy and, ever since the Yellen group announced after the September meeting it will be on hold until more evidence of inflation is evident and the China situation calms, stocks have rallied. Yet, we hear today that a top Fed official, Dennis Lockhart of the Atlanta Fed, is suggesting an October rate hike is "likely appropriate" and the markets don't even flinch.

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FYI, the next Fed meeting is on Oct. 27-28.

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Bad news for renters. Rent.com has released its 2015 Rental Markets Report and, among other things, it finds the vacancy rate for apartments nationwide has dropped to the lowest level in 20 years. That explains why apartment owners and managers are forecasting rental rates will increase by a staggering 8 percent in 2016. And probably another similar increase in 2017, and on and on.

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With mortgage interest rates below 4 percent -- 3.76 percent on the 30-year fixed-rate loan in the last week according to Freddie Mac -- it makes sense for renters to explore becoming owners. A person renting a two-bedroom apartment could probably purchase a two-bedroom condo and, after taxes, save a substantial amount each month. At the same time they would avoid annual rent increase because of the fixed rate on the loan. At least explore the possibility.

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Google says most people, more than 50 percent, now access their search engine using a mobile device rather than a desktop computer. It also reports monthly searches on Google top 100 billion. That's right, more than 100 billion individual searches a month. Staggering.

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