Applications hit their lowest level since November, but a rise in mortgage rates is easing.
The Federal Reserve would become the most powerful financial regulator.
But skepticism about consumers pushes retail stocks lower. Macy's drops nearly 5%.
But his stock prices shoots higher because analysts are starting to think the company may thrive again.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
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The apparel chain takes a hard hit after blaming the weather for its quarterly sales decline. But cold temperatures don't explain the drop in full-year sales as well.
The Market Dispatches column has been discontinued. Here's where to find the latest stock and business news on MSN Money, and the latest from market writer Charley Blaine.
MONEY & POLITICS
Breaking up big banks is an untested solution to the too big to fail problem that attempts to isolate and dismantle large, troubled institutions while protecting the rest of the economy.
Even when they have a plan for their refund check from Uncle Sam, Americans often don't realize how they actually spend the windfall.
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