Mortgage rates were little changed Wednesday ahead of today’s Federal Reserve announcement.  The Fed will wrap up its two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting to discuss monetary policy and release a statement at 2:00 PM, followed by Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s press conference at 2:30.  It is widely expected that the Fed will raise short-term interest rates by 0.25%.  Investors are more likely to react to clues about the timing of future increases.  In today’s economic news, the November Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4%, matching forecast, and was 2.2% higher than one year ago.  Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy components, increased 0.1%, less than expected, and was a tame 1.7% higher year-over-year.

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Mortgage rates held steady ahead of this week’s Fed meeting.  The Federal Open Market Committee of the Fed will meet on Wednesday to discuss monetary policy and release a policy statement at 2:00 PM.  It is widely expected that the Fed will raise short-term rates by 0.25%.  Investors will be watching closely for clues about the timing of future increases.  In economic news, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, reported a decline to 6.00 million job opening in November, below the consensus forecast for an increase to 6.10 million.  Results from today’s 10-year Treasury auction will be released at 1:00 PM.

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Mortgage rates were little changed Friday following the release of key employment data for November.  The economy added 228,000 jobs last month, beating the consensus forecast of 190,000.  The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%.  Average hourly earnings rose 0.2%, a bit below expectations.  The upside surprise in job gains was offset by the miss in wage growth, causing little reaction to the data.  Separately, Consumer Sentiment fell unexpectedly to 96.8.  An increase to 99.0 had been forecast.  No other key economic data will be released today.

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Rates inched lower Wednesday as global bond markets rallied.  In the U.S., payrolls firm ADP estimated private sector job growth of 190,000 in November, slightly above forecast.  Third quarter Productivity was unchanged at 3.0%.  An increase to 3.2% had been expected.  Stocks were mixed.  No other key data will be released today.

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Rates faced upward pressure Monday as a rally in stocks hurt bonds and mortgage-backed securities.  Late Friday, the Senate passed its version of the GOP tax bill, resulting in a surge in stock prices.  The Dow is currently up nearly 300 points.  In economic news, October Factory Orders fell 0.1%, a bit less than expected.  News on Michael Flynn, tax reform, government funding, and key employment data are likely to influence mortgage rates this week.

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Rates were little changed Friday in quiet trading.  This morning, the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index fell to 58.2, close to forecast.  Readings above 50.0 indicate expansion in the manufacturing sector.  October Construction Spending jumped 1.4%, beating expectations for a 0.5% increase.  No other key data will be released today.  The Senate may vote on the GOP tax bill later today.

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Rates moved higher Thursday as a rally in stocks hurt mortgage-backed securities.  In economic news, the October core PCE price index, one of the Fed’s preferred measures of inflation, rose 0.2% and was 1.4% higher than one year ago.  Personal Income increased 0.4% in October, slightly above expectations.  Weekly Jobless Claims came in at 238,000, close to forecast.  Stocks jumped on news that GOP tax reform had gained support in the Senate, increasing the likelihood of passage.  No other key data will be released today.

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Mortgage rates inched lower Tuesday in quiet trading.  Jerome Powell, President Trump’s pick to replace Janet Yellen as Fed Chair, will face a Senate confirmation hearing today.  Powell, who is expected to be confirmed, is considered likely to maintain continuity with current Fed monetary policy.  In other news, Consumer Confidence jumped to 129.5, well above forecast.  Results from today’s 7-year Treasury auction will be released at 1:00 PM.

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Rates inched lower Wednesday as newly released economic data came in close to expectations.  October Durable Goods Orders fell 1.2%, well below the consensus for an increase of 0.5%.  However, excluding the volatile transportation component, orders rose 0.4%, slightly more than expected.  Weekly Jobless Claims fell to 239,000, matching forecast.  Consumer Sentiment rose to 98.5.  A reading of 98.0 had been expected.  Detailed Minutes from the November 1 Fed meeting will be released at 2:00 PM.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Rates were little changed Friday as mortgage-backed securities recovered from yesterday’s late losses.  In economic news, October Housing Starts rose 14% to an annual rate of 1.29 million units, above the consensus forecast of 1.20 million, to the highest level since October 2016.  No other key data will be released today.

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