Daily Market Update 12/18/08

Mortgage rates rose Thursday morning as lenders responded to capacity concerns amid soaring refinancing demand. The spread between average fixed rate loans and Fannie Mae-guaranteed securities widened to 1.4% yesterday, ten times the five-year average of 0.14%. Borrowers may wish to consider floating rather than locking in, as rates are likely to improve as lenders gain control of their pipelines. In economic news, Leading Indicators fell 0.4% in November, near forecast. Weekly Jobless Claims came in at 554,000, just under consensus. Stocks were mixed, while oil prices fell below $40 pb.

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