Daily Market Update 12/24/08

Rates were little changed Wednesday on light trading in a shortened session. Mortgage-backed securities markets close today at 1:00 PM et. Durable Goods Orders fell 1.0% in November, much less than expected. First-time Jobless Claims surged to 586,000 last week. Consumer Spending fell 0.6%, less than forecast. Mortgage rates are unlikely to show much movement prior to year-end, with little economic data being released and many traders having closed their books for 2008. Capacity concerns among lenders due to heavy refinancing activity and staff shortages resulting from the Holidays will keep rates artificially high until January. Rates should improve as lenders gain control of current pipelines.

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