Daily Market Update 3/5/09

Mortgage rates improved slightly Thursday following weakness in the stock market and moves by central banks in Europe. The European Central Bank and Bank of England both cut benchmark rates by 1/2% to new record lows of 1.50% and .50%, respectively. First time Jobless Claims declined to 639,000, below consensus, but near record levels. Factory Orders fell 1.9%, less than forecast. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported 11.18% of borrowers are at least 30 days behind in their mortgage payments. Details of President Obama’s Homeowner Stability Initiative were released yesterday and can be found at Traders are now turning their focus to tomorrow’s release of the Non-farm Payrolls report for February. A significant rise in unemployment may nudge rates lower.

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