Daily Market Update 4/1/09

Mortgage rates held steady Wednesday following the release of stronger than expected economic data. Pending Home Sales increased 2.1% in February, driven by low interest rates and the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. The Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index rose in March. U.S. manufacturing is still declining, but at a slower pace than in February. Construction Spending fell 0.9%, beating consensus estimates of a 2% drop. While today’s data continues to show a struggling economy, analysts are beginning to see signs of stabilization. Stocks moved modestly higher. Investors are now turning their focus to the single, most important report of the month, Friday’s Non-farm Payrolls for March. The Unemployment Rate is expected to rise to 8.5% from last month’s 8.1%. A larger increase could hurt stocks and help mortgage-backed securities.

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