Daily Market Update 2/19/10

Mortgage rates rose Friday as mortgage-backed securities (MBS) markets remained volatile following Fed comments Wednesday. Late yesterday, the Fed announced an increase in the Discount Rate, the rate the Fed charges member banks for overnight direct loans. While the move was largely symbolic, the timing was a surprise, and many investors see it as an indication the Fed will begin tightening monetary policy later this year. In economic news, the January Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.2% from December. “Core” CPI, excluding food and energy, rose at a tame 1.6% annual rate. Both figures were lower than expected. Next week will be relatively quiet in terms of new economic data, with the exception of Durable Goods Orders on Thursday, and the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index on Friday. No other data will be released today.

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