Daily Market Update 5/19/11

Mortgage rates moved higher Thursday reflecting a late sell off of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) on Wednesday.  Minutes from last month’s FOMC meeting, released yesterday, indicate that Fed officials generally oppose additional quantitative easing measures and suggest that a return to a more normal monetary policy will include asset sales and rate hikes.  The Fed gave no indication of the timing of any policy tightening, but said the selling period for current MBS holdings may be five years.  In economic news, weekly Jobless Claims fell to 409,000, below forecast.  Existing Homes Sales declined unexpectedly by 0.8% to 5.05 million units in April.  Leading Indicators rose 0.3%, a bit less than expected.  No other key data will be released today.

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