Daily Market Update 8/24/11

Mortgage rates were little changed Wednesday.  In economic news, July Durable Goods Orders rose 4.0%, well above the consensus forecast of +2.0%.  Excluding the volatile transportation component, orders rose 0.7%, also beating expectations.  The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that home prices fell 5.9% during the second quarter from one year earlier, the biggest drop since 2009.  The Mortgage Bankers Association weekly purchase activity index fell 5.9%, to the lowest level since December 1996.  The refinancing activity index declined by 1.7%, as average reported 30-year fixed rates rose last week to 4.39%, not including fees.  Results from today’s 5-year Treasury auction will be released at 1:00 PM.  Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will be delivering a highly anticipated speech at the annual Fed meeting in Jackson Hole, WY on Friday.  Some analysts are expecting Bernanke to announce new economic stimulus by the Fed.

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