Daily Market Update 2/9/12

Mortgage rates faced upward pressure Thursday.  This morning, Greek leaders announced they have reached an agreement on austerity measures that meet the demands of the ECB and IMF, paving the way for Greece to receive additional financial aid.  In the U.S., weekly Jobless Claims declined unexpectedly to 358,000, below the consensus forecast of 370,000.  The Justice Department will announce a $26 billion settlement agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers over the “robo-signing” scandal, whereby faulty documents were used to expedite the foreclosure process.  $17 billion will be provided in the form of mortgage debt forgiveness, while $3 billion will be used to lower mortgage interest rates for delinquent borrowers.  Critics point out that responsible homeowners who are current in their payments will receive nothing from the deal, setting a dangerous precedent and creating a potential moral hazard.  While I am no fan of these five institutions, certain aspects of the settlement are disturbing and seem politically motivated.  No other key economic data will be released today.

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