Daily Market Update 1/31/13

Mortgage rates were little changed Thursday in volatile trading following the release of mixed economic data.  Weekly Jobless Claims jumped to 368,000, well above the consensus forecast of 350,000.  Personal Income rose 2.6%, beating expectations.  Abnormally large year-end bonus payments ahead of higher 2013 tax rates accounted for much of the increase.  December Core PCE price index, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, was unchanged from November, and was a tame 1.4% higher than one year ago.  The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index rose to 55.6, much higher than expected.  Readings above 50.0 indicate expansion in the manufacturing sector in the Midwest region.  No other key economic data will be released today.  The closely-watched Employment Report for January will come out tomorrow at 8:30 AM.

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