Daily Market Update 7/18/13

Mortgage rates faced upward pressure Wednesday on mixed economic data.  Weekly Jobless Claims fell to 334,000, well below forecast, although the data may have been distorted by the July Fourth holiday.  The Philly Fed Index jumped to 19.8, far above expectations.  Readings above zero indicate expansion in the manufacturing sector in the Philadelphia region.  Leading Indicators were flat, which was a bit lower than expected.  The Mortgage Bankers Association weekly purchase activity index rose by 1%, while the refinance activity index declined by 4%.  Average reported conventional 30-year fixed rates were unchanged, at 4.68%, not including fees.  Fed Chairman Bernanke will be speaking before Congress for a second day.  No other key data will be released today.

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