Daily Market Update 7/31/13

Mortgage rates moved higher Wednesday following the release of stronger than expected economic data.  This morning, preliminary second quarter GDP figures indicated the economy grew at a 1.7% annual rate, above the consensus forecast of 1.1%.  First quarter GDP was revised lower, however, resulting in first half growth of 1.4%.  Separately, payrolls firm ADP estimated private sector job growth of 200,000 in July, beating expectations.  The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index rose to 52.3, a bit less than expected.  Readings above 50.0 indicate expansion in Midwest manufacturing activity.  The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve wraps up its two-day meeting to discuss monetary policy this afternoon.  The Fed will release a statement at 2:00 PM.  Investors will be watching closely for clues about the timing of the Fed’s anticipated tapering of bond purchases known as “quantitative easing”.

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