Daily Market Update 7/31/14

Rates were little changed Thursday in volatile trading.  Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) sold off early this morning after it was reported the Employment Cost Index, which measures the cost of labor, increased by 0.7% during the second quarter at the fastest pace since 2008.  Fed officials closely monitor wage gains as an indicator of labor market slack, so today’s data may increase pressure on the Fed to raise rates sooner than expected.  Separately, weekly Jobless Claims rose to 302,000, a bit below forecast.  The MBS market rebounded after the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index fell sharply to 52.6, far below expectations.  Readings above 50.0 indicate expansion in the Midwest manufacturing sector.  No other key data will be released today.  The closely watched Employment Report for July will be released tomorrow at 8:30 AM.

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