Daily Market Update 8/20/15

Rates inched lower Thursday reflecting yesterday’s late rally in mortgage-backed securities following the release of Minutes from last month’s Fed meeting.  Fed officials have mixed views about raising the Federal Funds Rate in September.  Improvement in the labor market provides justification for increasing rates, while low inflation, a strong dollar, and an economic slowdown in China favors delaying an increase.  In today’s economic news, weekly Jobless Claims came in at 277,000, close to expectations.  Existing Home Sales rose to 5.59 million annual units, the highest level in 8 years, beating the consensus forecast of 5.45 million.  Leading Indicators fell unexpectedly by 0.2%.  The Philly Fed Index, a survey of manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region, rose t0 8.3.  Readings above zero indicate expansion in the manufacturing sector.  No other key data will be released today.

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