Mortgage Market Update 11/3/17

Mortgage rates held steady Friday following the release of weaker than expected employment data.  The economy added 261,000 jobs last month, below the consensus forecast of 320,000, however the shortfall was offset by upward revisions of 90,000 job gains for prior months.  The unemployment rate fell to 4.1%, the lowest level since December 2000.  The decline in rate was mostly due to workers leaving the labor force.  Average hourly earnings for the month were unchanged, well below expectations, and were 2.4% higher year-over-year.  Separately, Factory Orders rose 1.4%, beating forecast.  The Institute for Supply Management services index rose increased to 60.1, a bit higher than expected.  Yesterday, President Trump nominated Jerome Powell to succeed Janet Yellen as Fed Chairman.  Powell is likely to be confirmed by the Senate, and is expected to maintain continuity of Fed interest rate policy.  No other key data will be released today.

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