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Mortgage Market in Review – April 3, 2017

Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices finished the week a little higher which helped rates hold steady. Rates started the week lower with no data Monday in response to the failure to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act. Stocks took a hit early amid concerns that stimulus spending would run into similar legislative issues. Some of the rate improvements were erased mid-week as several Fed officials talked about rate hikes. Weekly jobless claims were 258K versus the expected 245K. Q4 GDP rose 2.1% versus the expected 2% increase. Personal Income rose 0.4% as expected. Outlays were a little weaker than expected with an increase of 0.1% versus 0.2%. PCE core inflation (The Fed’s preferred inflation gauge) rose 0.2% as expected. Mortgage interest rates finished the week better by approximately 1/8 of discount point despite some volatility.
LOOKING AHEAD

Economic Indicator Release Date & Time Consensus Estimate Analysis
ISM Index Monday, April 3, 10:00 am, et 57.9 Important. A measure of manufacturer sentiment. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Trade Data Tuesday, April 4, 8:30 am, et $49B deficit Important. Affects the value of the dollar. A falling deficit may strengthen the dollar and lead to lower rates.
Factory Orders Tuesday, April 4, 10:00 am, et Up 0.9% Important. A measure of manufacturing sector strength. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
ADP Employment Wednesday, April 5, 8:30 am, et 296K Important. An indication of employment. Weakness may bring lower rates.
Fed Minutes Wednesday, April 5, 2:00 pm, et None Important. Details of the last Fed meeting will be thoroughly analyzed.
Weekly Jobless Claims Thursday, April 6, 8:30 am, et 256K Important. An indication of employment. Higher claims may result in lower rates.
Employment Friday, April 7, 8:30 am, et 4.7%, Payrolls +240K Very important. An increase in unemployment or weakness in payrolls may bring lower rates.
Consumer Credit Friday, April 7, 3:00 pm, et $9.5B Low importance. A significantly large increase may lead to lower mortgage interest rates.

ADP Employment

The ADP employment report is a measure of employment derived from data of roughly 500,000 US businesses. The survey focuses on the private sector of the economy. In contrast, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the regular employment report which includes both private and government employment statistics.
The Fed is usually focused on inflation. Tightening employment conditions can result in wage inflation. The ADP report provides solid data on these conditions. Despite this, the data can still diverge from the regular employment report. The employment report is derived from a household survey and an establishment survey. These surveys often differ from one another and from the ADP employment report in that they are based on different data sets. There are no guarantees that the most important employment report the first Friday of each month will mirror the ADP report released 2 days prior but the Fed looks at all the data.

 

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