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Mortgage Market in Review – August 11, 2014

Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices finished the week higher which pushed rates lower. There was some flight to quality buying of mortgage bonds the beginning of the week tied to euro zone economic concerns. Portugal’s largest bank needed a multi-billion euro bailout. Stronger than expected factory orders data erased some of those early gains Tuesday morning. Weekly jobless claims came in at 289k versus the expected 308k. Continuing claims were 2518k compared to the expected 2530k. The Federal Reserve issued a first time “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households” Thursday which indicated “many households were faring well, but that sizable fractions of the population were at the same time displaying signs of financial stress.” Mortgage interest rates fell by about 3/8 of a discount point for the trading week.

LOOKING AHEAD

Economic
Indicator
Release
Date & Time
Consensus
Estimate

Analysis
3-year Treasury Note Auction Tuesday, Aug. 12,
1:15 pm, et
None Important. Notes will be auctioned. Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Retail Sales Wednesday, Aug. 13,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.6% Important. A measure of consumer demand. A smaller than expected increase may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Business Inventories Wednesday, Aug. 13,
10:00 am, et
Up 0.4% Low importance. An indication of stored-up capacity. A significantly larger increase may lead to lower rates.
10-year Treasury Note Auction Wednesday, Aug. 13,
1:15 pm, et
None Important. Notes will be auctioned. Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Weekly Jobless Claims Thursday, Aug. 14,
8:30 am, et
285k Important. An indication of employment. Higher claims may result in lower rates.
30-year Treasury Bond Auction Thursday, Aug. 14,
1:15 pm, et
None Important. Bonds will be auctioned. Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Producer Price Index Friday, Aug. 15,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.3%,
Core up 0.2%
Important. An indication of inflationary pressures at the producer level. Weaker figures may lead to lower rates.
Industrial Production Friday, Aug. 15,
9:15 am, et
Up 0.2% Important. A measure of manufacturing sector strength. A lower than expected increase may lead to lower rates.
Capacity Utilization Friday, Aug. 15,
9:15 am, et
79.3% Important. A figure above 85% is viewed as inflationary. Weaker figure may lead to lower rates.
U of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Friday, Aug. 15,
10:00 am, et
82.1 Important. An indication of consumers’ willingness to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.

Business Inventories

The report on business inventories basically gives a broader look at the durable goods, factory orders, and retail sales reports. Not only is this report an important part of the investment component of the GDP, but it also provides additional evidence about the economy in the upcoming months. Changes in business inventories slow as the economy approaches a peak, and rise as the economy approaches the trough of a recession. Therefore the change in business inventories is a leading indicator of GDP. The data for this report, which are published by the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau, comes from a monthly survey of inventories, orders, and manufacturers’ shipments, in addition to the merchant wholesalers and retail trade surveys.

In this environment every piece of data has the potential to cause some volatility.

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