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Mortgage Market in Review – August 25, 2014

Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices finished the week lower which pushed rates higher. Stock strength the first portion of the week and stronger than expected data overall put some upward pressure on rates. The National Association of Home Builders index was a solid 55.0. The consumer price index rose 0.1% as expected. The core, which excludes volatile food and energy rose 0.1% versus the expected 0.2% increase. The tame inflation reading helped alleviate some inflation fears. Housing starts were 1093k versus the expected 970k. Weekly jobless claims came in at 298k versus the expected 308k. Continuing claims were 2500k versus the expected 2530k. Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.9% versus the expected 0.7% increase. Mortgage interest rates rose by about 1/4 to 3/8 of a discount point for the trading week.

LOOKING AHEAD

Economic
Indicator
Release
Date & Time
Consensus
Estimate

Analysis
New Home Sales Monday, Aug. 25,
10:00 am, et
420k Important. An indication of economic strength and credit demand. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
Durable Goods Orders Tuesday, Aug. 26,
8:30 am, et
Up 8.5% Important. An indication of the demand for “big ticket” items. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
Consumer Confidence Tuesday, Aug. 26,
10:00 am, et
88 Important. An indication of consumers’ willingness to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Treasury Auctions Begin Tuesday, Aug. 26,
1:15 pm, et
None Important. 2Y Notes on Tuesday, 5Y Notes on Wednesday, and 7Y Notes on Thursday.
Weekly Jobless Claims Thursday, Aug. 28,
8:30 am, et
308k Important. An indication of employment. Higher claims may result in lower rates.
Q2 GDP 2nd Estimate Thursday, Aug. 28,
8:30 am, et
Up 4.0% Important. The aggregate measure of US economic production. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
Personal Income and Outlays Friday, Aug. 29,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.2%,
Up 0.1%
Important. A measure of consumers’ ability to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.
PCE Core Inflation Friday, Aug. 29,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.1% Important. A measure of price increases for all domestic personal consumption. Weaker figure may help rates improve.
U of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Friday, Aug. 29,
10:00 am, et
80 Important. An indication of consumers’ willingness to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.

Consumer Confidence

The Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index on the last Tuesday of every month. The report details the levels of confidence individual households have in the performance of the economy. The data is derived from a survey of 5,000 households nationwide. The survey polls consumer opinions on current business conditions, their jobs, their incomes, and their future spending plans.

The consumer confidence index is significant in that it provides a precursor into consumers’ willingness to spend in the months ahead. However, many analysts point out that willingness to spend does not always convert to actual expenditures. Consumers are vital to the US economy as consumer spending is a large portion of the gross domestic product.

This week’s release will be eagerly anticipated. Look for any variation from estimates to cause mortgage interest rate volatility.
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