Skip to content

Mortgage Market in Review – July 31, 2017


Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices finished the week near unchanged which held rates steady. Rates increased Monday morning amid stronger stocks. Rates recovered later in the week amid mixed data. The FHFA Housing Price Index rose 0.4% versus the expected 0.7% increase. Consumer Confidence was 121.1 which was higher than most estimates. Orders for durable goods, items lasting more than three years, rose 6.5%. Orders were expected to rise 2.9%. Q2 Advance GDP rose 2.6%. Analysts expected a 2.8% increase. Weak GDP figures support the argument that the next Fed rate hike and balance sheet adjustments should be delayed. Q2 Employment Cost Index rose 0.5% which was near estimates. Consumer sentiment remained solid. Trading was muted in the afternoons in a typical summer trading pattern. We ended the week with discount points near unchanged.


Date & Time

Personal Income and Outlays Tuesday, Aug. 1,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.3%,
Up 0.1%
Important. A measure of consumers’ ability to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.
PCE Core Inflation Tuesday, Aug. 1,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.1% Important. A measure of price increases for all domestic personal consumption. Weaker figure may help rates improve.
ISM Index Tuesday, Aug. 1,
10:00 am, et
58 Important. A measure of manufacturer sentiment. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.
ADP Employment Wednesday, Aug. 2,
8:30 am, et
160K Important. An indication of employment. Weakness may bring lower rates.
Weekly Jobless Claims Thursday, Aug. 3,
8:30 am, et
242K Important. An indication of employment. Higher claims may result in lower rates.
Factory Orders Thursday, Aug. 3,
10:00 am, et
Down 0.4% Important. A measure of manufacturing sector strength. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
Employment Friday, Aug. 4,
8:30 am, et
Payrolls +188K
Very important. An increase in unemployment or weakness in payrolls may bring lower rates.
Trade Data Friday, Aug. 4,
8:30 am, et
$46B deficit Important. Affects the value of the dollar. A falling deficit may strengthen the dollar and lead to lower rates.


The employment report provides an abundance of information for many sectors of the economy and is probably the most important piece of data released each month. Not only does the release give basic employment payroll statistics for the major working sectors, it also provides the average hourly earnings and the average workweek. Economists use this information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor to estimate many other economic indicators such as industrial production, personal income, housing starts, and GDP monthly revisions. Since there is little data for economists to base their estimates on, the margin of error for the estimates tends to be high. As a result, the employment report can cause substantial market movements. The BLS compiles data from two unrelated surveys that they conduct, the household survey and the establishment survey, in order to complete the report. This explains why there is sometimes a divergence between the unemployment rate and payrolls figure. Be alert heading into the release.

Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved. Mortgage Market Information Services, Inc. The information contained herein is believed to be accurate, however no representation or warranties are written or implied.