Mortgage Rates

Mortgage Rates Move Up A Tick 12-12-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is down 8/32 (2.41), which should push Raleigh Area mortgage rates higher by approximately .125 of a discount point over Monday?s rates.

Yesterday?s 10-year Treasury Note auction did not go well with several benchmarks pointing towards a weak level of investor demand. The bond market weakened after results were posted, causing some lenders to revise mortgage rates upward before the end of the day. This doesn?t allow us to be too optimistic about today?s 30-year Bond auction either. Results will be posted at 1:00 PM ET this afternoon. If it also goes poorly, we could see bonds weaken again and another round of upward rate revisions shortly after. On the other hand, if there is a strong demand in the sale, bonds and mortgage rates may improve slightly before the end of the day.

Today?s only relevant economic release was an important one. November's Producer Price Index (PPI) was posted at 8:30 AM ET, revealing a 0.4% rise in the overall reading and a 0.3% increase in the more important core data. Analysts were expecting to see the 0.4% in the overall reading, but forecasts were calling for only a 0.2% rise in the core data. The core reading is the more important of the two because it excludes more volatile food and energy costs, giving us a more stable inflation picture in the manufacturing sector of the economy. Therefore, the core reading makes the news negative for bonds and mortgage rates.

Tomorrow is expected to be a very active day for the markets and mortgage rates. It will start with the release November's Consumer Price Index (CPI) at 8:30 AM ET. This is the sister release to today's Producer Price Index, except it tracks inflationary pressures at the important consumer level of the economy. It is expected to show a 0.4% rise in the overall reading while the core data is forecasted to show a 0.2% increase. This data is one of the most watched inflation indexes, which is extremely important to long-term...

No Change In Today's Mortgage Rate 12-11-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is up 1/32 (2.39), which should keep Raleigh area mortgage rates unchanged.

Today has no relevant economic data for the markets to digest, but there is an afternoon event that may affect mortgage rates. That would be the first of this week?s two Treasury auctions that carry the potential to influence rates. 10-year Notes will be sold today while 30-year Bonds go tomorrow. Results of both auctions will be posted at 1:00 PM ET each day. If they are met with a strong demand from investors, particularly international buyers, we should see strength in the broader bond market and improvements to mortgage pricing during afternoon hours. On the other hand, a weak interest in the securities could lead to an upward revision to rates.

Besides the 30-year Bond auction, tomorrow also has an important economic release. November's Producer Price Index (PPI) will be posted at 8:30 AM ET tomorrow morning. It shows inflationary pressures at the producer level of the economy. There are two portions of the index that are used- the overall reading and the core data reading. The core data is the more important of the two because it excludes more volatile food and energy prices, giving a more stable reading for analysts to consider. If it reveals stronger than expected readings, indicating that inflationary pressures are rising, the bond market will probably react negatively. That would drive mortgage rates higher. If we see in-line or weaker than expected numbers, the bond market could respond by pushing mortgage rates slightly lower. Analysts are expecting a 0.4% increase in the overall index and a 0.2% rise in the core data.

Overall, Wednesday is the key day of the week due to the release of November?s Consumer Price Index (CPI) followed by the FOMC meeting adjournment, Fed economic projections and press conference. The calmest day could be Friday. This week is probably going to be another active week for the markets and mortgage...

Today's Mortgage Rate News 12-8-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is down 3/32 (2.37%), which with yesterday?s afternoon weakness should cause Raleigh area mortgage rates to be slightly higher than Thursday?s morning pricing.

November's Employment report was posted at 8:30 AM ET this morning. It gave us several important readings on the employment sector, showing that the unemployment rate remained at 4.1% last month and that 228,000 new jobs were added to the economy. The unemployment rate matched forecasts but the payroll number was higher than expected (190k). There were also some revisions to October and September?s numbers, but the net difference over the two months was only 3,000 jobs and not relevant today. Still, this news only helped support the consensus that the Fed is going to raise key short-term interest rates next week.

The good part of the report was average earnings data. Analysts were expecting to see a 0.3% rise in earnings while today?s report revealed only a 0.2% increase. More good news came in a 0.1% downward revision to October?s earnings reading. The weaker than predicted earnings data eases inflation concerns that erode investor value in bonds. This news is preventing a negative reaction in the bond and mortgage markets.

Also released this morning was December's preliminary reading to the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment. The 10:00 AM ET release showed a 96.8 reading that fell short of last month?s 98.5. That means that surveyed consumers were less optimistic about their own financial situations than thought. Forecasts were calling for a slight increase in sentiment. Because waning confidence usually translates into weaker levels of consumer spending, this reading was good news for bonds and mortgage rates.

Next week brings us the release of several important economic releases in addition to the last FOMC meeting of the year, which will also include revised economic projections and a press conference with Chair Janet Yellen....

Today's Mortgage Rates Improve 12-7-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is currently up 6/32 (2.34%), we should a slight improvement in Raleigh area mortgage rates.

Last week?s unemployment update was posted early this morning, revealing that 236,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were field last week. This was a small decline from the previous week?s 238,000 initial filings. Since analysts were expecting to see an increase in claims, we can consider this data bad news for mortgage rates. Fortunately, this is only a weekly snapshot, so its impact on today?s trading has been minimal.

Tomorrow closes the week with two economic reports scheduled, one of which is extremely important to the markets. That key release is November's Employment figures at 8:30 AM ET. This is arguably the most important monthly report we see, so its impact on the markets and mortgage rates is often significant. It is comprised of many statistics and readings, but the most watched are the unemployment rate, the number of news jobs added or lost during the month and average hourly earnings. Current forecasts call for no change in the unemployment rate of 4.1% while 190,000 new jobs were added to the economy. The income reading is forecasted to show an increase of 0.3%. An ideal scenario for mortgage shoppers would be a higher unemployment rate, a much smaller increase in payrolls (or a decline) and no change in the earnings reading. That scenario should cause bond prices to rise sharply and mortgage rates to move much lower tomorrow. However, stronger than expected readings would likely fuel a bond sell-off that would lead to higher mortgage rates.

Also worth noting is that extra attention will be given to this month's Employment report because it is the last one before this month FOMC meeting. It is at this meeting that many analysts and market participants expect the Fed to push key short-term interest rates higher by a quarter-point. If this report meets or exceeds expectations, it is highly likely that...

Another Day Of Improvement For Mortgage Rates 12-6-2017

By James Brooks,

The bond market is up 10/32 (2.31%), which should improve Raleigh area mortgage rates by approximately .250 of a discount point.

The first of today?s two economic releases was the ADP Employment report for November at 8:15 AM ET. It estimates that 190,000 new private-sector jobs were added to the economy last month. This was nearly a match to forecasts, indicating moderate growth in the employment sector. Because there was no surprise in this data and the more reliable monthly government report is coming Friday, we haven?t seen much of a reaction to it in the markets or mortgage pricing.

Also released early this morning was revised 3rd Quarter Productivity numbers that revealed worker productivity rose at a 3.0% annual rate. This was unchanged from the initial estimate and down from the 3.3% that was expected. In this data, good news would have been an upward revision. However, we did get some very favorable news in the Unit Labor Costs reading within the data. This reading, that tracks employer costs for wages and benefits, showed a sizable downward revision (+0.5% to -0.2%). The downward adjustment eases wage-inflation concerns that heavily contributes to broader inflation growth and makes bonds less attractive to investors. While the productivity reading is neutral, the labor cost reading is definitely good news for mortgage rates.

Tomorrow?s only relevant release will be last week?s unemployment figures at 8:30 AM ET. They are expected to show that 240,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, up a little from the previous week?s 238,000 initial claims. Since rising claims hints at employment sector weakness, the higher the number the better the news it is for mortgage rates. However, because this is only a weekly report, it likely will have little impact on tomorrow?s mortgage rates unless it shows a significant variance.

We will get the extremely important monthly Employment report early Friday morning....

No Change In Today's Mortgage Rates 12-5-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is down 2/32 (2.39%), which should keep Raleigh area mortgage rates unchanged.

There is nothing of importance set for release today, so if we see an intraday move in mortgage rates it likely will be a result of strength or weakness in stocks. As long as stocks remain near current levels, we should see mortgage rates follow suit.

Tomorrow has two pieces of economic data that we will be watching. The first is the ADP Employment report for November at 8:15 AM ET, which has the potential to cause some movement in the markets if it shows much stronger or weaker numbers. This report tracks changes in private-sector jobs of the company's clients that use them for payroll processing. While it does draw attention, it is my opinion that it is overrated and is not a true reflection of the broader employment picture. It also is not very accurate in predicting results of the monthly government report that follows a couple days later. Still, because we sometimes see a noticeable reaction to the report, it is on this week's calendar. Analysts are expecting to see 190,000 new private-sector payrolls last month.

The second report of the day will be revised 3rd Quarter Productivity numbers at 8:30 AM ET. This index is expected to show a small upward revision from the preliminary reading of worker productivity. Higher levels of productivity are thought to allow the economy to expand without inflationary pressures rising. This is good news for the bond market because economic growth itself isn't necessarily bad for the bond market. It's the conditions around an expanding economy, such as inflation, that hurt bond prices and mortgage rates. Current forecasts are calling for an annual rate in productivity of 3.3%, up from the previous estimate of 3.0%. The higher the reading, the better the news for the bond market. Although, this report generally does not have a noticeable impact on mortgage pricing, so it will take a wide variance to draw much...

Today's Mortgage Rate New 12-4-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is down 6/32 (2.38%). Which should increase Raleigh area mortgage rates by .125 of a discount point

October's Factory Orders report was posted at 10:00 AM ET today, giving us some manufacturing information. The Commerce Department announced a 0.1% decline in new orders at U.S. factories. Usually, a decline would be good news as it points towards a softening manufacturing sector. That?s not the case in today?s release because analysts were expecting to see a 0.4% decline, meaning activity was a bit better than expected.

The remainder of the week has four more economic reports scheduled that have the potential to affect mortgage rates. One of those, Friday?s monthly Employment report, is considered to be a major release that can heavily influence the financial and mortgage markets. This week?s data, along with the tax reform, Russia investigation and other events out of Washington, make it likely that we will have another active week for mortgage rates.

Tomorrow has nothing of importance set for release, so expect political news and any surprises on tax reform that may derail the final approval to drive bond trading and mortgage rates. Wednesday had two reports early in the morning that the markets will be watching (ADP Employment and revised 3rd Quarter Productivity numbers).

Overall, Friday is the most important day of the week due to the release of the monthly Employment report. We saw a very volatile end of the week last week and this week shouldn?t be much different. Therefore, please maintain contact with your mortgage professional if still floating an interest rate and closing in the near future.

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Float if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now.

...

Minor Move For Mortgage Rates 12-1-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is up 3/32 (2.38%), but we still should see an increase in Raleigh area mortgage rates of slightly less than .125 of a discount point. This is because Today's positive reaction is not quite as strong as yesterday?s negative move.

We saw bonds tank yesterday afternoon as rumors spread that the Senate was going forward with a tax reform vote. Since it appeared there was enough support for it to pass, the bond market reacted negatively. Then, as we have seen many times with political-related swings, the outlook changed last night. The consensus swung to the opinion it may not pass in its current form after all. We saw a good part of yesterday?s negative move unwind during overnight trading, causing a positive open for the bond market this morning. It is still being reported that a vote may take place today, so this volatility may not be over with yet and we could still see another mortgage rates revision before the end of the day.

Today?s only important economic release was November's Institute for Supply Management?s (ISM) manufacturing index at 10:00 AM ET. It came in at 58.2, down from October?s 58.7 but nearly matching expectations. The decline means fewer surveyed manufacturing executives felt business conditions improved during the month than did last month. Because that is a sign of slower manufacturing activity, it is technically good news for bonds and mortgage rates. However, since it didn?t reveal a surprise reading either way, it has had little influence on Today's mortgage pricing.

Next week has a couple of things that may heavily influence mortgage rates, including the highly important monthly Employment report. Compared to this week, there is much less being released or taking place, but we still should see plenty of movement in the markets and mortgage rates. The week does have something happening Monday- the release of October?s Factory Orders report. This is only a moderately important release.


If...

Slight Increase In Today's Mortgage Rates 11-30-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is down 6/32 (2.42%), which should increase Raleigh area mortgage rates by .125 of a discount point.

Yesterday afternoon?s release of the Fed Beige Book didn?t reveal many surprises. It indicated modest to moderate economic growth throughout the Fed?s 12 regions. What did draw some attention were notes of price pressures rising since the previous update. Inflation has been subdued with the Fed repeatedly predicting it will eventually get to its preferred threshold of 2.0% annually. Rising inflation makes long-term securities such as mortgage-related bonds less attractive to investors and causes mortgage rates to rise instead of falling. Yesterday?s news didn?t have much of an influence on mortgage rates, but it does put us on alert for the next update.

There were two economic reports posted this morning, both at 8:30 AM ET. The Commerce Department gave us October's Personal Income and Outlays data that showed a 0.4% rise in income while spending rose 0.3%. Analysts were expecting to see a 0.3% increase in both, meaning the income reading that give consumers the ability to spend, was stronger than thought. That makes the report neutral to slightly negative for mortgage rates, especially since the inflation readings pegged forecasts.

Last week?s unemployment update was also released. It revealed that 238,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week. That was down slightly from the previous week?s revised 240,000 initial filings, but matched expectations. Because this is only a weekly snapshot of the employment sector and did not reveal a significant variance, it has also had little impact on today's mortgage pricing.

The week?s calendar closes tomorrow with an important manufacturing report. November's Institute for Supply Management?s (ISM) manufacturing index will be posted at 10:00 AM ET tomorrow. This index measures manufacturer sentiment and can have a considerable impact on the financial markets and...

Some Improvement For Mortgage Rates 11-28-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is up 5/32 (2.31%), which should improve Raleigh area mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point.

Yesterday?s 5-year Treasury Note auction was uneventful with the indicators pointing towards and average or slightly better demand for the securities. The bond market had little reaction to the news when results were posted at 1:00 PM ET yesterday. However, it does allow us to be a little optimistic about today?s 7-year Note sale. If it is met with a strong investor demand, we could see bond prices improve slightly this afternoon. Results will again be posted at 1:00 PM ET, so any reaction will come during early afternoon trading.

Today?s sole piece of economic data was November's Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) at 10:00 AM ET. The Conference Board announced a reading of 129.5 that exceeded forecasts and October?s revised 126.2. It was the highest reading since November 2000, meaning consumer confidence in their own financial and employment situations is at its best levels in a long time. That is bad news for bonds and mortgage rates because rising levels of confidence usually translate into stronger consumer spending that fuels economic growth. Fortunately, this is only a moderately important report that hasn?t had much of an impact on today?s trading.

Tomorrow is a pretty busy day in terms of scheduled events that may affect mortgage pricing. It begins with the first revision to the 3rd Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 8:30 AM ET. This release is expected to show an upward revision to last month's preliminary reading of a 3.0% annual rate of growth. The GDP measures the total of all goods and services produced in the U.S. and is considered to be the benchmark measurement of economic growth. Current forecasts call for a 3.2% rate, meaning that there was a tad more economic activity during the third quarter than previously thought. This would be bad news for the bond market and mortgage rates because strengthening...

Mortgage Rate News 11-27-2017

By James Brooks


The bond market is unchanged from Friday?s early close (2.34%), which should keep Raleigh area mortgage rates at Friday?s levels.

The week started with a relatively minor economic release late this morning. The Commerce Department gave us October's New Home Sales data at 10:00 AM ET, announcing a 6.2% rise in sales of newly constructed homes. This was much stronger than expected and pushed sales to their highest level since October 2007. The unexpected rise indicates the new home portion of the housing sector was stronger than many had thought. That makes the data bad news for bonds and mortgage rates.

In addition to this week's five more economic reports, there are two relatively important Treasury auctions that may also influence bond trading enough to affect mortgage rates. There will be an auction of 5-year Treasury Notes today and 7-year Notes tomorrow. Neither of these sales will directly impact mortgage pricing, but they can influence general bond market sentiment. If the sales go poorly, we could see broader selling in the bond market that leads to upward revisions in mortgage rates. However, strong investor demand usually makes bonds more attractive to investors and brings more funds into the bond market. The buying of bonds that follows often translates into lower mortgage rates. Results of the sales will be posted at 1:00 PM ET both days. Any reaction to the sales will come shortly after results are posted.

November's Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) will be released at 10:00 AM ET tomorrow morning by the Conference Board. This index helps us track consumer willingness to spend. If a consumer's confidence in their own financial and employment situation is strong, analysts believe that they are more apt to make larger purchases, fueling economic growth. This is important because consumer spending makes up over two-thirds of the U.S. economy and strength in it makes long-term securities such as mortgage-related bonds less attractive to...

Black Friday Mortgage Rate News 11-24-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is down 2/32 (2.34%), which should keep Raleigh area mortgage rates unchanged.

Wednesday?s afternoon release of the minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting gave us some bond-favorable information. They showed that Fed members are growing more concerned about inflation running well below their preferred level. There was also some talk of the fact the Fed may have raised key rates prematurely because inflation has not strengthened enough. What was in the minutes doesn?t derail a December rate hike though. Still, they gave us favorable results and the bond market strengthened after their 2:00 PM ET release, causing some lenders to improve rates before closing.

There is nothing of relevance being posted today. In fact, it should be a pretty calm day for mortgage rates because many bond traders are home for the holiday weekend. The stock markets will close at 1:00 PM ET today while the bond market will close at 2:00 PM as part of the Thanksgiving holiday. All the markets will reopen for regular trading Monday morning.

Next week is packed with economic data and other events that may affect mortgage rates, including a couple of Treasury auctions and a congressional appearance by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Monday has a housing report scheduled but it is not considered to be highly important.


If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now.

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Mortgage Rates Improve 11-22-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is up 6/32 (2.33%), which should improve Raleigh area mortgage pricing by approximately .125 of a discount point.

October's Durable Goods Orders report was released at 8:30 AM ET this morning. The Commerce Department announced a 1.2% decline in new orders for big-ticket products. This was weaker than the 0.4% increase that was forecasted. Even a secondary reading that excludes more volatile and costly airplanes and related products came in slightly lighter than anticipated. This data is known to be volatile from month to month, so the large variance isn?t as important as it would be if it came in other reports. Still, it points towards a softening manufacturing sector, making the data good news for bonds and mortgage rates.

Last week's unemployment figures were also released early this morning. They showed that 239,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, down from the previous week's revised total of 252,000. The decline in initial filings is unfavorable news for bonds since it hints that the employment sector strengthened last week. However, it is only a weekly snapshot so it draws less attention than monthly releases and came at the same time as the important Durable Goods Orders report. Therefore, the news has had little impact on this morning's bond trading or mortgage pricing.

Also posted this morning but at 10:00 AM ET was the University of Michigan?s revised Index of Consumer Sentiment for November. It showed a reading of 98.5, exceeding predictions of 97.9 and up from the preliminary reading of 97.8. The increase indicates that surveyed consumers felt a little more optimistic about their own financial situations than earlier this month. Since rising sentiment often translates into stronger levels of consumer spending, this is bad news for mortgage rates. Fortunately, the Durable Goods Orders report is considered to be a more important report. Accordingly, the markets are responding more heavily to that news...

Mortgage Rates Unchanged 11-21-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is up 2/32 (2.36%), which should keep Raleigh area mortgage pricing unchanged.

October's Existing Home Sales data was posted at 10:00 AM this morning. The National Association of Realtors announced that home resales rose 2.0% last month, exceeding expectations. That means the housing sector was stronger than thought. Because a strengthening housing sector makes broader economic growth more likely, we should consider this data unfavorable for bonds and mortgage rates.

Tomorrow has two economic reports scheduled for release. The first is October's Durable Goods Orders at 8:30 AM ET. This data helps us measure manufacturing strength by tracking orders for big-ticket items or products that are expected to last three or more years, such as airplanes, appliances and electronics. This data is known to be quite volatile from month-to-month, so sizable swings from the previous month are fairly normal. It is expected to show a 0.4% rise in new orders. A decline would be considered good news for the bond market and mortgage rates as it would indicate the manufacturing sector was not as strong as thought. We need to see a sizable variance from forecasts though for the markets to have a noticeable reaction due to the usual volatility in the data. It is worth mentioning though that this is the most important report of the week.

The second report of the day will be the revised University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for November. Current forecasts are calling for a slight increase (97.9 from 97.8), meaning surveyed consumers felt nearly the same about their own financial and employment situations as they did in October. Bond traders would prefer to see a decline because waning confidence usually means consumers are less likely to make a large purchase in the near future, restricting economic growth.

Also worth noting is the release of the minutes from the last FOMC meeting tomorrow afternoon that can have an impact on the financial and...

Monday Mortgage Rate News 11-20-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is unchanged (2.36%), which should keep Raleigh area mortgage rates unchanged.

The holiday-shortened calendar kicked-off with the release of October?s Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) at 10:00 AM ET today. The Conference Board announced an increase of 1.2% in the indicators, meaning they are predicting economic growth over the next several months. That exceeded forecasts of a 0.8% rise, making the data bad news for mortgage rates. Fortunately, this report is not considered to be one of the more important releases we get each month, minimizing its impact on today?s trading.

There are three more economic releases scheduled for the markets to digest this week in addition to the minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting. October's Existing Home Sales data is next, coming at 10:00 AM tomorrow morning. The National Association of Realtors will give us a measurement of housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand by tracking home resales in the U.S. This report is expected to show a small increase, meaning the housing sector strengthened slightly last month. That would be relatively bad news for the bond market and mortgage pricing, but unless it shows a significant surprise, it shouldn?t have a major impact on mortgage rates.

The financial markets will be closed Thursday in observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. There will not be an early close Wednesday ahead of the holiday, but the stock and bond markets will close early Friday and will reopen next Monday morning. I suspect that Friday will be a very light day in bond trading as many market participants will be home. The same can be said to some degree Wednesday afternoon also. Banks must be open Friday, but we will likely see little change to mortgage rates that day.

Overall, I am expecting Wednesday to be the busiest day for the bond market and mortgage rates with three of the week's releases scheduled, including the FOMC minutes. The calmest day of the week will most likely...

Mortgage Rates Move Lower 11-17-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is up 6/32 (2.34%), we should see a slight improvement for mortgage rates.

The Commerce Department announced early this morning that October's Housing Starts jumped 13.7%, exceeding forecasts by a wide margin. A secondary reading that tracks new permits issued, giving us an indication of future groundbreakings, also came in higher than expected. The data points towards a strengthening new home portion of the housing sector, making the data bad news for bonds and mortgage rates. Fortunately, this is not considered to be a highly important report, minimizing its impact on today?s trading.

Next week will be shortened due to the Thanksgiving holiday but still has a couple of economic reports and other items that we need to watch. Most of the data being released is considered moderately important but there is also one report that does draw plenty of attention in addition to the minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting.

There is a minor release set for Monday morning (Leading Economic Indicators) to start the week, but it shouldn?t be of much concern.

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now.

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Mortgage Rate News 11-16-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is down 7/32 (2.34%), which should increase Raleigh area mortgage rates higher by .125 of a discount point.

Last week?s unemployment figures were posted at 8:30 AM ET this morning, showing 249,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week. This higher than the previous week?s 239,000 new claims and exceeded forecasts of 234,000. That indicates the employment sector was a little weaker than thought last week, making the data favorable for bonds and mortgage rates. However, this is only a weekly snapshot, so its impact on today?s trading has been minimal.

Also posted this morning was October's Industrial Production report at 9:15 AM ET. It revealed a 0.9% rise in output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities when it was expected to increase 0.5%. That is a sign that manufacturing activity is rising, making the data negative for mortgage rates. Fortunately, this is also considered to only be a minor report, limiting its influence on today?s mortgage rates.

The week?s calendar closes with October's Housing Starts early tomorrow morning. This report gives us a measurement of housing sector strength, but usually does not have a noticeable impact on mortgage rates. I don't expect this month's version to be any different unless it varies greatly from analysts' forecasts. It is expected to show an increase in starts of new homes, meaning the new home portion of the housing sector strengthened last month.

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now.

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Mortgage Rates Move A Little On Today's News 11-15-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is currently up 4/32 (2.33%), which should improve Raleigh area mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point.

The Commerce Department gave us the first of this morning?s two important economic reports with the release of October's Retail Sales data at 8:30 AM ET. It showed a 0.2% rise in consumer spending, slightly exceeding forecasts of 0.1%. However, a secondary reading that excludes more volatile auto transactions came in at up 0.1% when it was expected to rise 0.2%. Those variances offset each other with the headline increase being slightly negative for mortgage rates but the secondary reading is good news. The net result is a neutral impact on bond trading and mortgage pricing.

Also at 8:30 AM was the release of October's Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the Labor Department. They announced a 0.1% increase in the overall reading and a 0.2% rise in the more important core data. Both readings matched expectations and point towards subdued inflationary pressures at the consumer level of the economy. This is good news for bonds and mortgage securities because rapidly rising inflation makes long-term securities less appealing to investors. Although, since they didn?t show surprises, their impact on this morning?s mortgage rates has been minimal.

Tomorrow has two pieces of economic data that may affect mortgage rates, but neither are considered to be highly important. The first will come at 8:30 AM ET when last week?s unemployment figures are released. They are expected to show that 234,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, down from the previous week?s 239,000 initial claims. Since rising claims hints at employment sector weakness, the higher the number the better the news it is for mortgage rates. However, because this is only a weekly report, it likely will have little influence on tomorrow?s mortgage rates unless it shows a significant variance.

The second release will be October's Industrial Production...

Good Day For Mortgage Rates 11-14-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is up 8/32 (2.37%), which should improve Raleigh area mortgage rates by .125 of a discount point.

October's Producer Price Index (PPI) was posted at 8:30 AM ET this morning, revealing a 0.4% increase in both the overall and core readings. Both readings exceeded expectations of up 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. This means that inflationary pressures at the manufacturing level of the economy were stronger than thought. That makes the data bad news for mortgage rates because rising inflation erodes the value of a bond?s future fixed interest payments, causing them to be less appealing to investors. Higher levels of inflation also allow the Fed to raise key short-term interest rates more often.

Tomorrow has two monthly reports at 8:30 AM ET that may have an impact on mortgage rates. Both of them are considered to be important for the bond and mortgage markets. The first will come from the Commerce Department, who will give us October's Retail Sales. This data measures consumer level or retail spending. It is considered extremely important to the markets because consumer spending makes up over two-thirds of the U.S. economy. It is expected to show a 0.1% increase in retail-level spending, meaning consumers spent a bit more last month than they did in September. A larger increase in spending would be considered negative news for bonds because rising spending fuels economic growth and raises inflation concerns in the bond market. If tomorrow's report reveals a decline that indicates consumers spent less than thought, bonds should react favorably, pushing mortgage rates lower. If it shows a larger rise, mortgage rates will likely move higher.

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now.

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