Good Day For Today's Mortgage Rates 3-14-2018

By James Brooks

The bond market is up 5/32 (2.82%), which should improve Raleigh area rates by .125 of a discount point.

The first of this morning?s two important economic reports was February's Producer Price Index (PPI) at 8:30 AM ET. It showed a 0.2% rise in both the overall and core readings. Those readings matched forecasts and indicate that inflationary pressures at the producer level of the economy remained calm last month. By theory, that is good news for bonds and mortgage rates because rising inflation makes long-term mortgage securities less appealing to investors, causing mortgage rates to move higher. It also allows the Fed to raise key short-term rates more aggressively. However, the bond market doesn?t seem to be impressed this morning.

February's Retail Sales data was also released at 8:30 AM this morning, giving us an important measurement of consumer spending. The Commerce Department announced a 0.1% decline in sales, falling short of the 0.3% increase that was expected. Even a secondary reading to excludes more volatile and costly auto transactions came in below expectations. Because consumer spending makes up over two-thirds of the U.S. economy, the softer readings are clearly good news for bonds and mortgage rates. Unfortunately, it has not had the positive influence on today?s trading that was expected.

Tomorrow?s only relevant economic release is last week?s unemployment figures at 8:30 AM ET. They are expected to show that 226,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, down from the previous week?s 231,000 initial claims. Since rising claims are a hint of a weakening employment sector, 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.

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.

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