not always early, but ALWAYS on time….MORTGAGE TIME!

Mortgage Market News for the week of March 7, 2014
Compliments of:
Patrick Gardner
Mortgage Loan Officer
NMLS ID: 378888
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It was a volatile week in mortgage markets. Early in the week, rapidly changing conditions in Ukraine caused a great deal of movement in mortgage rates, but there was little net impact. Later in the week, stronger than expected labor market data was negative for mortgage rates, and rates ended the week higher.

Against a consensus forecast of 140K, the economy added 175K jobs in February, and the figures for the prior two months were revised a little higher. This took place, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, despite the largest weather related disruption since 1996. The Unemployment Rate unexpectedly rose from 6.6% to 6.7%, but this was due to an increase in the number of people that entered the labor force. The solid jobs report exceeded expectations nearly across the board. Since stronger economic growth raises future inflationary pressures, this was unfavorable news for mortgage rates.

After Russia moved troops into Ukraine, the threat of an escalating conflict caused a “flight to safety” in financial markets on Monday. This involved a shift by investors to relatively safer assets, resulting in a large decline in stocks and significant improvement in bonds, including mortgage-backed securities (MBS). A complete reversal took place on Tuesday, however, after the Russian President said that Russia would not use military force in Ukraine.

ISM Services declined to the lowest level since February 2010
The Treasury will auction $64 billion in securities next week
The European Central Bank (ECB) made no change in rates
Chinese manufacturing data fell to the lowest level in 8 months

The most significant economic report next week will be the Retail Sales data on Thursday. Retail Sales account for about 70% of economic activity. Before that, the JOLTS report, measuring job openings and labor turnover, will come out on Tuesday. The Producer Price Index (PPI) focuses on the increase in prices of “intermediate” goods used by companies to produce finished products and will come out on Friday. Import Prices and Consumer Sentiment will round out the schedule. In addition, there will be Treasury auctions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Changes in the situation in Ukraine also could have an impact on mortgage rates.

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