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Markets in a Minute | April 20, 2018

 

The labor market continues to show strength, with unemployment of 4.1% nearing the Fed goal of 3.8%. Jobless claims this week were down to 232K.
Members of the Fed have expressed expectations that inflation will continue to rise this year. Higher inflation will likely contribute to higher mortgage rates.
After 3 months of declines, retail sales were up in March. The increase was fueled by auto sales and big-ticket household purchases.

 

March housing starts were up even more than expected. The increase included a rebound in multi-family home construction.
Although confidence among builders dropped slightly in April, the confidence index remains in solid territory. Buyer demand for new housing is still strong.
Spring has sprung for mortgage demand. Total mortgage applications were up 4.9% for the week, and purchase applications were up 10% over a year ago.

 

Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation toward the local swimming pool. I gave him a glass of water.

 

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.
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