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Markets in a Minute

Markets in a Minute | March 30, 2018

  

 

Although a short week for markets, there was lots of economic data to digest. The week overall was positive for rates, helping to rebound from recent highs.
Consumer spending rose marginally for the 2nd straight month in February. The PCE data suggests a moderation in inflation after prices pushed higher in Jan.
The labor market appears to be near full strength as jobless claims came in lower than expected. This is the 95th straight week claims were below 300,000.

 

New home sales were down in February but are trending up. Although down month-over-month, February’s numbers were 0.5% higher than a year ago.
Rates have stabilized, and loan applications increased 4.8% last week. Purchase apps increased 3.1% week-over-week and were 8.2% higher than a year ago.
Pending home sales were up 3.1% in February, although down slightly from last year. Demand remains strong, but inventory levels continue to be an issue.

 

Can February March? No, but April May!

 

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.

Markets in a Minute | March 23, 2018

 

 

 

As expected, the Fed raised policy rates at this week’s meeting. While they alluded to only two more hikes this year, rising inflation could necessitate more.
The institution of tariffs, most recently against China, can contribute to rising inflation by limiting free markets. Inflation fuels rising interest and mortgage rates.
After rising quickly early in the year, mortgage rates have stabilized. Nonetheless, further increases are expected through the rest of the year.

 

Existing home sales were up 3% in February, despite a chronic shortage of inventory. That’s 1.1% higher than February 2017, showing strong demand.
Tight inventory, especially for homes in the lower price ranges, is the new normal. Housing inventory was down 8.1% from a year ago this time.
Along with interest rates, rents have been rising. A recent survey concluded that the largest 250 U.S. cities saw rents grow year over year by an average of 2.7%.

 

If you make something idiot proof, someone, somewhere will make a better idiot.

 

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.