Mortgage interest rates improved slightly this past week on mixed economic data. Economic data stronger than expected included the October Producer Price Index (PPI), October Retail Sales, October Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, the November NAHB Housing Market Index, October Housing Starts, and October Building Permits. PPI was up 2.8% year over year; core PPI excluding the food and energy components was up 2.4% year over year. Economic data weaker than expected included the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, the November New York Empire State Manufacturing Index, weekly jobless claims, the November Philadelphia Fed Business Index, October Import Prices, and October Export Prices. Also of note, the October Consumer Price Index was up 0.1% month over month and 2.000% year over year, in line with expectations. The House passed its version of tax cuts so the bill now moves to the Senate for debate.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently at 23,376, down about 50 points on the week. The crude oil spot price is currently at $56.39 per barrel, down slightly on the week. The Dollar weakened versus the Euro and Yen on the week.
Next week look toward Monday’s Leading Economic Indicators, Tuesday’s Existing Home Sales, Wednesday’s Durable Goods Orders, Jobless Claims, Consumer Sentiment Index, and FOMC Minutes from its November meeting, and Friday’s PMI Composite Flash as potential market moving events. U.S. markets are closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving.