Mortgage interest rates improved again this past week, continuing their trend from Fed Chair Yellen’s comments two weeks ago that the Fed Funds Rate may not need to increase much to reach a neutral bias. Mortgage activity saw positive movement this week as applications for new homes rose 1% and refinances were up an impressive 13%. Economic data on the week was mixed. Data weaker than expected included the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey, EIA Petroleum Status Report, Housing Market Index and the Empire State Manufacturing Survey. Economic data stronger than expected included Jobless Claims falling well below predictions, a large inflow of U.S. Treasuries to the tune of $91.9 billion, MBA Mortgage Applications and Housing Starts. Import and Export Prices came in flat as was expected.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently at 21,575, mostly flat on the week. The crude oil spot price is currently at $45.87 per barrel, up over $2 per barrel on the week. The Dollar weakened versus the Euro and Yen on the week.
Next week look toward Monday’s PMI Composite Flash and Existing Home Sales, Tuesday’s Consumer Confidence Index and the S&P Corelogic Case-Schiller Home Price Index, Wednesday’s New Home Sales, EIA Petroleum Status Report and the FOMC Meeting Announcement, Thursday’s Jobless Claims, International Trade in Goods and Durable Goods Orders and Friday’s GDP, Employment Cost Index and Consumer Sentiment as potential market moving events.