Rates Increase on Mostly Positive Economic Data

Mortgage interest rates increased this past week as economic data was mostly stronger than expected.  Economic data stronger than expected included December Personal Income, the November Case-Shiller Home Price Index, January Consumer Confidence, the January ADP Private Jobs report, the January Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, weekly jobless claims, Q4 Unit Labor Costs, the January ISM Manufacturing Index, December Construction Spending, January Non-Farm Payrolls and Private Jobs, January Average Hourly Earnings, December Factory Orders, and the January University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index.  Average Hourly Earnings were up 2.9% year over year, its highest increase since May of 2009.  Economic data weaker than expected included December Personal Spending and Q4 Productivity.  It appears likely that the Fed will increase the Fed Funds rate at least three times this year with some anticipating four increases.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently at 25,935, down over 600 points on the week.  The crude oil spot price is currently at $64.73 per barrel, down slightly on the week.  The Dollar weakened versus the Euro and strengthened versus the Yen on the week. 


Next week look towards Monday’s ISM Services Sector Index, Tuesdays International Trade and JOLTS Job Openings, Wednesday’s Consumer Credit, Thursday’s Jobless Claims, and Friday’s Wholesale Trade as potential market moving events.