Rates Improve Slightly on Mixed Economic Data

Mortgage interest rates improved slightly on the week on mixed economic data.  Economic data stronger than expected included weekly jobless claims, the September core Producer Price Index (PPI), September Retail Sales excluding automobile sales, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, and August Business Inventories.  The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index reached its highest level since 2001.  Economic data weaker than expected included the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, August JOLTS Job Openings, the September Consumer Price Index (CPI), and September Retail Sales.  While September CPI was up slightly less than anticipated, CPI was up 2.2% year over year.  The Treasury auctioned $56 billion of 3 Year Notes, 10 Year Notes, and 30 Year Bonds which were met with reasonably strong demand.  President Trump continues to promote tax cuts.

 The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently at 22,881, up over 100 points on the week.  The crude oil spot price is currently at $51.24 per barrel, up almost $2 per barrel on the week.  The Dollar weakened versus the Yen and Euro on the week.

 Next week look toward Monday’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey, Tuesday’s Import and Export Prices, Industrial Production, and Housing Market Index, Wednesday’s Housing Starts, Thursday’s Jobless Claims, Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey, and Leading Economic Indicators, and Friday’s Existing Home Sales as potential market moving events.