Rates Improve Slightly on Positive Economic Data

Mortgage interest rates increased slightly again this past week as economic data continued to be stronger than expected.  Economic data stronger than expected included the S&P Home Price Index, Chicago PMI, Employment Cost Index, Personal Income and Spending, PMI Manufacturing Index, Consumer Confidence, ISM Non-manufacturing Index, Factory Orders, International Trade, Productivity and Costs and Jobless Claims. Economic data that came in weaker than expected included the ISM Manufacturing Index, ADP employment Report, Non-farm and Private Payrolls, EIA Petroleum Status Report and Construction Spending. The FOMC stated that economic activity is “rising at a solid rate” which is an upgrade from the last time they met. A rate hike seems very likely at their next meeting as the labor market continues to show strength, despite a September drop in payrolls.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently at 23,534, up about 130 points on the week.  The crude oil spot price is currently at $55.74 per barrel, up over $2 per barrel on the week.  The Dollar was flat versus the Euro and strengthened versus the Yen on the week.

Next week look toward Tuesday’s JOLTS, Wednesday’s EIA Petroleum Status Report and MBA Mortgage Applications, Thursday’s Jobless Claims, and Friday’s Consumer Sentiment and Treasury Budget as potential market moving events.