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Future Inflation

It was a very quiet week for mortgage rates. There were few surprises in the economic data. Talk of easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) was positive for US mortgage rates, helping rates end the week a little lower. Mortgage rates are primarily set based on expectations for future inflation. The Fed has an inflation target of 2.0%. Most [...] Read more

Yellen Surprises Investors

A short comment by Fed Chair Janet Yellen caught investors off guard on Wednesday, and the reaction was not good for mortgage rates. In addition, a reduction in tensions in Ukraine caused investors to return to riskier assets, hurting safer assets such as mortgage-backed securities (MBS). As a result, mortgage rates ended the week higher. As [...] Read more

Ukraine and China

Tensions in Ukraine flared up again this week, causing investors to shift assets from stocks to the relative safety of bonds. Weaker than expected economic data in China also favored bonds over stocks, while the US economic data was roughly neutral. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week lower. The most significant US economic report released [...] Read more

Strong Demand for US Bonds

The economic data released this week contained mixed results and had little impact on mortgage rates. Strong demand for US fixed income securities was the main influence this week, helping mortgage rates end the week a little lower. There were strong indications this week that foreign investors, most likely in Japan and China, increased their [...] Read more

Rates Higher after Fed Minutes

The positive momentum in mortgage rates shifted direction after the release of the Fed Minutes on Wednesday. Investors viewed the Minutes as somewhat positive for stocks and negative for bonds. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week a little higher. The Minutes from the January 29 Fed Meeting revealed that Fed officials remained very divided [...] Read more

Yellen Testifies

The primary influence on mortgage rates this week was new Fed Chair Janet Yellen's semi-annual testimony before Congress. Although there were no significant surprises, maintaining the status quo for Fed policy was taken as good news for stocks and bad news for bonds. Mortgage rates rose during her testimony and ended the week a little higher. [...] Read more

Jobs and Manufacturing Fall Short

This week's key economic data showed that the performance of the economy in January was weaker than expected. The shortfalls caused stocks to decline and mortgage rates to improve, but the impact was surprisingly small. Both the Employment report and the ISM Manufacturing data saw big misses. Against a consensus forecast of 185K, the economy added [...] Read more

Slower Economic Growth

Bad news for stocks was good news for bonds again this week. Weaker than expected economic data hurt stocks and helped mortgage rates improve to the best levels since Thanksgiving. At the start of the year, investors were optimistic that the momentum in economic growth seen during the second half of 2013 would continue during 2014. So far, though, [...] Read more

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