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Concerns About Syria

Increased concerns about the conflict in Syria caused investors to shift to safer assets this week. Mixed economic data was roughly neutral. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week a little lower. Concerns about the reported use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government and the possibility of increased US involvement has resulted in greater [...] Read more

Taper Timing

It was a volatile week for mortgage rates. The FOMC Minutes suggested that the Fed will begin to taper its bond purchases in the near future as expected, but a surprising decline in the New Home Sales data made that outcome less certain. After the offsetting influences, mortgage rates ended the week with little change. The FOMC Minutes from the [...] Read more

Taper Talk Hurts Mortgage Rates

This week, a broader consensus formed that the Fed will begin to taper its bond purchase program in September or October, and investors reacted by selling US stocks and bonds. The US economic data released this week provided little reason for the Fed to wait, and the European data showed unexpected strength. As a result, mortgage rates ended the [...] Read more

Consistent Fed Message

Following the roller coaster ride last week, this was one of the quietest weeks for mortgage rates in a very long time. While last week contained a Fed meeting, Employment report, and GDP data, there was very little significant economic news this week, and mortgage rates barely changed. In addition to a lack of major economic data, another reason [...] Read more

Economic Data is Mixed

This week was packed with major economic reports and a Fed meeting. With investors looking for hints about when the Fed will begin to taper its bond purchases, the data caused a great deal of volatility. Because the economic news was roughly neutral overall, though, mortgage rates ended the week just slightly higher. The economic data released on [...] Read more

Big Week Ahead

Ahead of major economic news next week, it was a relatively quiet week for mortgage rates. Mixed economic data and average Treasury auction results provided little direction. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week just slightly higher. The big economic reports this week, New and Existing Home Sales, contained mixed news relative to the [...] Read more

Retail Sales Below Target

Weaker than expected Retail Sales data helped mortgage rates this week. Soothing comments from Fed Chief Bernanke also were a positive influence, and mortgage rates ended the week lower. The monthly Retail Sales report measures spending by consumers, which accounts for about 70% of economic activity. Monday's report revealed that Retail Sales were [...] Read more

Fed Policy Drives Rates

The primary influence on mortgage rates this week was shifting expectations for Fed policy. Fed Chief Bernanke eased investor concerns about tighter monetary policy, causing mortgage rates to end the week lower, reversing a good portion of the prior week's increase. To boost the economy in recent years, the Fed has used a variety of tools, which [...] Read more

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