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Strong Housing Data

Stronger than expected economic data was negative for mortgage rates this week. The passage of the potentially inflationary tax bill in the House and the Senate also was unfavorable. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week higher. The housing market is ending 2017 on a strong note. In November, sales of previously owned homes rose 6% from [...] Read more

Retail Sales Surge

Central bank meetings were the focus this week. Investors viewed the U.S. Fed meeting as positive for mortgage rates, while the European Central Bank meeting provided no surprises and had little impact. However, stronger than expected retail sales data offset the reaction to the Fed, and mortgage rates ended the week with little change. Heading [...] Read more

Government Shutdown Averted

There were few market moving events this week. The Employment report came in on target, and Congress passed the expected bill providing a two-week extension to government funding. Mortgage rates ended the week a little lower. In November, the economy added 228,000 jobs, above the consensus forecast of 190,000. The economy has bounced back from the [...] Read more

Housing Starts Rebound

For the second straight week, there was little reaction to the economic news. Neither key data on retail sales and inflation nor the passage of the House tax reform bill had much effect. Mortgage rates finished the week a little lower. It was clear from Friday's report on housing starts that home building activity over the last couple of months [...] Read more

Jobs Bounce Back

With a Fed meeting, the selection of the next Fed Chair, details about tax reform, and an Employment report, this week had the potential to be extremely volatile. Other than disappointing wage growth, however, there were no significant surprises in any of these areas. Mortgage rates finished the week a little lower. As expected, U.S. jobs bounced [...] Read more

ECB Announces Taper

The most highly anticipated event of the week, the European Central Bank meeting, contained no surprises and caused little reaction. Reports about President Trump's favored pick for the next U.S. Fed Chair caused some volatility during the week but had only a small net effect. The key GDP report also was not much of a market mover. In the end, [...] Read more

Budget Plan Passes

The passage of a budget plan was negative for mortgage rates this week. The economic data had little impact. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week higher. Late Thursday, the Senate voted in favor of a 2018 budget plan. This was a key early step along the path to tax reform. Investors viewed the progress on tax reform as negative for mortgage [...] Read more

Core Inflation Steady

The two big economic reports this week were released on Friday. Investors placed more weight on tame inflation data than on strong retail sales figures, causing mortgage rates to improve. Wednesday's minutes from the September 20 Fed meeting contained little new information and the reaction was small. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week a [...] Read more

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