The week starts out with no economic reports but we do get many reports mid and end of week.
- Import Prices ex-oil, last months reading came in at -1.8%. For lower mortgage rates we want this report to come in lower as lower import prices leads to less inflation.
- Retail sales, economists expecting a drop of -1.1%, last month it came in at -1.8%. As retail sales are lower, that is a bad sign for the economy which typically leads to better mortgage rates.
- Retail Sales ex-Auto, economists expecting a -1.2% drop after last months -1.6% drop.
- Core Producer Price Index, economists expecting 0.1% after last months 0.1% increase. This report measures inflation on the producer level, meaning the change in price paid by producers for a fixed basket of goods. This report does not include the price of food and energy thus the reason called the core rate.
- Producer Price Index, economists expecting a -1.9% drop, after last months -2.2% drop. This report takes into account the change in food and energy to the overall prices paid by producers. Lower then expected readings are a positive for mortgage backed securities and lower mortgage rates as a lower reading is a sign of less inflation.
- Jobless claims, economists expecting 550k claims vs last weeks 467k.
- Consumer Price Index, economists expecting a -1.0% drop after last months -1.7% drop. This report measures the change in price to a fixed set of goods and services paid by consumers. Lower then expected readings are a positive for mbs and lower mortgage rates as it would be a sign of lower inflation.
- Core Consumer Price Index, economists expecting a 0.1% increase after last months 0.0% reading. This report strips out food and energy when measuring the change in prices paid by consumers.
- Industrial Production, economists expecting a -0.8% drop after last months -0.6% drop. Industrial Production is one of the biggest reports measuring the strength of our economic activity. Lower economic growth typically leads to less inflation so mortgage backed securities tend to benefit when this report comes in worse then expected and worsens when the report is better then expected.
- Consumer Sentiment, economists expecting a 60.0 reading after last months 60.1. This report gives investors an insight to how the consumer feels about our economy. Higher then expected readings are seen as a positive for the economy so mbs tend to act negatively when we get a better reading thus leading to higher mortgage rates.
So far this morning, mortgage backed securities have opened slightly lower then going out levels on Friday. We feel that floating your rate today makes sense as tomorrow is the end of settlement for the January coupon which will free up lenders pipelines. A way to attract business is for lenders to reduce rates and we should see some of that over the next day or two as lenders look to fill their pipelines up with new loans. If you are closing, today or tomorrow, then locking now would be the thing to do if you didn’t lock last week. For loans closing late this week and after, floating should pay off with a lower mortgage rate. If MBS move significantly today, I will get back to you.