The bond market is closed in observance of Columbus Day. While mortgage-backed securities are not being traded today, several lenders have published rate sheets and many originators are still dont be afraid to contact your loan officer!

Last week ended on a sour note as prices of mortgage backed securities fell precipitously. Losses continued all the way into the close which forced lenders to reissue higher mortgage rates by day's end. We do have some potentially market moving data  being released this week which could help slow the pace of rising mortgage rates. 

The calendar kicks off on Wednesday with Retail Sales numbers.   Retail Sales data measures the total receipts at stores for both durable and non durable goods.   An increasing trend is positive for the economy and stocks as higher sales leads to higher corporate profits.  Economists surveyed expect overall sales to registers a 2.1% decline following last month’s 2.7% increase.   When excluding auto sales from the figures, expectations are for a modest 0.3% increase after last month’s 1.1% increase.   Additionally, on Wendesday the minutes from the September 23rd FOMC meeting will be released.  Market participants will scour the minutes for any hint at future monetary policy and the Fed’s outlook on the economy.

On Thursday we get a read on inflation with the Consumer Price Index.   This data is a measure of the average price level of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers. Recent data on inflation shows it to under control, this week's report is expected to continue that trend.  We also get two readings on the strength of business conditions with the Philly Fed index and the Empire State Manufacturing Survey.  Recent readings of both of these reports have shown conditions improving which is positive for stocks and negative for MBS.   Lastly, weekly jobless claims will be released. Market participants will be looking for continued improvements in the labor market. 

Our week concludes with Consumer Sentiment and Industrial Production.    Recent sentiment surveys have shown the U.S. consumer becoming more positive on their own personal financial conditions and their outlook on the economy.  An optimistic consumer is more likely to spend while a pessimistic consumer is more likely to save. Economists’ surveyed are expecting this report to continue to show growing optimism among consumers.  Industrial production is expected to post a 0.2% increase following last month’s robust 0.8% increase.   Companies increase production when they expect increasing sales so the stock market likes to see an increasing trend in this report. 

Lastly, earnings season picks up in the days ahead which could affect the direction of mortgage rates. Read the MND STORY for more on the Week Ahead.

Reports from fellow mortgage professionals indicate the lenders who decided to publish rate sheets today have done so in a conservative manner. The par 30 year conventional rate mortgage is in the 4.875% to 5.125% range for the best qualified consumers.   To secure a par interest rate you must have a FICO credit score of 740 or higher, a loan to value at 80% or less and pay all closing costs including one point loan origination/discount/broker fee.