As of this morning, it looked like the theme for mortgage rates in 2024 would be up, up, and away--at least as far as the first two business days were concerned. The average 30yr fixed rate had risen 0.10% in 2 days after spending the previous 10 business days holding no more than 0.06% above the 7 month lows.
In other words, rates had been uncommonly willing to remain uncommonly close to long-term lows and that suddenly looked like it was beginning to change.
But things changed again after this morning's economic data. The hotly anticipated Job Openings data came in slightly below forecast. The total was under 9 million for the 2nd month in a row--the first time that's happened since job openings were still on the way up in 2021.
Bonds (which determine rates) are looking for evidence of a cooler labor market, among other things. This is one of the reports that's in a position to provide such evidence. After the release, bonds improved and that eventually allowed mortgage lenders to reprice with lower rates in the afternoon.
The mid-day change doesn't get the average lender back to the lowest recent levels, but it suggests that the market is not predisposed to moving higher. From here, the next critical data will be the big jobs report on Friday morning.