Heading into this week (and even throughout the entirety of last week) we were mostly focused on seeing today's jobs report for the next big dose of influence on the mortgage rate landscape. Unsurprisingly, a strong report resulted in higher rates, but not as high as we might have imagined.
In fact, many borrowers will barely see a difference compared to yesterday's rate offerings with the average lender still in the low 7s for a flawless scenario.
The jobs report showed moderately stronger job creation compared to the median forecast. In addition, the unemployment rate came in at 3.7% versus 3.9% previously (also the forecast for today).
Strong labor market data is bad for rates, all other things being equal, because a stronger economy runs the risk of higher inflation and inflation is the mortal enemy of interest rates.
Investors will now turn their attention to a report that's actually focused on inflation: next Tuesday's Consumer Price Index (CPI)--the only other monthly economic report that could claim to be as important as the jobs report (as far as interest rates are concerned).
A day later, we'll get a new set of rate forecasts from the Fed. As the news focuses on the fact that the Fed "held rates steady," financial markets will be dissecting those forecasts in order to hone in on the expected shift in the Fed's outlook heading into 2024. Bottom line: the combination of Tuesday and Wednesday's events could create more volatility for rates than today's jobs report.