Mortgage Rates May Push Upward Later This Week Dependent on Retail Sales Data
Mortgage rates managed to drift slightly downward last week, with no big surprises to press rates significantly in any direction. The ISM indices split direction, with the manufacturing index posting a decline, and the services index moving upward. Both indices remain above 50, which indicates that each of the two segments of the economy continues to grow. Only 160,000 new jobs were created last month, with minor downward revisions to previous months. The unemployment rate remained steady at 5.0% even with the participation and size of the labor force slipping downward slightly.
The bulk of this week’s data comes on Thursday and Friday. Retail Sales will be the dominant indicator, especially with expectations of a 0.8% increase, which is larger than we have seen in many months. Much of the increase is expected in auto and gas related measures, but experts predict other sectors also will fare well. If the increase comes in higher than expected, mortgage rates will likely push upward, as this may be read as consumers being less reluctant and finally opening their wallets.
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Additional News. . .
Ad scam targeting realtors comes to an end. An eight-year advertising scam targeting real estate agents has finally come to an end this week, after a Louisiana man, Rex Harris, was indicted for scamming real estate agents out of more than $2 million. After paying thousands of dollars for TV ads that never aired, hundreds of victims helped to bring down the long-time scammer. The FBI and Department of Justice believe there may be more victims and are asking them to come forward if they were scammed by this man.
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