Mortgage markets improved last week despite a series of volatile trading sessions.
A combination of weaker-than-expected economic data and massive-sized Treasury auctions kept investors guessing and mortgage rates moving.
By Friday, however, momentum was in favor of lower rates and that’s how the week finished up — slightly more favorable overall.
It’s the second consecutive week in which rates fell.
This week, markets will digest a host of new data. Rate shoppers can expect the volatility to continue.
Monday afternoon, Auto and Truck Sales data is released. We normally don’t track this report, but because of the auto industry’s role in the economy right now, strong numbers should lead to a mortgage bond sell-off, pushing mortgage rates higher.
Then, Tuesday, the Personal Income and Personal Spending report is released as well as the Pending Home Sales Index. Again, strength in the numbers should result in higher mortgage rates.
Thursday, Initial Jobless Claims will get the market’s attention. The data has been trending lower over the past two months and, last week, the rolling, 4-week average posted its lowest mark since January. A reversal in the trend would likely boost the mortgage markets, helping rates to fall.
And, Friday, the jobs report is due.
With unemployment close to 10 percent nationwide and more than 3 million jobs lost this year, investors will respond to “less weak” data with enthusiasm — a bad result for rate shoppers. No matter what the data says, it’s sure to move markets.