Mortgage rates have been fairly lazy this week, reaching a near flatline. Even the much-talked about housing data didn’t do much to unperch markets from their current levels.
This afternoon, Fed officials Yellen, Fisher, and Mishkin each speak to the public in separate appearances. If data can’t move mortgage rates, perhaps opinion can.
Of the group, only Mishkin is a voting member on the committee that sets the Fed Funds Rate. All three, however, can influence markets with their remarks.
With the Fed’s next meeting set for May 9, 2007 and some key data expected between now and then (i.e. employment, PCE), expect markets to look for clues to a Fed bias.
If markets interpret the speakers’ comments to mean that the economy is running out of control, mortgage rates will move higher. If the comments show a softness, expect mortgage rates to fall.