MIG Market Watch, March 25th, 2024
Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices finished the week sharply higher which put downward pressure on rates. We saw positive movements Tuesday through Friday which recovered some of the recent losses from earlier in the month. The Fed left rates unchanged and market participants interpreted their future intent to pivot sometime possibly this summer. The data was mixed. Housing starts were 1.521M vs 1.425M. Existing home sales 4.38M vs 3.94M. LEI rose 0.1% vs the expected 0.2% decrease. Weekly jobless claims were 215K vs 210K. The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index rose 3.2 vs the expected 2.3 decrease. Mortgage interest rates finished the week better by approximately 5/8 of a discount point.


Looking Ahead
Economic Indicator Release Date & Time Consensus Estimate Analysis
New Home Sales Monday, March 25,
10:00 am, et
675K Important. An indication of economic strength and credit demand. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
Treasury Auctions Begin Monday, March 25,
1:15 pm, et
None Important. 2Y Notes on Monday, 5Y Notes on Tuesday, and 7Y Notes on Wednesday.
Durable Goods Orders Tuesday, March 26,
8:30 am, et
Up 1.3% Important. An indication of the demand for “big ticket” items. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
FHFA House Price Index Tuesday, March 26,
10:00 am, et
Up 0.4% Moderately Important. A measure of single-family house prices. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
Consumer Confidence Tuesday, March 26,
10:00 am, et
106.7 Important. An indication of consumers’ willingness to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Q4 GDP Thursday, March 28,
8:30 am, et
Up 3.2% Very important. The aggregate measure of US economic production. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
U of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Thursday, March 28,
10:00 am, et
76.5 Important. An indication of consumers’ willingness to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Personal Income and Outlays Friday, March 29,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.4%,
Up 0.4%
Important. A measure of consumers’ ability to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.
PCE Core Inflation Friday, March 29,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.3% Important. A measure of price increases for all domestic personal consumption. Weaker figure may help rates improve.

Income and Outlays

The personal income and outlays release is a monthly report issued by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The data is important because it is thought to provide a solid indication of future consumer demand. The personal income component is primarily a measure of wages and salaries. The outlays component is primarily a measure of spending on goods and services. Together the figures provide analysts valuable insight into consumer economic standing and consumption. The report is closely watched as the consumer remains a vital component of the US economy. The release this week has the potential to move the financial markets. Now is a good time to take advantage of mortgage interest rates at their current levels to avoid market volatility.

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