Monday Market Commentary: Mortgage Rates Improve on Economic Woes

by Alex Stenback on November 10, 2008

Last Week:
Mortgage rates improved by .25% or so last week as negative economic news weighed down stocks and bouyed the bond markets.

The biggest data point of the week was the employment report, which showed the economy shed 240K jobs in October.  With a 6.5% unemployment rate (a 14 year high) and nearly 1.2 Million jobs lost year to date, the unemployment rate will almost certainly cross 7% within the next quarter or so

This Week:
The economic calendar this week is sparse.  Friday's retail sales report will give us the latest reading on the state of the consumer, who appears to be in headlong retreat, so we could see a very weak number here.

Outside the economic calendar, markets will focus on developments in what we'll call the political/financial space. The possible selection/announcement of a Treasury Secretary, the fate of the auto industry and a possible bailout, the state of the ever evolving bailouts/rescues/stimulus plans, and the potential for further yet unknown carnage in the financial sector as writedowns continue apace all over the globe, to name just a few.

As tempting as it is to interject some sort of guidance on rate direction this week, we'll refrain.  Markets remain all too volatile and disclocated.  Not sure whether to float or lock your rate?  Flip a coin.
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