Mortgage rates barely budged last week, if you look at the opening rate on Monday and the closing rate on Friday. Despite this, there was a lot of action between those bookends as investors struggled to keep up with some fairly extreme swings in the mortgage bond market.
Rates (and discount points at a given rate )changed faster than anyone could shop for them throughout the week, so getting the “best” rate was as much lucky timing as anything else. That said, the best time to lock last week would have been late afternoon Wednesday or the first hour of the day or so on Thursday.
Bigger picture – the jobs reprt showed modest but improving growth in payrolls and a down-tick in the unemployment rate to 8.8%. That, plus a growing chorus of inflationary fears will continue to exert upward pressure on mortgage rates in 2011.
The economic calendar this week will be thin gruel for bond market traders, so expect stock market movements and world events to set much of the tone this week.
The only hard news that may push rates around is the release of the minutes from the last Fed meeting (Tuesday) and the weekly jobless claims report (Thursday) though I do note that there are 8 separate official speaking gigs from Fed officials this week. Their comments, especially concerning inflation and the Fed’s outlook for monetary policy moves can and do move markets, so we’ll be monitoring those closely.
This Week’s Economic Calendar [econoday]