Mortgage rates rose last week following positive news regarding employment as the U.S. unemployment rate fell for the fifth straight month in January, moving down to 8.3%, the lowest level since February 2009. 243,000 jobs were added to the economy during the last month as well. This data provided more confirmation that the economy is moving in a positive direction.
As the market continues to see new data that is positive, the argument that a bottom has been put in and the market will continue to grow stronger is strengthened and given more legs. This is good for the economy as a whole, but not necessarily good for mortgage rates, which go up when investors take money out of bonds and put it into equities. The opposite is also true, in a bad economy investors move money from equities and into bonds, pushing mortgage rates down.
Mortgage Rate Movement This Week
There isn’t a whole lot of economic data coming out this week that has the potential to move the market. The market will be watching jobless claims and Ben Bernanke’s speech. If he shares any unexpected forecasts or uses any verbiage that catches the market off guard, there is potential to move mortgage rates. Additionally, any news coming out of Europe, specifically in regards to Greece, has the potential to move mortgage rates.
Economic Calendar for Week of February 6, 2012
- Monday – n/a
- Tuesday – Red Book, Ben Bernanke Speaks, Consumer Credit
- Wednesday – Bank Reserve Settlement, Petroleum Status Report
- Thursday – Jobless Claims, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
- Friday – International Trade, Consumer Sentiment