Mortgage Market Update
This week has only two pieces of economic data that are relevant to mortgage rates in addition to two Treasury auctions that can also be influential. Neither of the economic reports is considered to be highly important, so they should not create too much volatility regardless of their results. There is no data set for release tomorrow, but there are a couple of public events for Fed Chair Janet Yellen. She will be in Philadelphia and has 12:30 and 2:00 PM engagements. As usual, her words will be watched closely for any indication about the Fed’s next move and if it will come at this month’s FOMC meeting. However, the topics of these two events isn’t likely to bring too much insight about whether or not the Fed will raise rates at the next meeting. Revised 1st Quarter Productivity and Costs data will be posted early Tuesday morning. This data measures employee output and employer costs for wages and benefits. It is considered to be a measurement of wage inflation. Many analysts believe that the economy can grow with low inflationary pressures when productivity is high. Last month's preliminary reading revealed a 1.0% decline in productivity and a 4.1% increase in labor costs. Tuesday's update is predicted to show that productivity fell at a 0.6% annual rate while labor costs rose 4.0%. I don't think this piece of data will have much of an impact on the bond market or mortgage pricing unless it varies greatly from expectations and the stocks are calm. The two relevant Treasury auctions will take place Wednesday and Thursday. 10-year Treasury Notes will be sold Wednesday while 30-year Bonds will be sold Thursday. Results of both auctions will be posted at 1:00 PM ET on the sale days. If investor demand was high for these securities, we may see bonds rally during afternoon trading. However, weak interest in these sales could lead to bond selling and an increase in mortgage rates. It is common to see some pressure in bonds right before these sales as investors prepare for them, but as long as the sales are not weak those pre-auction losses are usually recovered once they are completed. June's preliminary reading to the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment will be posted late Friday morning. This index measures consumer willingness to spend and usually has a minor to moderate impact on the financial markets. It is expected to show a reading of 94.4, which would be a slight decline from May's 94.7. A smaller than expected reading would be considered good news for bonds because it would mean that surveyed consumers were less optimistic about their own financial and employment situations than thought. That often means they are less likely to make large purchases in the near future, but since this report is only moderately important it likely will not influence mortgage rates considerably unless it shows a significant variance from forecasts. Overall, it is difficult to label one particular day as the most important for mortgage rates due to the lack of anything significant on the calendar. The same can be said for least important day. Wednesday’s 10-year Treasury auction could end up being the most influential event, assuming that Fed Chair Yellen’s words don’t surprise us and the major stock indexes remain fairly calm.