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The week that was:

Existing-home sales bounced back strongly in September with first-time buyers driving much of the activity, marking five gains in the past six months, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Existing-home sales including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops jumped 9.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 5.57 million units in September from a level of 5.10 million in August, and are 9.2 percent higher than the 5.10 million-unit pace in September 2008. Sales activity is at the highest level in over two years, since it hit 5.73 million in July 2007.

Interest rates were unchanged all week until Friday when rates edged up a little on treasuries as well as mortgages. For most of the past two months with only a few exceptions the 10 yr treasury note and mortgages have held within a 10 basis point range. Last week the stock market churned around on much better earnings reports but by the end of the week all three key indexes were fractionally lower on the week.

The week that will be:

Unlike last week, there is a mountain of economic data as well as Treasury selling $116B of 2 yr, 5 yr and 7 yr notes; toss in $7B of 5 yr inflation indexed notes and supply is a factor everyday this week but Friday. On the economic calendar; Oct consumer confidence on Tuesday is important; markets have laid heavy bets that the economy is on the highway of recovery, but so far there is no significant improvement in consumer patterns of increased spending. New home sales for Sept are expected to be a little better. On Thursday markets will get the first official look at Q3 GDP. Other data include weekly jobless claims, Sept personal income and spending, the U. of Michigan consumer sentiment index, and the Chicago purchasing mgrs index. A big week ahead that is a huge hill to climb for the bond and mortgage markets; but equity markets looked weak last week so we may see a boost on any real selling in stocks.