The week that was:

A volatile but good week for the rate markets. Mortgage rates fell to their lowest levels since last April. Treasuries continue in demand from foreign central banks and domestic investors; likely some of the buying is associated with new concerns that the economy isn’t on the fast track of recovery as markets were expecting recently. Economic data flowing last week were generally worse than estimates, shaking the confidence that the V shaped economic bottom may be more a W shaped recovery.

Unemployment nationwide rose to 9.8 percent in September from 9.7 percent the previous month. That’s a 26-year high.

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey® reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.94 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending October 1, 2009, down from last week when it averaged 5.04 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.10 percent. The last time the 30-year FRM was below 5 percent was the week ending May 28, 2009, when it averaged 4.91 percent.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.42 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.51 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 6.00 percent.

Note that these rates are for conforming loan amount up to $417,000. Loan amounts higher than that typically have higher interest rates.

The week that will be:

Treasury will borrow another $71B of notes and bonds to fund the growing budget deficit. The bond and mortgage markets will likely be a little soft on Monday and Tuesday; pending the demand for the Treasury auctions and the action in the equity markets. Interest rate markets will likely increase in interday volatility. Confidence for a quick economic recovery has been shaken a little but most analysts expect investors will step up to buy securities on any major dip in the market. There a just three first tier economic releases this week; Monday the Sept ISM services sector report, Wednesday the August consumer credit report, consumer credit declined $21.5B in July, August is expected to show another decline of $9.5B, on Thursday weekly jobless claims are expected at 541K, down frm 551K last week.