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The Week that was:
After the dust settled interest rates ended the week about unchanged from the previous week; the stock market gained on continued better data from manufacturing and services sectors (DJIA +311). Two events marked the week:
- The FOMC policy statement on Wednesday and Friday’s employment report. The Fed in the statement at the conclusion of the FOMC meeting reiterated there is no concern on the Fed’s part that inflation has any chance in the immediate future, and that the Fed will allow interest rates (the Fed funds rate) to remain low for “an extended” period of time. The statement was no different than what the Fed has been saying in past three FOMC meetings.
- Friday’s employment report for Oct revealed more jobs lost than was expected, -190K; it however, was offset with revisions to Sept and Aug non-farm jobs that added back a total of 91K from the original releases. The unemployment rate jumped substantially more than economists were expecting, to 10.2% frm 9.8% in Sept; a sizeable increase.
The Week that will be:
There is very little on the economic calendar; weekly jobless claims on Thursday are expected to be unchanged, and Friday the U. of Michigan consumer sentiment index is expected to increase to an index read of 71.8 frm 70.6 at the end of Oct. The week’s main focus is Treasury’s $81B of auctions. Any of this week’s auctions that are not met with strong bidding will drive mortgage rates higher along with them. Still not expecting rates to decline much as long as investors continue to believe the economic outlook is positive; to push rates lower will require a major change in sentiment on the economic outlook. A break in the middle of the week for Veteran’s Day on Wednesday; the bond and mortgage markets will be closed along with most banks, the stock market will however remain open.