The week that was

This week markets were bolstered by generally better economic data; the manufacturing sector based on the August ISM report on Tuesday showed much more strength that was expected, July factory orders were up, and the minutes of the 8/12 FOMC meeting continued to see a small light at the end of what would be defined as a very long tunnel.

Seven of the top eight most affordable months occurred during this year, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Housing Affordability Index, which dates back to 1971. As a result, pending sales of existing homes rose for the sixth straight month in July, a trend not seen since the NAR began reporting data in 2001. Moreover, July sales were the strongest since June 2007.

However, in August unemployment rate jumped 0.3% to 9.7%. Also, for the month of August the government insured share of purchase mortgage application was 40.4% – up from 38.3% in Jul & 31.7% in Aug 08. Share was the highest since Feb 91, further documenting growing clout of FHA loans.

Mortgage rates for the week ended marginally better than last week.

The week that will be

This week has little in the way of key economic value but there is Treasury supply the bond and mortgage markets will focus on. In the past three months investors have been willing to take down $170+B a month from Treasury and that is expected to continue based on how traders are seeing it.

This week should be relatively choppy again; interest rates are low and the equity markets are stubbornly strong. Supply is about it in terms of focus, weekly jobless claims on Thursday are expected to decline again by 10K. This week will finally have everyone back at their desks after two weeks of final summer holidays, that may account for slightly less volatility.

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