Friday’s bond market has opened up slightly following weaker than expected economic news. The stock markets are calm with the Dow up 2 points and the Nasdaq up 6 points. The bond market is currently up 2/32 (2.16%), which should improve this morning’s mortgage rates slightly.
The first of this morning’s three economic reports was the 3rd Quarter Employment Cost Index (ECI) that showed a 0.6% increase. This was slightly stronger than the 0.5% that was expected, indicating employer costs for wages and benefits was a bit higher than thought. However, this is a minor variance in a low importance report, so it has had no impact on this morning’s mortgage rates.
Next up was September’s Personal Income and Outlays report, also at 8:30 AM ET. It showed a 0.1% rise in both the income and spending readings. Both were slightly less than the 0.2% that was predicted, meaning consumers had less money to spend last month than analysts thought and actually spent less. Both are good news for the bond market and mortgage rates.
The final report of the week was the University of Michigan’s revised Index of Consumer Sentiment for October. It came in at 90.0, falling short of the 92.6 forecast. It was also a decline from the previous reading, indicating that consumers were not as comfortable with their own financial and employment situations as many had thought. Because waning confidence usually translates into weaker levels of consumer spending and slower economic growth, we can consider this data good news for mortgage rates also.
Next week is another busy one with relevant data being released every day. Some of those reports are considered to be highly important to the financial and mortgage markets. One of those key reports comes late Monday morning when the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) posts their manufacturing index for October. Look for details on it and the rest of the week’s calendar in Sunday evening’s weekly preview.