Friday’s bond market has opened relatively flat following mixed results in this morning’s key economic data. The stock markets are reacting negatively to the data, pushing the Dow lower by 240 points and the Nasdaq down 39 points. The bond market is currently up 3/32 (2.14%), which should improve this morning’s mortgage rates slightly if comparing to Thursday’s morning pricing.
The Labor Department gave us today’s only data with the release of August’s Employment report. It revealed that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 5.1% from 5.3% in July and that 173,000 new jobs were added during the month. The unemployment rate was lower than expected, but so was the payroll number. Analysts were expecting to see 5.2% and 220,000 new jobs. The lower unemployment rate is the bad news (lowest since April 2008) while the softer payroll number can be considered good news for mortgage rates.
There were decent sized upward revisions to July’s and June’s payroll numbers that added 44,000 more jobs than previously thought. Also a bit of negative news was the average earnings that exceeded forecasts (0.3% vs 0.2%). These readings make the overall report fairly neutral for mortgage rates and may have helped prevent a better reaction to the softer payroll number.
Next week is a holiday week with the markets closed Monday in observance of the Labor Day Holiday. There is no early close in the markets today ahead of the holiday. There isn’t much scheduled for next week, but what is on the calendar will come during the later days. Look for details on next week’s events in Sunday evening’s weekly preview.