Market Commentary


Updated on May 26, 2017 10:34:58 AM EDT

There were three pieces of economic data released this morning. One was the first revision to the 1st quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 8:30 AM ET. It showed that the economy grew at a 1.2% annual rate during the first three months of the year. That was higher than the previous estimate of 0.7% and stronger than the 0.8% that was expected. This is an important number because it shows that the economy was actually, quite a bit stronger during the first part of the year than many had thought. Because bonds tend to thrive in weaker economic conditions, this is bad news for mortgage rates.

April's Durable Goods Orders was also posted at 8:30 AM. The Commerce Department announced a 0.7% decline in new orders for big-ticket products last month. That headline number was stronger than the 1.8% decline that was expected. However, this data is known to be quite volatile, so the variance is not as meaningful as it would be with many other reports. Also, a secondary reading that excludes more costly and volatile airplane and other transportation-related orders showed a 0.4% decline when analysts were calling for a 0.4% increase. That allows us to consider the data neutral-to-slightly positive for bonds and mortgage rates.

The University of Michigan's revised Index of Consumer Sentiment for May closed out this week's calendar at 10:00 AM ET. It showed a reading of 97.1 that fell short of the 97.5 that was forecasted. It also was a downward revision from the initial reading of 97.7. The lower reading indicates surveyed consumers were less optimistic about their own financial situations than they previously thought. That is good news for bonds and mortgage rates because waning confidence usually means consumers are less likely to make a large purchase in the near future.

Next week has some important economic data scheduled and it will only be a 4-day week due to Monday's Memorial Day holiday. The financial and mortgage markets will be closed Monday. There is no early close for bonds or stocks scheduled for today. Look for details on next week's events in Sunday evening's weekly preview.

 ©Mortgage Commentary 2017