Rates Improve Slightly on Weaker Economic Data

Mortgage interest rates improved slightly this past week as most economic data was weaker than expected. Economic data weaker than expected included the October U.S. Trade Deficit, the November ISM Services Sector Index, November ADP Private Jobs, Q3 Productivity and Unit Labor Costs, November Average Hourly Earnings, October Wholesale Inventories, and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. Economic data stronger than expected included October Factory Orders, Jobless Claims, October Consumer Credit, November Non-Farm Payrolls and November Private Jobs. Non-Farm Payrolls increased 228k on expectations that they would increase by 185k. Private Jobs increased by 221k on expectations that they would increase by 183k. Congress is still working on tax cuts. Congress passed a temporary increase in the debt ceiling to avert a government shutdown that will expire on December 22nd.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently at 24,287, down slightly on the week. The crude oil spot price is currently at $57.66 per barrel, down slightly on the week. The Dollar strengthened versus the Euro and Yen on the week.

Next week look toward Tuesday’s NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, and Producer Price Index (PPI), Wednesday’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) and FOMC Meeting Announcement, Thursday’s Jobless Claims, Retail Sales, Import and Export Prices, and Business Inventories, and Friday’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey and Industrial Production as potential market moving events.