October 24th, 2017
11:20 am Need a rate quote? Call or email John. He is in the office and ready to take your questions.
Suggestions that can change during the day: Mortgage Bonds now below support. You might want to consider locking..
After close Commentary: After today's sell-off and the close below support and after the alert to lock, continue to advise locking until such time we can find a bottom. As we mentioned earlier, the Fannie Mae 30-yr 3.5% coupon hit 102.50 this afternoon and closed just below that level, matching the low seen on July 25. If you take a look at the Bond chart in a 6-month view, the Bond surged after hitting that level, eventually rising to 103.94 on September 8. However, we are currently in a somewhat different environment.
Late morning Commentary: Seasonal holiday hiring is hot this year due to the fact that the labor market is at its best levels in years. The Unemployment Rate has fallen to 4.2%, the lowest level in seven years. Some retailers are going as far as offering permanent positions to score workers for the holiday shopping season. Employers will also be adding perks to land seasonal workers such as flexible hours, free food at work, or sick days and vacation time. The National Retail Federation reports that retailers will hire between 500,000 and 550,000 seasonal holiday workers this year, up from 575,000 in 2016.
Freddie Mac recently reported that mortgage rates will average 4.4% in 2018 due in part to the fact that the Fed will be less supportive in keeping rates low. Freddie also forecasts that total home sales will come in around 6.3 million in 2018 with total mortgage originations coming in at $1.695 trillion. In addition, Freddie Mac sees home prices rising by nearly 5% next year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged today after several strong earnings reports from McDonald's, 3M and Caterpillar. The Dow hit an intraday all-time high of 23,476.88 after having hit numerous high closing records in the past few weeks. The Dow is up nearly 32% since the presidential election. Also helping to drive Stocks higher is the hope on tax reform in Washington.
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