With little impact from economic reports and demand shifting from bonds to stocks this week, mortgage rates ended the week a little higher.
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There was little suprise in the FOMC minutes released on Thursday. The September 17 meeting minutes revealed that Fed officials held off on raising short-term interest rates because of uncertainty that inflation would rise to their 2.0% target level.
While worries were evident in the Fed's inflation goal, policymakers did conclude they were near their goal of "full employment" and they still expect to act on the interest rate hike before the year's end.
After holding steady at historically low levels, Initial Jobless Claims are trending even further down. Initial claims fell 13,000 in the October 3 week to 263,000, the sharpest decline and lowest level in 2-1/2 months. This report could indicate an early hint of strength for October's employment report.
According to the Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index, 43 percent of workers said their employer was hiring and expanding the size of its workforce in September in comparison to 11 percent of workers who said their employer was letting people go and downsizing their workforce.
Last week in the economy:
- Mortgage rates (the national average) increased 0.05% (5 basis points).
- The S&P 500 ended the week at 2,015 with a 3.26% increase for the week.
- Ahead of the enactment of new disclosure rules (TRID) on October 3rd, the purchase sector of MBA Mortgage Applications surged 27% with refinance applications up 24% for the week of October 2.
- The Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index held steady at +32 for September for the fifth consecutive month and the highest level in Gallup's seven-year trend.
What's on the economic calendar for the week of October 12, 2015:
Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Applications and Retail Sales
Thursday: Jobless Claims, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index and Consumer Price Index
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