- Jobless Claims – Initial claims for the February 1 week fell a sharp 20,000 to a lower-than-expected 331,000. The four-week average, at 334,000, is trending 15,000 below the month-ago comparison.
- Employment Situation – Total payroll jobs in January rose 113,000, following a revised increase of 75,000 for December and after a revised rise of 274,000 for November. The unemployment rate slipped to 6.6% from 6.7% in December.
- Consumer Credit – Consumer credit surged $18.8 billion in December and includes a very large $5.0 billion rise for revolving credit. The revolving credit component has been mostly flat this recovery but the December gain is the largest since May and the third largest rise of the whole recovery.
According to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac, average mortgage rates dropped for the fourth straight week.
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.23% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending February 6, 2014, down from last week when it averaged 4.32%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.53%.
15-year FRM this week averaged 3.33% with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.40%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.77%.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.08% this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.12%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.63%.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.51% this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.55%. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.53%.
After a slow start to the year, there was finally good news on the stock market front. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 160 points Friday, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ also increased. While stocks wound up finishing the week positively, the Dow is still down nearly 5% this year.
The Week Ahead
Tuesday, February 11
JOLTS (10 a.m. ET) – The JOLTS report is the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.
Thursday, February 13
Jobless Claims (8:30 a.m. ET) – New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time.
Retail Sales (8:30 a.m. ET) – Retail sales measure the total receipts at stores that sell merchandise and related services to final consumers. Sales are by retail and food services stores.
Friday, February 14
Consumer Sentiment (9:55 a.m. ET) – The University of Michigan’s Consumer Survey Center questions 500 households each month on their financial conditions and attitudes about the economy. Consumer sentiment is directly related to the strength of consumer spending.
Visit the Quicken Loans Zing Blog for updated information on important economic releases that affect your wallet.