Quicken Loans Market Update - Zing BlogLast Week:

Headline News

  • Consumer Price Index – Inflation is not to be found according to the latest CPI report- giving the Fed room to continue qualitative easing (QE) if chosen. Headline inflation dipped 0.1% in October after rising 0.2% the prior month.
  • Retail Sales – Sales in October were moderately healthy with more positive components than not. Overall, sales gained 0.4% after no change in September.
  • Existing Home Sales – Housing appears to be slowing with existing home sales down 3.2% in October to a 5.12 million annual sales rate. This marks the third consecutive month of weakness, highlighted by the key single-family component which is down 4.1% following a 1.5% decline in September.
  • FOMC Minutes – Most FOMC participants agreed that taper of quantitative easing should not be automatic. However, some participants argued for a specific timetable for ending QE.
  • Jobless Claims – Initial jobless claims fell a sharp 21,000 to 323,000 for the lowest level since the government shutdown lifted claims in the first half of October.
  • Producer Price Index – PPI declined at the headline level but increased at the core. Energy was the difference. October PPI declined 0.2% after dipping 0.1% the month before. The consensus forecast was for a 0.1% increase.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pushed through a controversial change to Senate rules, requiring only a bare majority of votes needed in order to confirm nominees. This change nearly guarantees President Obama’s picks for various positions will pass. Before the change, Republicans blocked several of Obama’s nominees, including Congressman Mel Watt (D-NV), nominated to be the next director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Mortgage Rates

According to the weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates decreased for the first time since October 31.

30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) averaged 4.22%, with an average 0.7 point for the week ending November 21, 2013. This was down from last week, when rates averaged 4.35%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.31%.

15-year FRM this week averaged 3.27%, with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.35%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.63%.

5-year treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) averaged 2.95% this week with an average 0.5 point. This was down from last week when they averaged 3.01%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.74%.

1-year treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.61% this week, with an average 0.4 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.56%.

Equity Markets

The S&P 500 closed above 1,800 for the first time ever. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to a new all-time high above 16,000. The Nasdaq rose nearly 0.5% and is less than 10 points from 4,000, a level that hasn’t been reached since 2000. Since January, the Dow has climbed 22%, the S&P 500 by 26% and the Nasdaq by 31%.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, November 26:

  • Housing Starts (8:30 a.m. ET) – A housing start is registered at the start of construction of a new building intended primarily as a residential building. The start of construction is defined as the beginning of excavation of the foundation for the building.
  • Case-Schiller Home Price Index (9 a.m. ET) – The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index tracks monthly changes in the value of residential real estate in 20 metropolitan regions across the U.S. The composite indexes and the regional indexes are seen by the markets as measuring changes in existing home prices and are based on single-family home re-sales.
  • Consumer Confidence (10 a.m. ET) – The Conference Board compiles a survey of consumer attitudes on the economy. The headline Consumer Confidence Index is based on consumers’ perceptions of current business and employment conditions, as well as their expectations for six months regarding business conditions, employment, and income.

Wednesday, November 27:

  • 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.
  • 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.


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