MBA Mortgage Applications: Applications were up 0.4% this week on the strength of 7.0% growth in the purchase area. Meanwhile, refinances were down 3.0%, despite a three basis point decline in the rate for a 30-year fixed loan, which came in at 3.86%.
Jobless Claims: Initial claims rose by 14,000 this week to 281,000. Part of the rise could be due to adjustments in the figures caused by the Easter holiday. The four-week average is down for the fourth straight week, coming in 3,000 claims lower at 282,250. Meanwhile, continuing claims for the week of March 28 fell by 23,000 to 2.304 million. This represents a record low number of claims since the economic recovery began. The four-week average is also at a low, decreasing by 27,000 to 2.361 million claims. This is 40,000 below this point a month ago.
Mortgage rates were down or unchanged this week following last Friday’s release of a weak employment situation report.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 3.66% with an average 0.6 point for the week ending April 9, down from last week when they averaged 3.70%. A year ago at this time, 30-year FRMs averaged 4.34%.
15-year FRMs this week averaged 2.93% with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when they averaged 2.98%. A year ago at this time, 15-year FRMs averaged 3.38%.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 2.83% this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when they averaged 2.92%. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.09%.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.46% this week with an average 0.4 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.41%.
The nation’s three major stock indexes all posted week-over-week gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 98.92 points Friday to close at 18,057.65, a 1.66% weekly gain. The S&P 500 was up 10.88 points to finish the week at 2,102.06, up 1.70% for the week. The NASDAQ was 21.41 points higher on Friday, finishing at 4,995.98, a 2.23% rise from last week’s close.
The Week Ahead
Tuesday, April 14
Producer Price Index (PPI) (8:30 a.m. ET) – The Producer Price Index measures the average change over time in the prices received by domestic producers of goods and services.
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 measured by retail and food services stores. Data is collected from the Monthly Retail Trade Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Wednesday, April 15
MBA Mortgage Applications (7:00 a.m. ET) – The mortgage applications index measures applications at mortgage lenders. This is a leading indicator for single-family home sales and housing construction.
Industrial Production (9:15 a.m. ET) – The Federal Reserve’s monthly index of industrial production and the related capacity indexes and capacity utilization rates cover manufacturing, mining and electric and gas utilities.
Housing Market Index (10:00 a.m. ET) – The National Association of Home Builders produces a housing market index based on a survey in which respondents from this organization are asked to rate the general economy and housing market conditions. The Housing Market Index is a weighted average of separate diffusion indexes, including present sales of new homes, sales of new homes expected in the next six months, and traffic of prospective buyers in new homes.
Thursday, April 16
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.
Housing Starts (8:30 a.m. ET) – A housing start is registered when the construction of a new residential building begins. The start of construction is defined as the beginning of excavation of the foundation for the building.
Friday, April 17
Consumer Price Index (8:30 a.m. ET) – The consumer price index measures changes based on the price of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers.
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.
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