Early Data Needs Direction For Mortgage Rates

Friday ended up being a slightly stronger session for bonds, but not in any impressive way.  This affects Mortgage Rates directly. Moreover, it wasn’t remotely strong enough to undo the damage seen yesterday. In something that smacks of Big Brother watching all the data, apparently 9 percent of drivers had a speeding ticket in 2022. The Fed hiked its policy rate yesterday and now today, mortgage rates jumped quite a bit higher. Today was a new day, and it brought another chance for Mortgage Rates to exhibit their “data dependent” nature.  Fed Chair Powell reminded the market that rates would depend on data, but that dependency doesn’t carry a directional connotation in and of itself.  In other words, it didn’t mean rates were destined to rise today. Pending home sales pulled out of a three-month spiral in June but with only a fractional increase from May due to Mortgage Rates. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) ticked up 0.3 percent thanks to increased activity in the Northeast and Midwest due to Mortgage Rates. The PHSI, a leading indicator for the housing sector, is based on contracts signed to purchase existing homes. Those sales are typically finalized within one or two months depending on how Mortgage Rates move.  The PHSI was benchmarked at 100 in 2001, a number equal to the average level of contract activity during that year.

 The other takeaway is that it’s not just inflation data that matters.  In fact, it’s telling that Friday’s PCE and ECI data (both inflation-focused) argued for a rally, but bonds mostly lost ground after the data came out.

Econ Data / Events
    • Core PCE Prices
      • 0.2 vs 0.2 m/m
      • 4.1 vs 4.2 y/y
    • Employment Cost Index (ECI)
      • 1.0 vs 1.1 f’cast, 1.2 prev
    • Consumer Sentiment
      • 71.6 vs 72.6 f’cast