Updated on September 23, 2021 10:04:41 AM EDT
This morning’s first piece of economic data was last week’s unemployment update that revealed 351,000 new claims for benefits were filed last week. This was an increase from the previous week’s revised 335,000 new filings and noticeably higher than the 317,000 that was expected. Rising claims is a sign of a weakening employment sector, making the data good news for rates. Unfortunately, this is only a weekly snapshot that doesn’t carry enough importance to offset the overnight selling in bonds that carried into this morning’s session.
Also posted this morning was August’s Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) at 10:00 AM ET. The Conference Board announced a 0.9% rise that exceeded forecasts of 0.6%, meaning the indicators are predicting stronger economic growth over the next several months. We can label this report as negative for bonds and mortgage rates, but it has had no impact on this morning’s trading. Bonds were set to open in negative ground long before this report was posted.
Tomorrow brings us the release of Augusts New Home Sales report from the Commerce Department. It is expected to show that sales of newly constructed homes rose last month, but this report will likely not have a noticeable impact on mortgage rates unless it differs greatly from forecasts. It is the weeks least important report in terms of potential impact on mortgage rates, partly because it covers only the small portion of all homes sales that yesterdays Existing Home Sales report did not.
Also worth noting is a speaking engagement by Fed Chairman Powell at 10:00 AM ET tomorrow morning via webcast. Anytime he speaks, the markets listen. It is hard to imagine that we will get a major surprise in such a short time after his press conference yesterday. Still, we could see rates react heavily to something he says at this appearance.
©Mortgage Commentary 2021