Well, yesterday’s rally in mortgage backed securities held up until the close (rare of late), and mortgage rates were a little improved yesterday. Could it be that we might have two days of rallies in a row? Right now mbs are dithering around unchanged, and it’s tough to make a call in one direction or the other. Today’s weekly jobless claims report was worse than expectations, but the overall trend is moving in the right direction, which probably mitigates the overall impact of the report.
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Weekly Initial Jobless claims came in at 366,000, down 5,000 from the week prior (which was revised upwardly by 3,000). The consensus expectation was from a drop to 360,000. Despite not meeting expectations, the four-week moving average for jobless claims is now at the lowest levels since the beginning of 2008, so things appear to be moving in the correct direction. There has been a ton of volatility in this report lately (caused seemingly by seasonal factors), however, so I don’t know that I would put too much stock into it. Overall, I don’t see a ton of impact from this report today.
Not a lot else going on today. The ECB met, and predictably Mario Draghi predicted that “later in 2013, economic activity should gradually recover, supported by our accomodative policy stance.” If you’re buying that, I have a bridge for you. As near as I can tell, this ECB meeting was about as productive as prior ECB meetings (not very).
And of course we’re beginning to hear more and more about the sequester battle. Because I don’t want to drive myself insane, I’m not going to re-hash everything that I said yesterday, but suffice it to say this is going to be at least as rancorous as the debt ceiling battle, and perhaps moreso. The uncertainty caused by the potential for massive cuts could help drive down rates, or at least keep them from rising significantly, in the coming weeks.
That’s about it for today. Assuming I don’t lost power in this massive snowstorm, I’ll be back tomorrow.
Scientific American: First-Time Reports From Oil and Gas Industry Reveal Massive Methane Emissions.
Tom Junod: Questions John Brennan Should Face Today.
ProPublica: Drone Strikes Test Legal Grounds For War on Terror.
Dealbook: E-Mails Imply JP Morgan Knew Some Mortgage Deals Were Bad. You don’t say?
Ritholtz: Moody’s, S&P Knew of Ratings Fraud.
GoComics: Stars of Political Cartooning – Theodore Geisel. A different look at the good doctor.
The Independent: ‘It’s Just Amazing How LIBOR Fixing Can Make You That Much Money.‘ I think it is the brazenness of the thing that makes it so very galling.
Reuters: Geithner Plans Book on Battling Financial Crisis. If you want to read a book about the financial crisis, read Neil Barofsky’s book. I think it is now in paperback. Next link is a solid review of it:
Matt Taibbi: ‘Bailout’: Neil Barofsky’s Adventures in Groupthink City.
Craig Calcaterrra: Why on Earth Would the Miami times Give its Records to Major League Baseball? I love baseball. I hate the cretins that run it. Perhaps cretins is too harsh a word. Maybe hypocrites fits better.
The Baseline Scenario: A Growing Split Within Republicans on Too Big To Fail Banks.
Guardian: Anglo Irish Bank on the Brink of Liquidation. A few years too late, no?
Mental Floss: Camouflaging An Airplane Factory. So he drifted down to LA/Where he reckoned he’d try his luck/Working for a while in an airplane plant loading cargo into a truck.
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