Updated on November 15, 2019 10:21:03 AM EST
The first and more important of today’s two economic releases was Octobers Retail Sales data at 8:30 AM ET. The Commerce Department announced a 0.3% rise in retail level sales, slightly exceeding forecasts of a 0.2%. The stronger headline reading is bad news for rates but a secondary reading that excludes more costly and volatile auto sales came in 0.2% softer than expectations. This data is important to the markets because it tracks consumer or retail level spending, which makes up over two-thirds of the U.S. economy. The mixed readings allow us to label the results neutral for mortgage rates.
Also released this morning was the moderately important Industrial Production data for October at 9:15 AM ET. It revealed a surprising decline in output of 0.8% at U.S. factories, mines and utilities. Forecasts were calling for a 0.4% decline. Since bonds become more appealing to investors during weaker economic conditions, we should consider today’s release favorable for rates as it further fuels concerns about the manufacturing sector of the economy. Unfortunately, this report is thought of as only moderately important or we would have seen a stronger reaction to the news.
Next week brings us just a couple of relevant economic reports to watch, none of which are considered key releases. The minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting are also on next weeks calendar, but it should be a much quieter week for rates compared to the previous two. Monday is the only day that shows nothing scheduled, so expect weekend news and stock movement to have the biggest influence on bonds and mortgage rates when the new week begins. Look for details on all of next week’s activities that are relevant to mortgage rates in Sunday evening’s weekly preview.
©Mortgage Commentary 2019