Mortgage Market News for the week ending April 4, 2014

This week, all eyes were on Friday’s key monthly Employment report. Adding to the focus, Fed Chair Janet Yellen emphasized on Monday that future Fed policy will primarily be determined by the performance of the labor market. The jobs data was right in line with expectations, and mortgage rates ended the week a little lower.

After a rough start to the year, partly due to unusually severe winter weather, job growth has returned to the levels expected by most economists and the Fed. The economy added 192K jobs in March, and upward revisions to the data from the prior two months added another 37K jobs. Anticipating even stronger data, which would be more inflationary, investors had pushed mortgage rates a little higher earlier in the week. After the report was released, mortgage rates completely reversed those increases.

The biggest surprise in the jobs data may have been the surge in the labor force. The Unemployment Rate remained unchanged at 6.7%, above the consensus of 6.6%, but the flat reading was due to an unexpectedly large number of people entering the labor force. The Unemployment Rate measures the percentage of people who want a job but are unable to find one. Growth in the labor force is a sign of an improving labor market.

Average 30 yr fixed rate:
Last week:

-0.03%

 
This week:

-0.03%

 
Stocks (weekly):
Dow:

16,600

+300

NASDAQ:

4,225

+75