Rate Update August 20, 2009

Mortgage rates are essentially unchanged this morning.

After losing ground yesterday afternoon, mortgage-backed bond (MBS’s) prices, which work inversely with mortgage rates, bounced higher this morning on worse than expected jobless claims numbers (bad news for the economy is typically good news for mortgage rates).

However, the Conference Board released the results of their monthly Leading Economic Indicators report which grew for the 4th consecutive month. That coupled with better than expected manufacturing data out of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve are giving the markets conflicting signs on the economy.

MBS prices have yet to react to the US Treasury’s announcement regarding next week’s auction schedule.  This powerful news has driven rates higher each of the past two announcements.  We believe that a locking bias is the best approach at this time.

Current outlook: locking bias