Rate Update January 27, 2010

Mortgage rates are effectively unchanged from yesterday.

Today promises to be a busy day.  About an hour ago the Commerce Department reported worse than expected new home sales for the month of December.  Cold weather and a weak jobs market are to blame according to analysts.

In a couple more hours the Fed will conclude their 2-day monetary policy meeting and are widely expected to leave short-term rates unchanged (click here to understand why this doesn’t really matter).  More importantly than their rate decision, the Fed’s comments always have the ability to impact the market so we’ll be listening for clues about inflation and the future of the Fed’s involvement in the economy.

At 1PM EST the US Treasury will announce results of today’s $42 billion auction of of 5-year notes.  Yesterday’s 2-year note auction went so-so.  Although, as I blogged about a couple days ago it is increasingly difficult to measure foreign participation which is a critical component in keeping rates low.

From a technical perspective rates appear artificially low and ripe for a reversal higher.  However, they remain low thanks to weakness in the equity markets.  We will remain in a locking position.

Current outlook: locking