The 10 year treasury continued its ride on the little kid’s roller coaster. A slow ride down with a few little bumps followed by a very short but steep uphill and then a little slow down again. For mortgages it means we're bouncing around on the high and low sides of 3.5%. Not really too exciting. So what’s happening? In a nut shell, we’ve seen some slightly better than expected but not great economic news followed by reports showing that although better, the economy isn’t very strong nor is it really moving in the right direction. It's just that the rest of the world looks worse.
In the past week, we’ve seen US productivity improve (good news) but we’re not selling anything (bad news). We’ve seen jobless claims decrease and this week was no different, down to 361,000 (good news) but the number of jobs created weren’t enough to keep unemployment percentage from increasing (bad news). Mortgage delinquencies are down .86% from a year ago (good news) but were up .18% in the second quarter (bad news) and foreclosures are steady from a year ago at .96% (bad news). Europe is the most steady we’ve seen in quite a while (good news) but China’s trade surplus dropped to $25.1 Billion when the consensus was a $35.2 Billion surplus. Europe improves (mostly by not getting worse) and China’s is getting worse. Tuesday we see the Producer Price Index and Retail Sales and they will be followed by a number of reports throughout the week. Rates will move if we start seeing a real trend, probably not just one report that comes in stronger than expected.
US regulators have announced that they believe that Wells Fargo controlling 1 in every 3 mortgages might not be good for consumers. REALLY?! Those regulators do catch on quick!
Wells, US Bank and Chase made over 50% of all loans in the first half of the year. What is the economic definition of a monopoly?
More good news for Chase. They are being investigated in the Libor price fixing scheme. Hmmm, Chase is one of the largest originators of mortgages, mortgages use LIBOR to set prices and Chase may have fixed the price of the index. Do you think there might be a slight conflict of interest here?
Enjoy the last weekend of the Olympics and the supposedly spectacular closing ceremonies. As one ESPN commentator put it: “With the Olympics ending, it will be another four years until we focus on statements such as ‘Did you see that woman from Belarus in the hammer throw?” .
Have a great weekend.