Rates Increase on Bernanke Testimony
Mortgage interest rates increased again this past week sparked by Congressional testimony from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke before the Joint Economic Committee. In his testimony, Bernanke said that the Fed may begin thinking about ending the current quantitative easing in the next three or four FOMC meetings. The current quantitative easing includes $85 billion in monthly purchases of Treasuries and Mortgage Backed Securities. The FOMC Minutes also revealed increased discussion within the Fed of reducing the current quantitative easing. Economic data this past week was mostly stronger than expected. Weekly jobless claims, April New Home Sales, and April Durable Goods Orders were stronger than expected. New Home Sales were up 15% year over year, its largest increase since 1963. April Existing Home Sales, though, were only up 0.6% on expectations that they would be up 2.6%.
Wall Street Commentary
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently at 15,241, down over 100 points on the week. Crude oil spot prices are currently at $93.49 per barrel, down over $2 per barrel on the week. The Dollar weakened versus the Euro and Yen on the week.
Next week look toward Thursday’s second look at Q1 GDP and weekly jobless claims and Friday’s Personal Income and Outlays as potential market moving events. Bond and Equity Markets are closed Monday for Memorial Day.
Currently, a Conventional 30 year fixed rate is hovering in the range of 3.875% to 4.0% with no points.
** Mortgage rates are subject to daily market fluctuations and can change without notice. Mortgage rates are also effected by down payment, occupancy, loan amount, credit score, lock period and property type.