Updated on January 22, 2019 10:37:34 AM EST
Decembers Existing Home Sales report was posted at 10:00 AM ET this morning. The National Association of Realtors announced a 6.4% decline in home resales last month. That was a bigger decline than analysts were expecting, meaning the housing sector was softer than many had though. Because a weakening housing sector makes broader economic growth more difficult, this was favorable news for bonds and mortgage rates.
Tomorrow has nothing of importance set for release. The rest of the week has three more pieces of economic data scheduled, but two of them will not happen because of the shutdown. One of the delayed reports is not only the most influential of the week, it is also one of the more important monthly reports.
There does not appear to be much progress being made in ending the partial government shutdown. As we roll into the second month of the impasse this week, reports are starting to be delayed for a second time. Fortunately, many of the reports that draw the most attention have not been affected by the shutdown. That said, there are still some that do affect mortgage rates and are considered important that have not been released yet, preventing the markets and the Fed from having all the information they usually rely on. The longer this drags on, the bigger the problem it becomes for market participants and FOMC members. Without that data, it is difficult to gauge overall economic growth and the status of the economy.
Overall, no day stands out as a strong candidate for most active day of the week. There is little data for the markets to digest, leaving stocks to be the focus several days. If the major stock indexes remain fairly calm, bonds and mortgage rates should follow suit. On the other hand, active stock markets could lead to a noticeable move in mortgage rates.
©Mortgage Commentary 2019