07 Sep Unemployment Claims Jump as Hurricane Harvey Devastates Texas
Mortgage bonds have climbed past a significant ceiling of resistance, and are now at levels not seen since November 10th of last year. Although there was another ceiling that bonds hit right after, this is still a great sign for mortgage interest rates. There are now a couple more ceilings for bonds to contend with that are slightly above current levels. However, if they can make a break above, we could see rates back to levels seen on November 8th, which was right before the results of the last Presidential Election were announced. That would improve rates about .25% from current levels of 3.5%. Given the way I see things, there is a strong likelihood that this will happen.
Initial Jobless Claims for last week were released this morning, showing a large jump in the number of unemployed workers. The weekly increase of 62,000 were largely a result of Hurricane Harvey, with 52,000 of the total 298,000 coming from the state of Texas. However, since Texas certainly would have had some claims anyway, the increasing number is still a concern. With many seasonal jobs coming to an end, we can expect to see job gains suffer a bit. Since job growth is already on the decline, the struggle is becoming real for members of the Fed who were hoping to continue to raise interest rates. We may now see a pause as the economy continues to show signs of weakening.
With rates at levels not seen since November 10th of last year, it remains a good time to lock. If bonds can make a break higher, we will see continued improvement in interest rates. However, history shows that breakouts are rare. Therefore, the safe bias will be to remain locking.