Forecast For The Week 

After two weeks featuring a slew of economic reports, this week’s calendar is light. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a battle for investing dollars in the Stock and Bond markets!

  • The first report won’t be released until Thursday with the weekly Initial Jobless Claimsreport. Last week, claims fell by 27,000, which was the largest weekly decline since May 2011.
  • On Friday, inflation at the wholesale level will be released in the form of the Producer Price Index (PPI). Last week it was reported that the year-over-year Core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) rose to 2%, the high end of the Fed’s range.
  • The last report on Friday will be the first reading on Consumer Sentiment for May.

With so few economic reports this week, market players will be focusing in on the ongoing debt crisis in Europe, earnings reports and how the $66 Billion in Treasury Notes and Bonds will be received. All three of those news items could move Bonds and home loan rates this week.

Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond that home loan rates are based on.

When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving — and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.

To go one step further — a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes were on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.

As you can see in the chart below, Bonds and home loan rates reached record best levels after last week’s Jobs Report. I’ll be monitoring the markets closely this week to see what happens next.

Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday May 04, 2012)

Japanese Candlestick Chart

The Mortgage Market Guide View  

It Pays to Have a Good Memory

In today’s housing market, it can pay (quite literally) to have a good memory. That’s because a good memory can help you stand out from the competition — especially when you’re networking and trying to remember names.

Unfortunately, many of us have trouble remembering the name of someone two minutes after we shake her hand. If that sounds like you, don’t worry… you’re not alone. It’s actually an extremely common occurrence for many people. The good news is there are a number of simple, practical steps you can take to improve your memory now and long into the future. Here are just two of the great tips for proactively strengthening your memory.

Tip #1: Neurobic Exercise

You know all about the wonderful effects aerobic exercise has on the heart, but have you heard of neurobic exercise for the brain? 

According to Lawrence Katz, co-author of Keep Your Brain Alive: 83 Neurobic Exercises, the best exercise for the brain is to force it to form “new patterns of association” or new pathways. In other words, challenge your brain every day. Take it off autopilot and make it relearn or create new associations with the most routine activities of your day.

Katz’s book offers numerous examples of small changes you can make to activate your brain, including: brushing your teeth with the other hand; taking an alternative route to work; moving your wastebasket to the other side of your desk; closing your eyes while putting your key in and unlocking the front door; and changing where you and your family members sit at the dinner table.

So if you feel like your memory might be starting to slip a bit, try some of these simple neurobic exercises today!

Tip #2: Mnemonic Drilling

There are actually three steps or stages of memorization: acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval. That means, once we acquire new information, like someone’s name for instance, the way in which we consolidate that data will directly affect how well we’re able to retrieve it from memory.

Whether you’re a visual or auditory type of learner, there are many mnemonic devices that can help you to better organize or consolidate the new information that you need to recall.

Here’s an example of simple steps that might help:

First, associate the data you want to remember with common images. For instance, let’s say you meet someone named Jennifer Green. Imagine Jennifer playing golf, or picture her wearing all green clothes, or imagine her face painted completely green.

Second, think of associations you can use to help you remember this person. For instance, link Jennifer to the quality that best fits her personality (use alliteration and rhymes whenever possible): Jolly Jennifer Green. 

Finally, connect sound to your memory by saying the name aloud.

Do this regularly and, before you know it, you’ll never forget anyone’s name again! And that can give you a nice advantage in networking and communicating with clients! 

Economic Calendar for the Week of May 07 – May 11

Economic Report
Thu. May 10
Jobless Claims (Initial)
Fri. May 11
Producer Price Index (PPI)
Fri. May 11
Core Producer Price Index (PPI)
Fri. May 11
Consumer Sentiment Index (UoM)

The material contained in this newsletter is provided by a third party to real estate, financial services and other professionals only for their use and the use of their clients. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness and as a result, there is no guarantee it is without errors.
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