MMG WEEKLY – WHAT ARE THEY SAYING THIS WEEK?

MMG Weekly / Vantage Production.blueForecast for the Week

A cornucopia of economic data will be released this week.

  • Monday kicks off with manufacturing numbers from the Empire State Index, followed by more manufacturing news Thursday with the Philadelphia Fed Index.
  • Tuesday brings along the closely watched Consumer Price Index, which will give us a read on inflation at the consumer level.
  • Several key housing reports will be released, including the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index on Monday, Housing Starts and Building Permits on Tuesday, and Existing Home Sales on Thursday.
  • Also on Thursday, Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will be released.

In addition, the regularly scheduled two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting will begin on Tuesday. The last two meetings in December and January ended with the Fed tapering its Bond and Treasury purchases by $5 billion each. Will more tapering follow?

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 on which home loan rates are based.

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 were able to improve at the expense of Stocks last week. With the Fed meeting and a slew of economic data this week, I’ll be watching the markets closely for the latest developments.

Chart: Fannie Mae 4.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday March 14, 2014)

Japanese Candlestick Chart

The Mortgage Market Guide View…

Tech Tips
Identity Theft and Smartphones

What’s not to like about smartphones? They can handle just about any task from to-do lists to email, making life easier and helping save both time and effort when you’re out of the office or spending the day with clients. Ironically, it’s these same conveniences that make mobile devices so attractive to identity thieves.

With that in mind, here are three easy ways to keep your identity safe when using your smartphone:

Keep your operating system up to date. Manufacturers are always updating operating software and closing loopholes on hackers, so make sure you don’t ignore updates. Consider setting a calendar reminder to check for these regularly.

Install a mobile antivirus app. Mobile antivirus and anti-phishing tools are a must, even if you have to pay a little extra for the protection. Search your app marketplace and make sure to read user and online reviews before you buy.

Don’t enter passwords on public Wi-Fi. Cyber crooks can pick up a lot of information about you right out of the air, even your keystrokes. Avoid entering passwords unless you have anti-virus software enabled. Also, shut off Bluetooth discoverability when you’re out and about.

Please feel free to pass these tips along to your team, clients, and colleagues.

Economic Calendar for the Week of March 17 – March 21

Date
ET
Economic Report
For
Estimate
Actual
Prior
Impact
Mon. March 17
08:30
Empire State Index
Mar
5.4
4.5
HIGH
Mon. March 17
10:00
Housing Market Index
Mar
50
46
Moderate
Tue. March 18
08:30
Core Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Feb
0.1%
0.2%
HIGH
Tue. March 18
08:30
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Feb
0.2%
0.2%
HIGH
Tue. March 18
08:30
Building Permits
Feb
955K
937K
Moderate
Tue. March 18
08:30
Housing Starts
Feb
915K
888K
Moderate
Wed. March 19
02:00
FOMC Meeting
Mar
NA
0.25%
HIGH
Thu. March 20
08:30
Jobless Claims (Initial)
3/15
330K
315K
Moderate
Thu. March 20
10:00
Existing Home Sales
Feb
4.60M
4.62M
Moderate
Thu. March 20
10:00
Philadelphia Fed Index
Mar
2.0
-6.3
HIGH

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