Forecast for the Week
After last week’s fireworks supplied by the June Jobs Report and the Independence Day holiday, this week’s calendar is light.
- The June Federal Open Market Committee Meeting Minutes will be released on Wednesday, and they may give hints as to whether the Fed intends to end its massive Bond buying program later this year.
- Thursday brings Weekly Initial Jobless Claims. Recent numbers have been hovering around the 300,000 mark, in line with expectations.
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, the better than expected job market data caused Mortgage Bonds to worsen. However, home loan rates remain attractive and I’ll continue to monitor them closely.
Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Thursday July 3, 2014)
The Mortgage Market Guide View…
4 Things to Do With the First 10 Minutes of Your Day
Professional kitchens often follow a practice known as “mise en place,” which means having all the ingredients in place before the cooking begins. This practice is a good one to follow in any field of endeavor, as planning before your day begins often makes all the difference in the kind of day you experience.
Here are a few actions to take—and one not to take—at the beginning of your day to help you maximize both your time and productivity:
Don’t check email—yet. Checking voicemail and email first thing tends to make you reactive right away, losing focus and being diverted from productivity.
Begin with the end in mind. Take a few seconds to distinguish the urgent from the important. What would you like to accomplish by the end of your day, and what needs to happen so everything is completed?
Plan. A short planning session is all you need to help keep focused on your key goals for the day, and you should develop your daily to-do list using verbs. For instance, instead of listing “Monday’s presentation,” include things like collect sales data/charts, find images and draft slide deck so all the key actions are covered.
Prioritize. Take your to-do items and put them in order of importance, but consider attacking the most challenging items first. Studies show we have less willpower as the day progresses.
As always, feel free to pass these tips along to your team and colleagues to help them achieve more goals through better morning planning!
Source: Harvard Business Review
Economic Calendar for the Week of July 7 – July 11
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