|US dollar index||86.5||0.4|
|10 Year Govt Bond Yield||1.59%|
|Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA||103.3|
|Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA||104.2|
|30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage||3.47|
Stocks are lower this morning as oil rallies. Bonds and MBS are down small.
Initial Jobless Claims came in at 254k, which is at a 43 year low. When you take into account population growth, that number is astounding. The last time jobless claims were around these levels, we had just ended the draft for the Vietnam War.
The third revision for Q2 GDP came in at 1.4%, which was an increase from the second estimate of 1.1%. Non-residential fixed investment and consumption drove the upward revision. The Personal Consumption Expenditure Index (the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation) came in at 2%, spot on with their target. Gross Domestic Income fell 0.2%, which is a disappointment.
Consumer Comfort ticked up last week, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index.
Pending Home Sales dropped 2.4% in August, according to the NAR. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says suffering supply levels have taken the wind out of the momentum the housing market experienced earlier this year. “Contract activity slackened throughout the country in August except for in the Northeast, where higher inventory totals are giving home shoppers greater options and better success signing a contract,” he said. “In most other areas, an increased number of prospective buyers appear to be either wavering at the steeper home prices pushed up by inventory shortages or disheartened by the competition for the miniscule number of affordable listings.”
Immigrants are much more educated today than they were a couple of decades ago. That is creating issues in the housing market. Traditionally, low-skilled immigrants were builders of housing. Today many are arriving with college degrees, and therefore they are much more likely to be buyers of housing. This partially explains why inventory is tight and why it is hard to find skilled labor.
Corporate profits fell 1.7% YOY in the second quarter. This is the third consecutive drop, which is a worrisome stat for the stock market, especially as the Fed begins to take away the punch bowl.
Separately, are rising incomes helping to alleviate the problem of affordability? The drop in GDI didn’t help. The ultimate issue will revolve around the long-term unemployed. Do they come back into the workforce or stay out? If they come back, wage inflation will be modest until that reservoir is used up. Ultimately that is better for the economy long-term. If they stay out, it will depress consumption and will probably start pushing up wages for those that do have jobs. Watch the quits rate on the JOLTS job openings. That will be the tell.