Mortgage Rates, Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, Fed Minutes

February 18, 2016

Thursday – February 18

Mortgage rates remained just above all-time lows in the latest week due to uncertainty surrounding the the U.S. economy along with Stock market volatility. Freddie Mac reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged this week at 3.65% with 0.5 added on top in points and fees. Mortgage rates should remain low this year as the Fed continues to purchase Mortgage Backed Securities in an effort to keep rates low.

In economic news, the February Philly Fed came in at -2.8%, in line with expectations as the sector continues to be battered by the strong dollar, weak overseas demand and falling commodity prices. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims fell 7K to 262K in the latest week. Econmic data has been on the soft side so far this year as the economy muddles along.

The Fed Minutes from the January meeting were released yesterday and showed that that uncertainty had increased since officials met in December, though there were no major headlines. There will most likely not be a Fed rate hike for the rest of 2016, unless some surprising strong economic data gets released.