Homeowners are not refinancing, US Stocks lower, Economic Symposium to be in Wyoming

August 22, 2016

Monday – August 22

Despite mortgage rates being near all-time lows, homeowners are not refinancing their homes. Black Knight Financial Services reports that the number of borrowers eligible to refinance rose to 8.7 million at the end of June, yet prepayment speeds, which measures refinancing activity, fell in July. On a positive note, the number of foreclosure starts in July fell 12% from June and was the second lowest month.

U.S. Stocks are lower to begin the week after Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer made some hawkish comments saying “we are close to our targets” in regards to full employment and 2% inflation and he expects GDP growth to pick up in coming quarters. Even though Mr. Fischer did not discuss the timing of an interest rate hike, his words signaled that a hike could come by the end of 2016. In addition, the dollar gained strength after Fisher’s remarks, which is pushing oil prices and oil related shares lower.

The annual economic symposium hosted by the U.S. Federal Reserve will take place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at the end of this week. Dozens of bankers, policy makers, academics and economists from around the world will meet to discuss important economic issues facing the U.S. and world economies. All those attending will be awaiting Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech on Friday August 26 to gain clues as to when and if an interest rate hike will be coming in the near future to the world’s largest economy. Ms. Yellen may also give a long-term outlook on the state of the U.S. economy.