Thursday, April 02, 2020
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Market Commentary

Updated on April 2, 2020 10:31:42 AM EDT

The first of this morning’s two relevant economic releases was last week’s unemployment figures at 8:30 AM ET. They showed that 6.6 million new claims for benefits were filed last week, reflecting the significant impact the pandemic is having on the employment sector of the economy. IT also doubled last week’s record shattering number. Forecasts had a wide range, but this number exceeded all of them. Because this is a real-time indicator of how bad the sector is suffering at the moment, it should be considered favorable news for bonds and mortgage rates.

February’s Factory Orders report was posted at 10:00 AM ET this morning. The Commerce Department announced no change in orders from January’s levels. This is a moderately important release under normal circumstances, meaning it was of little interest today and had no influence on this morning’s mortgage pricing.

Tomorrow morning brings us the release of Marchs Employment report, revealing the U.S. unemployment rate, the number of jobs added or lost during the month and change in average earnings. The coronavirus is believed to have heavily influenced these numbers. Analysts are expecting to see the unemployment rate jumped 0.5% to 4.0% while payrolls dropped by 150,000. Average earnings are expected to show a 0.2% increase, but it likely will not be of much interest this month. Focus will be on the unemployment and payroll readings. Weak readings are favorable for mortgage rates. It is worth noting that this report compiles data from the week of March 9th – 13th, so it may not reflect the full impact the pandemic is having on the employment sector.

 ©Mortgage Commentary 2020

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