Saturday, December 15, 2018


Updated on December 14, 2018 10:16:26 AM EST

Yesterday’s 30-year Treasury Bond auction was a bit stronger than Wednesday’s 10-year Note sale. Bonds improved slightly after results were posted at 1:00 PM ET, but it was not enough to change mortgage rates.

November’s Retail Sales data was today’s big report. The Commerce Department announced at 8:30 AM that retail-level sales rose 0.2% last month, matching forecasts. A secondary reading that excludes more volatile and costly auto transactions showed a 0.2% rise also but was expected to rise 0.3%. That was the good news in the report. The bad news was a 0.3% upward revision to both readings for October. The net result is basically a neutral impact on mortgage rates this morning.

Also posted this morning was Novembers Industrial Production report. It showed that output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities rose 0.6%, exceeding forecasts of a 0.3% increase. The larger than expected increase indicates parts of the manufacturing sector were stronger than many had thought last month. Because bonds tend to thrive during weaker economic conditions, this was unfavorable news for mortgage rates. Fortunately, it is only a moderately important release, preventing a noticeable impact on this morning’s rates.

Next week starts off light with little scheduled that may affect mortgage rates but things change mid-week when the FOMC meeting adjourns. Look for expectations of it and the rest of the week’s events in Sunday evening’s weekly preview.

 ©Mortgage Commentary 2018