What’s Ahead for the Week of August 18, 2014
Retail sales for July were flat and fell shy of June’s reading at 0.20 percent that also match July’s expected reading. Retail sales excepting autos were also lower in July with a reading of 0.10 percent of the expected reading and June’s reading of 0.40 percent.
Weekly jobless claims were reported at 311,000 against expectations of 300,000 and the prior week’s reading of 290,000. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, this was the highest reading since June.
New jobless claims were close to pre-recession levels and points to a slower pace of layoffs. The four-week average of new jobless claims, which presents a less volatile reading than for weekly reports, rose by 2000 new jobless claims to a reading of 285,750. The federal government also reported that job openings increased from 4.60 million in May to 4.70 million in June.
Freddie Mac’s weekly survey showed lower mortgage rates last week. Average rates were surveyed showed that 30-year fixed rate mortgages had a rate of 4.12 percent and were two basis points lower than the previous week. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent against the prior week’s reading of 0.70 percent. The average surveyed rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was 3.24 percent as compared to the prior week’s reading of 3.27 percent. Discount points were unchanged at 0.60 percent. The average surveyed rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage dropped by one basis point to 2.97 percent with discount points unchanged at 0.50 percent.
What’s Ahead for the Week
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will release its Home Builder Index for August and measures builder confidence. Department of Commerce releases Housing Starts for July, and the National Association of REALTORS® will release its Existing Home Sales report for July. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) releases the minutes of its most recent meeting on Wednesday.