It has been a volatile week so far with a deluge of data delivered since Monday. The week started off with a much better than expected durable goods report which not only pushed the Dow up but it caused the 10 year yield to cross the 2% threshold for the first time since last April. Treasury Yield increases tend to be a general indicator towards upward pressure on mortgage rates which is what we have experienced so far this week.
Pending Home Sales for December were down 4.3%. They were estimated to have increased by 0.3% for the month. Slower sales were potentially due to limited inventories versus limited consumer demand.
The Consumer Confidence Index delivered a reading of 58.6 for January – a huge departure from the December reading of 66.7. The drop indicates consumer concerns as we start the year, and is the lowest reading of the index since November 2011.
The FOMC completed their January meeting today and stayed the course for monetary policy on QE. Their rhetoric reconfirmed their commitment to using an unemployment rate of 6.5% as a barometer for tightening. Their message helped to pull back yields slightly, even after a much weaker than expected GDP number helped push yields to a high of 2.03 earlier in the day on Wednesday.
Raleigh continues to shine on the national growth stage. Forbes magazine just ranked Raleigh as number four on the list of “America’s fastest growing cities.” The article cited educational strength and diverse business climate as two of the driving factors behind our area’s continued growth and success.
Be sure to check out the blog on Friday for my interview with Red Hat’s Chief Information Officer, Lee Congdon.