In This Issue…

Last Week in Review: Traders were singing one minute only to scream the next. Read below to see why!
Forecast for the Week: How many high-impact reports can you fit in a week? Find out below.
Video View: Which credit card is right for you? Discover how to decide… plus learn about new rules that impact you!
Last Week in Review

“Wild thing! You make my heart sing!” – By The Troggs. Traders found themselves singing one minute only to be screaming the next, as Bonds saw huge swings up and down of 100 basis points on multiple days last week.
Remember, home loan rates are based on Mortgage Bond prices, so huge swings in Bonds causes home loan rates to shift as well. This underscores why it’s so important to work with a knowledgeable professional who understands how interconnected the market is and can help homeowners lock in at the most opportune times.
To help make sense of the volatility, here’s a montage of the top 5 hits last week that Traders and Bond investors appeared to be singing… and why.
#1 “Monday, Monday… so good to me.” – By The Mammas and the Papas
Last week started out with Bond prices receiving a nice bump on Monday thanks to strong demand for the Treasury Department’s auction of $35 Billion in 2-Year Notes.
#2 “Bonds in low places.” – To paraphrase Garth Brooks
On Tuesday, the Treasury Department auctioned off another $35 Billion… this time in 5-Year Notes, which carry more inflation risk. That auction wasn’t received nearly as well and sparked a sell off of Bonds.
To make matters worse, the sell off was exacerbated by the ultra-thin holiday trading volume. In other words, with many Traders out of the office for the holidays, there simply weren’t enough buyers in the market to offset the selling. So when prices dropped on Tuesday, the selling pressure gained momentum with each sale and the losses grew more dramatic. The end result was a drop of 100 basis points in Bond prices!
#3 “I’m Back. Bonds have lifted. And raised the gifted.” – To paraphrase Kid Rock
What a difference a day makes! Just one day after Bonds dropped 100 basis points, the opposite happened and Bonds saw a huge upswing. How was that even possible? Bargain hunting and a strong performance by the Treasury Department’s 7-Year Note auction were the catalysts behind the move, as buyers came out in droves and pushed Bonds up 119 basis points!
#4 “Home sweet home!” – By Mötley Crüe
Volatility wasn’t the only story that hit home last week. The final S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the year was also released last week. According to the report, home prices in 20 metropolitan cities fell 0.8%, which was below the 0.1% improvement that was expected and the sharpest year-over-year decline in a year. This was not a good report, and when you consider more foreclosures coming to the market, it is likely that home prices could remain under pressure for part of 2011. Stubbornly high unemployment has played a role in seeing meaningful improvement in housing.
#5 “You’re unbelievable!” – By EMF
The volatility continued throughout the week, swinging another 54 basis points on Thursday alone. But in the end – through all the ups and downs – Bonds and home loan rates were able to finish the week strong. That means home loan rates are still unbelievably low as we start the new year.
That means you still have something to sing about. Despite the overall negative trend, home loan rates are still near historic lows… at least for the time being. That may not be the case in the weeks and months ahead. Call or email today to start the process – it only takes a few minutes.
Forecast for the Week

The new year kicks off with a bang, as nearly all of the reports due out this week are rated as having the potential for a high impact on the markets!
• We start off right away Monday morning with the ISM Index. This is the king of all manufacturing indices and is considered the single best snapshot of the factory sector, so it has the potential to move the markets if it doesn’t meet expectations that it will come in better than the prior reading.
• Tuesday brings us the first release of FOMC Minutes of the year. Although the Fed has already released its policy statement, the markets will be examining the minutes closely for indications of the Fed’s thinking regarding important topics like inflation, rates, and the overall economy.
• We’ll also see some important employment news this week. First up is the ADP National Employment Report on Wednesday, which measures non-farm private employment. The report is expected to show fewer jobs created in December than the previous reading of 93,000 jobs created in November.
• The ADP Report will be followed the next day with another round of Initial Jobless Claims on Thursday. In last week’s report, Initial Jobless Claims was reported at the lowest level since July 2008. That was good news for the labor market, but we still need to see if this report was skewed by the holidays or if it was the start of a trend lower in new unemployment claims.
• The big news of the week will be the release of the all-important Jobs Report this Friday. The Average Work Week and Unemployment Rate are expected to hold steady, while Hourly Earnings and Non-Farm Payrolls are expected to rise.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result.
The important thing to note in the chart below is that the overall trend for Bond prices has been downward, which is not good for home loan rates. But last week, Bonds were able to finish strong, which demonstrates that there are opportunities to benefit from positive shifts in the market and low home loan rates despite the overall negative trend.
If you or someone you know has been thinking about purchasing or refinancing a home, call or email today to discuss your goals and how you can take advantage of these nice bumps in the Bond market.

Chart: Fannie Mae 4.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday, December 31, 2010)

The Mortgage Market Guide View…

Which Card is Right for You?
These days, most people use at least one credit card and many of us use more than one. And while it’s certainly important to avoid amassing large amounts of debt, it’s also important to make sure you pick the right credit card for you. The following video from www.Kiplinger.com contains tips that can help you do just that.
View Video ————————–
Economic Calendar for the Week of January 3-7, 2011
Remember, as a general rule, weaker than expected economic data is good for rates, while positive data causes rates to rise.
Economic Calendar for the Week of January 03 – January 07
Date ET Economic Report For Estimate Actual Prior Impact
Mon. January 03 10:00 ISM Index Dec 58.0 56.6 HIGH
Tue. January 04 02:00 FOMC Minutes 12/14 HIGH
Wed. January 05 08:15 ADP National Employment Report Dec 100K 93K HIGH
Wed. January 05 10:00 ISM Services Index Dec 55.6 55.0 Moderate
Thu. January 06 08:30 Jobless Claims (Initial) 01/01 405K 388K Moderate
Fri. January 07 08:30 Non-farm Payrolls Dec 132K 39K HIGH
Fri. January 07 08:30 Unemployment Rate Dec 9.8% 9.8% HIGH
Fri. January 07 08:30 Hourly Earnings Dec 0.1% 0.0% HIGH
Fri. January 07 08:30 Average Work Week Dec 34.3 34.3 HIGH

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