Refinancing Way Down
Small business optimism rose again in January to its highest level since December 2004, according to the National Federation of Independent Business – Index of Small Business Optimism. The Index reached 105.9. Five of the Index components increased and five decreased, but many held near their record high. The recent growth in optimism looks like the surge in the Index in 1983, which was followed by years of economic prosperity.
Producer prices rose in January by 0.6%. That is the largest gain in four years, but a strong dollar continued to keep underlying inflation tame. The PPI has increased 1.6% in the last 12 months. Prices for final demand goods increased 1%, the largest rise since May 2015. (Labor Department)
Total mortgage application volume is down nearly 31% from a year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home are 3% higher than a year ago and refinance volume is down 50% year-over-year and now stands at its lowest level since June 2009. With rising interest rates housing costs are moving borrowers to opt for adjustable-rate mortgages, which reached their highest level in over a year. (Mortgage Bankers Association)
S&P 500 is flat and the NASDAQ is flat. MSCI International Index is lower.
Oil is down 32 cents at $52.88 a barrel.
Gold is up $1 at $1227 a Troy ounce.