U.S. MBA mortgage market index rose 0.7%
U.S. MBA mortgage market index rose 0.7% along with a flat purchase index and 0.9% gain in the refinancing index for the week ended February 2. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate ramped up 9 basis points to 4.50%, which was the highest level since April 2014. The transition to new Fed leadership and surprise uptick in the wage data in the January payrolls report drove underlying benchmark yields to the highest level in 4-years before contributing to stock market indigestion and volatility. The Fed has been cautious and deliberate about its policy normalization speed and destintation, and this is not likely to change under Powell, though wider signs of pick-up inflation could alter that path. For more on the housing sector, see our existing home sales, housing starts and new home sales reports.