Even though the government shutdown is over for at least the next three weeks, the shutdown has impacted markets, with delayed economic reports keeping investors in the dark. However, there are plenty of economic reports available which may cause concern for traders. China and Europe both show signs of slowdown. Existing home sales fell by 6.4% in December, an unusually large drop likely caused by October's rapid rate increase. Rates have since retreated. The supply of homes for sale rose more than 3% compared with a year ago. Low supply has been stifling sales since last spring. Unconventional mortgages are making a comeback. Lenders issued $34 billion in non-QM loans in the first 3 quarters of 2018, a 24% increase year-over-year.
Jobless claims fell to a 49-year low last week. However, claims for several states were estimated and may be overstating the health of the labor market.
Thanks to Joe Amato of Waterstone Mortgage.