Pending Home Sales Down But Not Out. Rates Up.

Rates are up today after ECB president Mario Draghi said the ECB will do “whatever it takes to preserve the Euro, and believe me, it will be enough” this morning. The benchmark Fannie Mae 30-year mortgage bonds that lenders use as a rate pricing signal are both down meaningfully: 3.5% coupon down 13 basis points to 106.14, and 3.0% coupon down 16 basis points to 104.05.

If this selloff holds, it’ll push rates up about .125%. Of course this comes on the day of Freddie Mac’s weekly rate survey that posted a new record low for 30-year fixed—the survey covers the week leading up to today. And rates move in realtime as mortgage bonds trade.

Here’s a rundown of today’s U.S. economic data…

Pending Home Sales Index (June 2012)
– Index Level 99.3.  Previous was 101.1 revised to 101.7. 
– Month/month -1.4%, Year/year +9.5
– This is existing homes that have entered contracts to sell and expected to close within 60 days
– An index level of 100 is considered historically healthy
– This is a national number and the full report has regional breakdowns.

Initial Jobless Claims  (week ended 7/21/2012)
– Initial Claims 353,000.  Previous was 386,000 revised to 388,000.
– 4-week Moving Average was 367,250.  Down from previous 376,000.
Full report

This should be regarded as modestly better with a asterisk because of variations created by retooling in the auto industry.

Durable Goods Orders  (June 2012)
– New Orders, Month/Month +1.6%
– New Orders, Year/Year +8.0%
– Ex-transportation, Month/Month -1.1%
– Ex-transportation, Year/Year 3.1%
– This is mixed data with overall showing growth and ex-trans having a weak month. 

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