MMG WEEKLY – WHAT ARE THEY SAYING THIS WEEK?

MMG WeeklyForecast for the Week 

The Stock and Bond Markets will be closing early Monday and will be closed all day Tuesday for the Christmas holiday, but the second half of the week features several important reports.

  • Economic data begins on Wednesday with the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.
  • More housing news follows later in the week, with New Home Sales on Thursday and Pending Home Sales on Friday.
  • We’ll get a sense of how consumers are feeling on Thursday with the Consumer Confidence Report for December.
  • Thursday also brings the weekly Initial Jobless Claims Report. Last week’s report showed that Initial Jobless Claims had risen by 17,000 in the latest week to 361,000, above expectations. Note that the number reached as high as 451,000 right after Superstorm Sandy and has now returned to pre-storm levels.
  • Rounding out the week, we’ll get news from the manufacturing sector with the Chicago PMI Report.

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 chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond that home loan rates are based on.

When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving – and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.


To go one step further – a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes were on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.


As you can see in the chart below, Bonds and home loan rates benefitted from the uncertainty last week surrounding the Fiscal Cliff. I’ll continue to monitor this story closely.

Chart: Fannie Mae 3.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday Dec 21, 2012)
Japanese Candlestick Chart
The Mortgage Market Guide View… 

Using Visuals in Presentations
Visuals are a great way to improve the effectiveness of your presentations. But there’s a reason the phrase “death by Power Point” is a popular one. These tips will help you avoid committing slide-a-cide upon your audience. Be sure to use them the next time you have to give a presentation, and pass them on to your clients, colleagues, friends, and family members.

Dump most of your text. Yes, you’ve got a lot to say, but don’t say it all with text. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara discovered that people learn much more from multimedia presentations when there’s less text. Representational diagrams, demonstrations, and pictures, along with greater verbal explanation from the presenter–reading text off of the slides doesn’t count–is a great formula for success.

Think like a graphic designer. In fact, consider hiring a professional graphic designer, especially if your presentation is important. But if you’re working on a budget, follow these design guidelines as closely as you can:

  1. Direct people’s vision with pictures and visual cues. Use pictures and line graphics to direct the eye to parts of the slide that will make your point the strongest way. For example, a well-placed line or arrow can point to a particular area of a photo rather than showing the whole photo with no indication about what your audience should observe.
  2. Attract the eye with shades and contrast. The eye is naturally attracted by dramatic contrast. Solid text has almost no contrast and is therefore uninteresting to look at-and therefore far less likely to get or keep the attention of your audience.
  3. White space is nice to look at, so don’t fall into the trap of filling your slides with so many graphics that they compete with each other.
  4. Use size to emphasize. Simply put, the biggest thing on your slide will get the most attention. Make sure the biggest thing–whether text, graphics, or photos–is the most important thing.

Economic Calendar for the Week of December 24 – December 28

Date
ET
Economic Report
For
Estimate
Actual
Prior
Impact
Wed. December 26
09:00
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index
Oct
NA
3.0%
Moderate
Thu. December 27
08:30
Jobless Claims (Initial)
12/22
NA
NA
Moderate
Thu. December 27
10:00
New Home Sales
Nov
NA
368K
Moderate
Thu. December 27
10:00
Consumer Confidence
Dec
NA
73.7
Moderate
Fri. December 28
09:45
Chicago PMI
Dec
NA
50.4
HIGH
Fri. December 28
10:00
Pending Home Sales
Nov
NA
5.2%
Moderate

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