MMG WEEKLY – WHAT ARE THEY SAYING THIS WEEK?

MMG Weekly / Vantage Production.blueForecast for the Week

Housing data dominates, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will garner much of the attention.
  • Housing data kicks off with the NAHB Housing Market Index on Monday, Housing Starts and Building Permits on Tuesday, and Existing Home Sales on Thursday.
  • The FOMC monetary policy statement will be issued Wednesday.
  • Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will be released on Thursday.

Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve. In contrast, strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond on which home loan rates are based.

When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving. When Bond prices 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 are 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, Mortgage Bonds have tried to make up for some lost ground recently; however, home loan rates remain in historically low territory.

Chart: Fannie Mae 3.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday September 16, 2016)

Japanese Candlestick Chart

The Mortgage Market Guide View…

Phone Scams Target Apple iTunes Gift Cards
Victims are beings conned into giving out the 16-digit codes on the backs of cards.
By Bob Niedt, Kiplinger.com

While Apple fans line up to get their hands on the new iPhone 7, scammers are lining up to steal your iTunes gift cards.

The popular gift cards are sold everywhere, from convenience stores and supermarkets to warehouse clubs and websites. I buy my iTunes gift cards at a discount at Costco. A four-pack of $25 gift cards sells for about $84, 16% below face value. I immediately take them home, scratch off the numeric shield that hides a card’s 16-digit code, and transfer the value to my iTunes account. Whenever I make digital purchases at iTunes, iBooks, Apple Music or Apple’s App Store, the amount is deducted from my account.

It turns out con artists are fans of iTunes gift cards, too.

Apple, the Federal Trade Commission and the Internal Revenue Service are warning consumers to hang up on callers demanding immediate payment of fictitious debts using iTunes gift cards. The scammers spin a variety of tales about back taxes, overdue utility bills, or relatives in trouble to trick you into running out to buy gift cards and then divulging the 16-digit codes over the phone.

Here’s the bottom line from Apple: You should never use iTunes gift cards to make payments for anything other than membership to and products from iTunes, iBooks, Apple Music and Apple’s App Store. If you hand over the card codes, the scammers will use them to buy Apple products for themselves or sell the codes on the black market. Either way, your money is gone forever.

In the latest twist on this con, the IRS says sophisticated scammers are even using robo-callers to play automated messages that threaten victims with legal action if they don’t call back to settle bogus debts with gift cards. According to the IRS, demand for payment with a gift card is a clear sign of a scam. Further, the IRS always contacts taxpayers by mail about unpaid taxes, and its agents will never demand immediate payment over the phone.

In addition to iTunes gift cards, the FTC says other payment methods that con artists are asking for include Amazon gift cards, PayPal, and reloadable cards including MoneyPak, Reloadit and Vanilla. Scammers also might request that money be wired via Western Union or MoneyGram. The FTC says legitimate government officials do not demand payments by these methods.

If you receive a phone call insisting on payment by iTunes gift card (or something similar), hang up. I take the extra step of blocking that number in my iPhone contacts. If the caller claimed to be with the IRS, file a report on the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page. You can also file scam reports on the FTC Complaint Assistant web page.

Economic Calendar for the Week of September 19 – September 23

Date
ET
Economic Report
For
Estimate
Actual
Prior
Impact
Mon. September 19
10:00
Housing Market Index
Sep
NA
60
Moderate
Tue. September 20
08:30
Building Permits
Aug
NA
1152K
Moderate
Tue. September 20
08:30
Housing Starts
Aug
NA
1211K
Moderate
Wed. September 21
02:00
FOMC Meeting
Sep
NA
NA
HIGH
Thu. September 22
08:30
Jobless Claims (Initial)
9/17
NA
NA
Moderate
Thu. September 22
10:00
Existing Home Sales
Aug
NA
5.39M
Moderate

The material contained in this newsletter is provided by a third party to real estate, financial services and other professionals only for their use and the use of their clients. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness and as a result, there is no guarantee it is without errors.

Mortgage Market Guide, LLC is the copyright owner or licensee of the content and/or information in this email, unless otherwise indicated. Mortgage Market Guide, LLC does not grant to you a license to any content, features or materials in this email. You may not distribute, download, or save a copy of any of the content or screens except as otherwise provided in our Terms and Conditions of Membership, for any purpose. The material contained in this newsletter is provided by a third party to real estate, financial services and other professionals only for their use and the use of their clients. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness and as a result, there is no guarantee it is without errors.

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