Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - August 27

Q2 GDP Stays at -1% - In the second report on Q2 GDP, the number stayed an unchanged negative 1% from the first estimate. Businesses cut their inventories at a faster pace than first reported, meaning the inventory cycle may turn faster and stronger than previously believed. Economists were expecting GDP to be revised to negative 1.5%. *** Note - Frequently the "first estimate" on GDP (1 month after the end of a quarter) will be revised higher or lower in the second estimate (2 months after the end of the quarter) and then made final in the 3rd report (3 months after the end of the quarter. Between the first and final numbers, all of the data is gathered and assessed, and the GDP is reflected.

Initial Jobless Claims Fall - The Labor Departments reported that initial jobless claims for state unemployment benefits fell for the first time in three weeks by 10,000 to 570,000. The four-week average of initial claims fell 4,750 to 566,250. Meanwhile, the number of Americans receiving state jobless benefits fell 119,000 to 6.13 million in the week ending Aug. 15. This is the lowest level since early April. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell 27,000 to 6.24 million.

Mortgage Rates Unchanged - According to's weekly national survey, a 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 5.53% versus 5.52% last week. A 15-year fixed rate is now 4.83%, and a jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage is 6.43%. Adjustable rate mortgages were mixed, with the average 1-year ARM dropping to 5.1% and the 5-year ARM climbing to 4.95%.

Natural Gas Falls on Inventory Data - Natural gas continued its fall after the Energy Information Administration reported that natural-gas inventories rose by a larger than expected 54 billion cubic feet. September futures fell 7% to $2.705 per million BTU.

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