Mortgage rates are unlikely to change much in reaction to the January employment report, released this morning.
The economy grew by a net 157,000 jobs in January, according to the Labor Department. That's a touch lower than the consensus forecast but not enough to make investors hit the "Big Red Freakout Button."
The unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent. That was a minor disappointment, too; according to Briefing.com's poll of economists, the consensus forecast called for a 0.1 percent drop in the unemployment rate instead of a rise. It's like your kid getting a C-minus when you expected a C-plus: Nothing to brag about, and, really, what's the difference? It's a C either way you look at it.
Bummer, right? But not all of the jobs news was disappointing. There were upward revisions in the initial estimates for job growth in November and December. Now the feds say they undercounted job growth in those two months by 127,000. So there's that.
On balance, investors seem to have greeted these numbers lukewarmly. Stock futures have ticked up, and Treasury bond yields have edged down. That implies that the first-blush reaction on Wall Street could lead to slightly higher stock prices and slightly lower bond yields, and that's good news to mortgage shoppers.