Most of the movement inÂ mortgage ratesÂ had been slow, steady, and generally unfriendly in recent weeks. Â Today was a stark exception as rates surged significantly lower (relative to their recent range) following weaker-than-expected economic data. Weak economic data tends to help rates move lower, and this morning's reports were the most important of the week (Retail Sales and Consumer Prices). Â The reaction to the data was swift because investors were waiting to see if it would confirm fears about the direction of rates earlier in the week. Â Not only did the data fail to confirm the fears, it suggested a completely contrary move. Â In other words, rates were forced to make a quick course correction. Â They ended up moving right back in line with last Friday's levels for most lenders. Â The entire week of anxiety was erased in a few short hours, with the average lender nearly an eighth of a percentage point lower on a conventional 30yr fixed quote.