Market Commentary for August 05, 2010

Posted: August 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

Thursday’s bond market has opened in positive territory following early stock losses and unemployment news that was favorable for bonds. The stock markets are showing losses with the Dow down 36 points and the Nasdaq down 14 points. The bond market is currently up 12/32, which should improve this morning’s mortgage rates by approximately .250 of a discount point.

The Labor Department gave us last week’s unemployment figures early this morning. They announced that 479,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week. This was much higher than the 455,000 that analysts had expected, making this data good news to the bond market and mortgage rates. This data tracks only a single week’s worth of claims, so it usually has little impact on mortgage pricing. However, today’s improvement in rates can partially be attributed to the surprise jump in claims.

The most important piece of data this week and arguably each month comes tomorrow morning. The Labor Department will post July’s Employment report early tomorrow morning. It gives us the U.S. unemployment rate, number of jobs added or lost during the month and the average hourly earnings reading. The ideal situation for the bond market is rising unemployment, a sizable loss of jobs and little change in earnings.

While the GDP is arguably the single most important report in general, it is posted quarterly rather than monthly like the Employment report. Tomorrow’s report is expected to show that the unemployment rate rose to 9.6% last month while approximately 85,000 jobs were lost. The unemployment rate probably will not be much of a factor unless it moved more than the 0.1% that is expected. However, due to the importance of these readings, we will most likely see quite a bit of volatility in the markets and mortgage pricing tomorrow if they vary from forecasts.

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would…. Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days… Float if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days… Float if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days… Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now…

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