Monday, August 09, 2010

Posted: August 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

Monday’s bond market has opened flat despite modest stock gains. The stock markets are starting the week in positive territory with the Dow up 25 points and the Nasdaq up 8 points. The bond market is nearly unchanged from Friday’s close, which should keep this morning’s mortgage rates close to Friday’s levels.

There is no relevant economic data scheduled for release today, so look for the stock markets to be the cause of any afternoon revision to mortgage rates. If the major stock indexes move upward from current levels, we could see bonds weaken and mortgage rates increase later today. But if stocks move lower by a good margin, we should see mortgage pricing improve this afternoon.

The rest of the week brings us the release of five economic reports for the bond market to digest in addition to another FOMC meeting and two relevant Treasury auctions. It starts tomorrow morning when Employee Productivity and Costs data for the second quarter will be posted. It will give us an indication of employee output. High levels of productivity are believed to allow the economy to grow without fears of inflation. I don’t see this being a big mover of mortgage pricing, but since it is the only data of the day it may influence rates slightly during morning trading. Analysts are currently expecting to see an increase in productivity of only 0.1%. A higher than expected reading could help improve bonds, leading to lower mortgage rates tomorrow.

The next FOMC meeting, which is a single day meeting, is tomorrow and will adjourn at 2:15 PM ET. It is expected to yield no change to key interest rates. Usually, the post-meeting comments seem to have more of an influence on the markets than the rate adjustments themselves, or a lack of one in many cases. Look for the statement to lead to volatility during afternoon trading if it hints at what the Fed’s next move may be and when it will come. If the statement does not give us new information, mortgage rates will probably move little after its release.

The most important data of the week comes Friday when we will get three reports, two of which are highly important to the markets and mortgage rates. Those two reports, July’s Retail Sales and Consumer Price Index, can lead to sizable movement in the markets and mortgage pricing.

Overall, look for the most movement in bond prices and mortgage rates late in the week. Friday will likely turn out to be the most important day with two of the week’s most important releases and three reports scheduled altogether. If we get stronger than expected results in the Retail Sales and CPI releases, we may see mortgage rates spike higher fairly quickly. I suspect the FOMC meeting will not have as much of an influence on mortgage rates as recent meetings have, but the markets can react wildly to a single word or omission of a word in the statement, so we need to be cautious. This is certainly another week that continuous contact with your mortgage professional is highly recommended if you are still floating an interest rate.

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would…. Float 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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