June 30th, 2008 8:57 AM by Lehel Szucs
This week brings us the release of very few economic reports for the markets to digest. There are only three monthly reports scheduled for release that are likely to affect mortgage rates, but one of them is arguably the most influential single piece of data that we see each month. This is a shortened trading week with the markets closed Friday and an early bond market close Thursday in observance of the Independence Day holiday.
The first of the week's three reports is of fairly high importance to the bond market. The Institute of Supply Management (ISM) will release their manufacturing index for June late Tuesday morning. This index measures manufacturer sentiment by surveying trade executives on current business conditions. A reading below 50 means that more surveyed executives felt business improved than those who felt it had worsened. Analysts are expecting another reading below 50.0. That would indicate that manufacturers felt business remained close to unchanged from the previous month. Good news would be a weaker than expected reading.
The Commerce Department post May's Factory Orders data late Wednesday morning, which is similar to the Durable Goods Orders report that was released last week. The biggest difference being that this week's report covers both durable and non-durable goods. It usually doesn't have as much of an impact on the bond market as the durable goods data does, but can lead to changes in mortgage pricing if it varies from forecasts. Current expectations are showing a 0.6% rise in new orders from April's levels. A smaller than expected rise in orders would be considered good news for the bond market and should help lower mortgage rates slightly Wednesday.
The only other important release of the week comes early Thursday morning. The Labor Department will give us June's unemployment rate, number of new payrolls added and average hourly earnings. These are considered to be very impo rtant readings of the employment sector and can have a huge impact on the financial markets.
The ideal scenario for the bond market is rising unemployment, a decline in payrolls and no change in earnings. Weaker than expected readings should help boost bond prices and lower mortgage rates. However, stronger than forecasted readings could be disastrous for mortgage pricing. Analysts are expecting to see the unemployment rate to slip 0.1% to 5.4%, while 50,000 jobs were lost and a 0.3% rise in earnings.
Overall, I am expecting to see the most movement in rates the latter part of the week. Tuesday morning should bring some volatility with the ISM index, but Thursday's report is definitely the most important of the week and can single handily lead to an improvement or increase in mortgage rates for the week.
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... This is only my opinion of what I would do if I were financing a home. It is only an opinion and cannot be guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers.
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