June 9th, 2008 10:52 AM by Lehel Szucs
This week brings us the release of five pieces of data for the markets to digest. The most important news will be posted late in the week, so we may see the most movement in rates during those days. The first part of the week will likely be driven by stock market gains or losses.
The week's first but least important data is April's Goods and Services Trade Balance report Tuesday morning. This report gives us the size of the U.S. trade deficit and will be released at 8:30 AM. It isn't likely to cause much movement in the markets or mortgage rates, but nevertheless forecasts are expecting to see a $59.5 billion deficit.
Late Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book. This data details economic conditions throughout the U.S. by region. It is relied upon heavily by the Federal Reserve during FOMC meetings when determining monetary policy. If it shows slowing economic activity, the bond market may thrive and mortgage rates could drop shortly after the 2:00 PM ET release. If it reveals signs of inflation growing, we could see mortgage rates revise higher Wednesday afternoon.
May's Retail Sales data will be released Thursday morning. This report measures consumer spending, which is important to the bond market because consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy. Analysts are expecting to see that sales rose 0.6% last month. A smaller than expected rise in sales would be good news for the bond market and could lead to lower mortgage rates Thursday.
There are two reports scheduled for release Friday. The first is May's Consumer Price Index (CPI) that measures inflationary pressures at the consumer level of the economy. This is one of the most important reports we see each month. There are two readings of this index, the overall and the core data. The core data is considered to be the more important of the two because it excludes more volatile food an d energy prices. A large increase could raise fear in the bond market that inflation is a threat. This would not be good news for bond prices or mortgage rates since inflation erodes the value of a bond's future fixed interest payments. Rising inflation causes investors to sell bonds, driving prices lower and mortgage rates higher. Analysts are expecting to see an increase of 0.5% in the overall index and a 0.2% rise in the core data.
The last report of the week is June's preliminary reading to the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment. This index measures consumer willingness to spend and usually has a moderate impact on the financial markets. It is expected to show a reading of 57.5. A larger then expected decline in consumer confidence would be considered good news for bonds, however, CPI report is much more likely to have a bigger impact on the markets than this one will.
Overall, it is going to be a fairly busy week for the financial markets. We will likely see the biggest changes to mortgage rates the latter part of the week. I feel that Friday will be the single most important day of the week but Thursday also is likely to bring significant movement in rates. Accordingly, this would be a very good week to maintain fairly constant contact with your mortgage professional.
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Lock 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.
©Mortgage Commentary 2008