January 29th, 2009 1:10 PM by Lehel Szucs
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE:
Today's FOMC meeting adjourned with no change to key short-term interest rates, keeping the benchmark Fed Funds Rate near 0%. The stock markets rallied following the adjournment, pushing the Dow up 200 points and the Nasdaq higher by 53 points on the day. The bond market soured though, driving bond prices lower that pushed yields and mortgage rates higher. Overall, we can expect to see an increase in tomorrow's mortgage rates of approximately .375 of a discount point unless the morning's data offsets those losses or pushes them higher.
The post meeting statement did give us some insight into what actions the Fed may take to help boost economic activity since this rate can't be lowered any further. They indicated that they were ready to buy longer-term government securities such as the 10-year Treasury Note and 30 year Bond if they felt that it would generate lending. This is actually good news as it creates another buyer for all the debt that could some to market to pay for the stimulus package currently being considered. Unfortunately, the statement was not very definitive, more or less saying that it is an option available not a commitment to do so.
The statement also hinted at the Fed's forecast for the economy, saying that significant risks still remain but that a ?gradual recovery? could begin late this year. In other words they expect the economy to continue to slow for most of the year before slowly rebounding. That is actually fairly favorable news for bonds, but traders apparently were disappointed by the lack of solid details of what the Fed will do, particularly regarding the possibility or likelihood of buying government securities. The result was a weak afternoon for bonds and a likely upward revision to mortgage pricing.
Tomorrow morning brings us the release of December's Durable Goods Orders. This data helps us measure manufacturing strength by tracking new orders at U.S. factories for products that are expected to last three or more years. The data often is quite volatile from month to month, but is currently expected to show a decline in orders of 2.0%. A larger than expected drop would be good news for bonds and mortgage rates.
December's New Home Sales report, the sister release to Monday's Existing Home Sales, will be posted late tomorrow morning. It is expected to show another decline in sales of new homes, but is not important enough to heavily influence mortgage pricing.
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 guaran teed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers.
©Mortgage Commentary 2009