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Mortgage Rates (1/31/2011 - afternoon update)

January 31st, 2011 9:42 PM by Lehel S.


Monday’s bond market has opened slightly in negative territory following the release of some mixed economic news. The stock markets are showing minor gains with the Dow up 26 points and the Nasdaq up 4 points. The bond market is currently down 3/32, but we should still see an improvement in this morning’s mortgage rates of approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point due to strength late Friday.

January's Personal Income and Outlays data was posted this morning, giving us mixed results. It revealed a 0.4% increase in income and a 0.7% rise in spending. The income reading was slightly lower than forecasts, making it good news for mortgage rates. Offsetting the news was the stronger than expected increase in spending. This means that consumers had less money to spend than thought, but spent more than many had predicted. Therefore, this data should be considered neutral towards mortgage pricing.

The rest of the week is extremely bus y and should bring movement in mortgage rates several days. There are four more economic releases scheduled for the week, two of which are known to be extremely influential on the financial and mortgage markets. The stock markets will also affect bond trading and mortgage pricing. Stock weakness usually makes bonds more attractive to investors and the buying leads to improve mortgage pricing.

Tomorrow’s only economic report is the Institute of Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index, coming during late morning hours. This index tracks manufacturer sentiment by rating surveyed trade executives' opinions of business conditions. It is usually the first economic data released each month and is one of this week's very important reports. Current forecasts are calling for a reading in the neighborhood of 57.5 that would be an increase from December's reading. The lower the reading, the better the news for the bond market and mortgage rates because weak sent iment indicates a slowing manufacturing sector.

Overall, look for tomorrow and Friday to be the biggest days for mortgage rates. Friday's Employment report is the most important piece of data, but tomorrow’s ISM Index draws a lot of attention also. If we get weaker than expected results from tomorrow's ISM report and Friday's employment data, we should see rates close the week lower than this morning's opening levels. If the data shows stronger than expected results, we may see mortgage rates move higher for the week. With some very important data being posted over the next several days, I strongly recommend keeping fairly constant contact with your mortgage professional if 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... F loat 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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Posted by Lehel S. on January 31st, 2011 9:42 PM

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