October 1st, 2008 12:35 PM by Lehel Szucs
Wednesday's bond market has opened in positive territory as investors show concern about today's Senate vote on the Fed bailout plan. The stock markets are showing losses with the Dow down 113 and the Nasdaq down 22 points following yesterday's record gain in the Dow. The bond market is currently up 33/32, but we will still see an increase in this morning's mortgage rates of approximately .375 of a discount point due to yesterday's sell-off in bonds as stocks rallied.
Also helping boost bonds today was a large drop in the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index for September. Today's release revealed a reading of 43.5, which was its lowest reading since October 2001. Analysts were expecting to see a reading of 49.5, meaning manufacturer sentiment about business conditions was much lower than thought. This is good news for bonds because a weakening manufacturing sector indicates slowing economic activity and eases inflation concerns.
We need to again keep an eye on the stock markets and Fed bailout vote. The Senate is expected to vote on their plan this evening, after the markets close. Current polls are expecting the measure to pass the Senate vote, but the real question is what the House will do with it once they get it. Since current expectations are showing passage by the Senate, I don't think we will see a massive sell off in stocks again today. It seems that the markets are more concerned about the House approving the bill if the Senate does approve it. As we get closer to the House vote, we will likely see the volatility in stocks rise.
The Commerce Department will post August's Factory Orders data late tomorrow morning. This manufacturing sector report is similar to last week's Durable Goods Orders release, but includes orders for non-durable goods. It can usually impact the financial markets enough to change mortgage rates if it varies from forecasts by a wide margin. Cu rrent forecasts are calling for a decline in new orders of approximately 2.9%. An unexpected rise could drive mortgage rates higher, while a weaker than expected reading should push them lower tomorrow. However, look for the results form tonight's Senate vote to heavily influence trading in the markets tomorrow morning.
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... 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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