October 17th, 2008 10:47 AM by Lehel Szucs
Friday's bond market opened relatively flat compared to recent trading sessions despite favorable economic news. The stock markets are up slightly with the Dow up 11 points and the Nasdaq up 6 points. The bond market is currently up 4/32, which will likely keep this morning's mortgage rates at yesterday's levels.
There were two economic report posted this morning, with both of them giving us weaker than expected results. September's Housing Starts came in at a 17-year low, further supporting the theory that the housing sector is far from a recovery. The 6.3% drop in new starts was a much larger decline than analysts had forecasted. This is good news for bonds, but since the data is not considered to be of high importance, it has had a minimal impact on mortgage rates.
The second report of the day and the last of the week was October's preliminary reading to the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment. It showed a reading of 57.5, which was well off from forecasts of a 65.0 reading. This means that consumers were much less optimistic about their own financial situations than many had thought. That is also good news for mortgage rates because waning confidence usually means consumers spend less, which in turn slows economic activity and eases inflation concerns.
Next week is very light in terms of economic releases scheduled to be posted. Monday does bring us one of the week's few reports with the posting of September's Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) that attempts to predict economic activity over the next three to six months. It is a moderately important report and may cause a slight change in mortgage rates.
Look for more details on next week's events in Sunday's weekly preview.
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock 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.
©Mortgage Commentary 2008