October 27th, 2008 9:28 AM by Lehel Szucs
Monday's bond market has opened fairly flat with the stock markets mixed and despite stronger than expected economic news. The stock markets are in another volatile session after the international markets that had another significant sell-off. The Dow is moving in a range of 250 points between its high and low of the morning, but currently stands up 30 points. The Nasdaq is also fluctuating between positive and negative ground and is currently down 6 points. The bond market is up 2/32, but we will likely see an increase in this morning's mortgage rates of approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point due to movements late Friday.
Today's only economic data is the week's least important. September's New Home Sales report was posted late this morning, showing an increase in sales of 2.7% when it was expected to reveal another decline. However, offsetting that increase was a downward revision to August's sales figures. Still, this data is not considered to be of high importance and has not influenced bond trading or mortgage rates today.
Tomorrow morning brings us the release of the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for the month of October. This Conference Board index will be posted at 10:00 AM and gives us a measurement of consumer willingness to spend. It is expected to show a sizable decline in confidence from last month's 59.8 reading, indicating that consumers are less likely to make large purchases in the near future. As long as the reading doesn't exceed the forecasted 52.0, we will likely see the bond market react favorably to this report. This data is watched closely because consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy.
The week's FOMC meeting is a two-day meeting that begins tomorrow and adjourns Wednesday afternoon. Assuming the Fed stands pat and leaves rates unchanged, traders will be looking at the post-meeting statement for any indication of the Fed's next move. Since there is a fair amount of uncertainty and a lack of a strong consensus of what the Fed will do here, the move itself, if it happens, will likely cause plenty of volatility in addition to the post-meeting statement. The meeting will adjourn at 2:00 PM Wednesday, so look for quite a bit of volatility during afternoon hours.
Overall, it is difficult to peg a single day of the week as being the most important but I am expecting to see plenty of movement in rates this week. The data being posted tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday is all very important to the markets. The FOMC meeting is the single most important event of the week, but we may see noticeable movement in mortgage rates several days this week. Accordingly, please maintain 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... Float if my clo sing 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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