November 13th, 2008 11:57 AM by Lehel Szucs
Thursday's bond market has opened in negative territory, erasing part of yesterday's late rally that came as a result of strong stock losses. The stock markets have opened in negative ground, continuing yesterday's selling. The Dow is currently down 90 points while the Nasdaq has lost 27 points. The bond market is currently down 4/32, but we will still likely see a small improvement in this morning's mortgage rates of approximately .125 of a discount point due to strength in bonds late yesterday.
This morning's first piece of news was the release of September's Goods and Services Trade Balance report. It gave us the size of the U.S. Trade Deficit, showing a $56.5 billion deficit. That was a little smaller than forecasts of $57.0 billion, but this data is not considered to be of high importance to the markets and has had little impact on this morning's trading or mortgage pricing.
The other news released this morning was weekly unemployment figur es from the Labor Department. They reported that new claims for benefits jumped to 516,000 last week, exceeding forecasts of 479,000. The previous week's figures were revised to 484,000, meaning analysts were expecting to see a small decline in claims when we actually saw a sizable jump. While this data is not considered to be of high importance because it tracks only a week's worth of filings, it can influence trading and rates when it varies from forecasts such as today's variance.
There are two reports scheduled for release tomorrow morning with one of them considered to be very important to the markets. October's Retail Sales report is the first and the highly important one because it measures consumer spending. Since consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, any related data is watched closely. If this report reveals weaker than expected sales, the bond market should thrive and mortgage rates will fall. Current forecasts are calling for a drop in sales of approximately 2.1%.
The second report comes late tomorrow morning when November's preliminary reading of the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment will be released. This index measures consumer confidence, which gives us an indication of consumer willingness to spend. It is expected to show a reading of 57.0, down from October's final reading of 57.6.
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 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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