November 15th, 2008 8:17 AM by Lehel Szucs
Friday's bond market has opened in positive territory following the release of weaker than expected economic news. The stock markets are posting sizable losses after yesterday's late rally in stocks hurt bond prices and mortgage rates. The Dow is currently down 260 points while the Nasdaq has lost 60 points. The bond market is currently up 22/32, but due to yesterday's late losses we likely will not see much of an improvement in this morning's mortgage rates.
October's Retail Sales report was posted this morning, showing a surprising drop in sales of 2.8%. This was a larger decline than was expected, the fourth consecutive monthly drop and the largest monthly decline since January 1987. This indicates that the economy is still softening, which is good news for the bond market and mortgage rates.
The second report of the day was the preliminary reading to the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment for this month. This index measures consumer confidence, which gives us an indication of consumer willingness to spend. It revealed a reading of 57.9 that was a little stronger than expected, but not enough to negatively affect bond trading.
Next week is moderately busy with economic reports but it does bring us the release of two key inflation readings that can significantly impact bond prices and mortgage rates. The week kicks off Monday with the release of October's Industrial Production that tracks manufacturing output. This report is considered to have a medium level of importance to the markets and is expected to show a small decline in output.
Besides the two inflation readings and Monday's manufacturing report, we also will get the minutes from the last FOMC meeting and a couple of other lesser important releases. 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 closin g 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