November 17th, 2008 9:36 AM by Lehel Szucs
Monday's bond market has opened in positive territory following another round of stock weakness that has bonds looking more attractive to investors. The stock markets are continuing Friday's selling with the Dow currently down 162 points and the Nasdaq down 30 points. The bond market is currently up 11/32, which should improve this morning's mortgage rates by approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point.
Today's Industrial Production report revealed a much larger than expected increase in manufacturer output. The 1.3% increase greatly exceeded analysts' forecasts of a 0.1% decline in output, meaning that U.S. factories, mines and utilities were busier than many had thought. This is considered to be negative news for bonds and mortgage rates.
The rest of the week brings us the release of four more monthly reports for the markets to digest along with the minutes from the last FOMC meeting. The first of the week's two key inflation readings will be posted early tomorrow morning when October's Producer Price Index (PPI) is released. The PPI measures inflationary pressures at the producer level of the economy. There are two portions of the index that are used- the overall reading and the core data reading. The core data is the more important of the two because it excludes more volatile food and energy prices.
If the core data reveals stronger than expected readings, indicating that inflationary pressures are rising, the bond market will probably react negatively and should drive mortgage rates higher. If we see in-line or weaker than expected numbers, mortgage rates should fall. Current forecasts are calling for a decline of 1.8% in the overall reading and a 0.1% increase in the core reading.
Overall, look for tomorrow or Wednesday to be the most important day of the week with the PPI and CPI reports scheduled for release those days. They are the two most important releases of the week and ca n individually lead to large swings in the markets and mortgage rates. The FOMC minutes may also heavily influence trading and deserve to be watched also. I think this will be a fairly active week for mortgage rates, so please maintain regular 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... 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