November 19th, 2008 1:41 PM by Lehel Szucs
Wednesday's bond market has opened in positive territory following favorable results from today's CPI release. The stock markets are showing another round of early losses with the Dow down 150 points and the Nasdaq down 40 points. The bond market is currently up 17/32, which will likely improve this morning's mortgage rates by approximately .250 of a discount point.
The Labor Department gave us today's big news with the release of October's Consumer Price Index (CPI). They reported that the overall reading fell 1.0% last month while the core data fell 0.1%. Both of these readings were below forecasts, indicating that inflationary pressures at the consumer level of the economy were not as bad as many had thought. This is very good news for bonds and mortgage rates.
October's Housing Starts was also posted this morning, showing a stronger level of new starts than what forecasts were calling for. That could be considered bad news for the bond ma rket and mortgage pricing, but this data is not considered to be of high importance to the markets therefore has had little impact on today's pricing.
The minutes to the last FOMC meeting will be released at 2:00 PM ET. These may be a major mover of the markets or could be a non-factor, depending on what they say. The key will be concerns over inflation and the Fed's next move. If the Fed members were concerned about inflationary pressures, we may see the bond market move lower and mortgage rates higher tomorrow afternoon. However, if they indicate a likelihood of another rate cut in the coming months, we should see the bond market rise and mortgage rates drop during afternoon trading.
Tomorrow brings us the release of weekly unemployment figures and October's Leading Economic Indicators (LEI). The Labor Department will post weekly unemployment claims but unless it varies greatly from the 503,000 that is expected, I don't believe this data will affect tomorrow's mortgage pricing.
The LEI will be posted by the Conference Board at 10:00 AM ET and is expected to show a decline of 0.6%. This means that the report is predicting economic activity to slow relatively quickly in the next three to six months. That would be good news for bonds because a slowing or weakening economy generally speaking makes bonds more attractive to investors and usually leads to lower mortgage rates.
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Float 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.
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