November 24th, 2008 10:07 AM by Lehel Szucs
This holiday-shortened week brings us the release of an abundance of economic reports for the markets to digest. There are seven reports on the calendar with several being considered to be of high importance to the bond market and mortgage rates. With multiple moderately or highly important reports due out more than one day this week, we will likely see a fair amount of movement in mortgage rates day to day.
October's Existing Home Sales data will be posted late this morning. This report, along with Wednesday's New Home Sales data are the least important reports of the week. They give us a measurement of housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand, but the bond market generally does not rely heavily on their results.
The first important data comes early tomorrow morning brings us the first revision to the 3rd Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reading. The GDP revision is expected to show a downward revision from last month's preliminary r eading of -0.3%. Current forecasts call for a reading of approximately -0.6%, meaning that there was less economic growth during the third quarter than previously thought. This would be good news for the bond market and mortgage rates.
Late tomorrow morning, November's Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) will be posted. The Conference Board will release the CCI for the month of November at 10:00 AM ET, giving us a measurement of consumer willingness to spend. If consumer confidence is rising, analysts believe that consumers are more apt to make larger purchases, essentially fueling economic growth. This raises inflation concerns and usually pushes mortgage rates higher. Analysts are expecting a small increase from last month's 38.0 reading to somewhere around 39.5. A weaker than expected reading should be good news for mortgage rates, but a stronger than expected reading could push mortgage rates higher Tuesday.
There are four importan t reports scheduled to be posted Wednesday morning. October's Durable Goods Orders is the first and will be posted early morning. This data helps us measure manufacturing strength by tracking orders for big-ticket items. It is expected to show a 2.5% drop in new orders. A larger decline would be good news for the bond market and mortgage rates.
The second is October's Personal Income and Outlays data. This data is thought to measure consumers' ability to spend and their current spending habits. It is expected to show that income rose 0.1% and that spending fell 0.7%. Smaller than expected readings would be good news for bonds and could lead to improvements in mortgage rates.
The revised November reading to the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment will also be posted late Wednesday morning. Analysts are expecting to see little change to the preliminary reading of 57.9. Unless we see a significant variance from the fore casted reading, I don't think this data will cause much movement in mortgage rates Wednesday.
Overall, I believe that it is going to be an active week for the mortgage market. Today or Friday will be the least important day of the week and either Tuesday or Wednesday will be the most important. The bond market will close early Wednesday and remain closed Thursday in observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. I still expect to see plenty of movement in rates the remaining days, so please be careful and maintain contact with your mortgage professional if you have not locked an interest rate yet.
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 financi ng 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