November 30th, 2009 9:17 AM by Lehel S.
There are five pieces of economic news that may affect mortgage rates this week. There are relevant reports scheduled for release every day except for tomorrow, meaning it likely will be a fairly active week for mortgage rates. Even though there is no relevant data being posted tomorrow, we will still likely see a change in mortgage rates due to Friday's market movements that came as a result of news from overseas-particularly Dubai. Many lenders were closed or on a skeleton staff Friday, so we should see those improvements reflected in tomorrow's rates.
November's manufacturing index from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) will kick off the week's data at 10:00 AM ET Tuesday. This index measures manufacturer sentiment and can have a considerable impact on the financial markets and mortgage rates. Current forecasts call for a decline in sentiment from October to November. October's reading was previously announced as 55.7. A weaker reading than the expected 54.8 would be good news for the bond market and mortgage rates. A reading below 50 means that more surveyed trade executives felt business worsened during the month than those who felt it had improved. The lower the reading the better the news for bonds because waning sentiment indicates a slowing manufacturing sector and makes a broader economic recovery less likely.
Wednesday's only relevant data is the Fed Beige Book release at 2:00 PM ET. This report, which is simply named after the color of its cover, details economic conditions by region. It is relied on heavily during the FOMC meetings when determining monetary policy, so its results can influence bond trading and mortgage rates if it shows any significant surprises.
The next piece of data that we need to be concerned with comes Thursday morning with the release of the revised 3rd Quarter Productivity report. This index is expected to show a downward revision from the preliminary reading of worker productivity. Higher levels of productivity are thought to allow the economy to expand without inflationary pressures rising. This is good news for the bond market because economic growth itself isn't necessarily bad for the bond market. It is the conditions around an expanding economy, such as inflation, that hurt bond prices and mortgage rates. Current forecasts are calling for an annual rate of 8.6%, down from the previous estimate of 9.5%.
The Labor Department will post November's Employment report early Friday morning. This is arguably the most important monthly report we see. It is comprised of many statistics and readings, but the most important ones are the unemployment rate, the number of news jobs added or lost during the month and average hourly earnings. Current forecasts call for no change in the unemployment rate of 10.2%, payrolls down approximately 114,000 and an increase of 0.2% in average earnings. An ideal scenario for mortgage shop pers would be a higher unemployment rate than 10.2%, a larger decline in jobs and no change in the earnings reading.
Also scheduled for release Friday is October's Factory Orders. This report is similar to last week's Durable Goods Orders release by giving us a measurement of manufacturing sector strength, except this one includes orders for both durable and non-durable goods. This data usually isn't a major influence on bond trading, but there is little chance of it impacting mortgage rates this Friday because the Employment report is an extremely important report. Analysts are expecting to see a slight increase in new orders of approximately 0.1%.
Overall, the most important day of the week is Friday with the employment figures being released, but we may also see sizable movement in rates Tuesday. Friday's data could cause a significant change in rates. If it reveals stronger than expected results we may see rates spike higher Fr iday morning, possibly erasing any gains from the week. It will probably be the key to rates moving lower or higher for the week. But we do have approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point improvement waiting for us in tomorrow morning's rates, unless something unexpected happens during early trading tomorrow. However, I suspect it will be a fairly active week for the markets and mortgage pricing, so it would be prudent to maintain contact with your mortgage professional if still floating an interest rate.
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 o ther borrowers.
©Mortgage Commentary 2009