December 3rd, 2008 12:07 PM by Lehel Szucs
Tuesday's bond market has opened in negative territory following a rebound in stock prices. The stock markets are bouncing off yesterday's beating with the Dow up 250 points and the Nasdaq up 47 points. The bond market is currently down 8/32, which will likely push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .125 of a discount point.
There is no relevant economic news scheduled for release today. It is the only day of the week that we will not get some type of relevant data. The next report that we need to be concerned with comes tomorrow 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 cond itions around economic growth, such as inflation that hurt bond prices and mortgage rates. Current forecasts are calling for an annual rate of 0.9%, down from the previous estimate of 1.1%.
The Fed Beige Book will be posted tomorrow afternoon. This report, which is 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 it results can influence bond trading and mortgage rates if it shows any significant surprises.
The recent bond rally has driven bond prices higher and mortgage rates lower, however, I am concerned that we may see an increase in rates before they fall much further. The rally creates a situation where bond traders may sell holdings to capture profits from it. If there is a concern in the market whether bonds can improve much more, that move may happen sooner than later and can lead to a spike in mortgage rates. Therefore, I strong ly recommend that you maintain contact with your mortgage professional if still floating an interest rate because rate usually move higher much quicker than they improve.
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Lock 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