December 28th, 2009 11:09 AM by Lehel S.
Monday's bond market has opened in negative territory following minor gains in stocks. The stock markets are starting the week in positive ground, but not by much. The Dow is currently up 12 points while the Nasdaq has gained 4 points. The bond market is currently down 8/32, which will likely push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .250 of a discount point compared to Thursday's morning rates.
There is no relevant news scheduled for release today, leaving the stock markets to heavily influence bond trading and mortgage rates. If the major stock indexes remain near current levels, I suspect that bond prices and mortgage rates will follow suit today.
This week brings us the release of only one piece of economic data that is considered important to mortgage rates in addition to two important Treasury auctions. It is another holiday-shortened week with the New Years Day holiday Friday, so the data may have a heavier impact on tradi ng than usual if it varies from forecasts by much. The bond market will close early Thursday and remain closed Friday as it did last week. With that type of schedule, many traders will not be working the latter part of the week, so any unexpected news or data may lead to a larger than usual reaction in the markets.
The only important release comes late tomorrow morning when the Conference Board will post its Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for December. This is a pretty important release because it measures consumer willingness to spend. If consumers are more confident in their personal financial situations, they are more apt to make large purchases. Since consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, any related data is watched closely by market participants and can have a significant influence on mortgage rate direction. Current forecasts are calling for an increase in confidence from November's reading of 49.5. Analysts are expecting tomorrow's rel ease to show a reading of 53.0. The lower the reading, the better the news for bonds and mortgage pricing.
This week also has Treasury auctions scheduled the first three days. The two that are most likely to influence mortgage rates are tomorrow's 5-year and Wednesday's 7-year Note sales. If those sales are met with a strong demand, particularly Wednesday's auction, bond prices may rise during afternoon trading. This could lead to improvements to mortgage rates shortly after the results of the sales are posted at 1:00 PM ET each day. But a lackluster investor demand may create bond selling and upward revisions to mortgage rates.
The bond market will close at 2:00 PM ET Thursday and all of the U.S. financial markets will be closed Friday in observance of the New Year's Day holiday. They will reopen for regular hours next Monday morning.
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.