December 31st, 2008 10:26 AM by Lehel Szucs
Wednesday's bond market has opened in negative territory following morning gains in stocks. The stock markets are looking to close a very rough year on a positive note with the Dow up 75 points and the Nasdaq up 20 points. The bond market is currently down 14/32, but we will see an improvement in this morning's mortgage rates of approximately .250 - .375 of a discount point due to strength late yesterday.
The Labor Department did give us a surprise in this morning's release of weekly unemployment figures. They reported that new claims for benefits fell drastically last week. They were expected to be at 575,000, but today's release announced that only 492,000 new claims were filed. Fortunately, this data is not considered to be of high importance to the markets therefore the impact on mortgage rates has not been significant.
The bond market will close early today ahead of the New Year's Day holiday tomorrow and will remain closed until Friday mo rning. The stock markets will also be closed tomorrow.
The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index will be released late Friday morning. This highly important index measures manufacturer sentiment. A reading below 50 means that more surveyed manufacturing executives felt that business worsened during the month than those who felt it had improved. Analysts are currently expecting to see a 35.4 reading in this month's release, meaning that sentiment fell from November's 36.2. A smaller reading will be good news for the bond market and mortgage shoppers while a higher than expected reading could lead to higher mortgage rates Friday morning.
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