December 5th, 2008 7:18 AM by Lehel Szucs
Thursday's bond market has opened in positive territory following the release of weaker than expected economic news and a lackluster open in stocks. The stock markets are currently mixed with the Dow down 15 points and the Nasdaq up 6 points. The bond market is currently up 8/32, which will likely improve this morning's mortgage rates by approximately .250 of a discount point.
The Commerce Department said late this morning that October's Factory Orders fell 5.1%. This was the third consecutive month of a decline in new orders and a larger drop than analysts had expected. Forecasts were calling for a drop of 4.5% in orders, meaning that the manufacturing sector was weaker than thought. While this is good news for the bond market and mortgage rates, this data is no considered to be of high importance so its impact on trading and mortgage pricing was fairly minimal.
Earlier this morning, the Labor Department gave us last week's weekly unemployment claim figures. They reported a drop in new claims, pegging the total at 509,000 compared to forecasts of 540,000 new claims. But, since this data tracks only a week's worth of new claims, it is also not considered to be of high importance to the markets.
The Labor Department will also post November's Employment report early tomorrow 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 another upward change in the unemployment rate to 6.8%, payrolls down approximately 325,000 and an increase of 0.2% in average earnings. An ideal scenario for mortgage shoppers would be a higher unemployment rate than 6.8%, a larger decline in jobs and no change in the earnings portion.
Regardless of its results, look for tomorrow morning's r eport to cause a fair amount of volatility in the markets and mortgage rates, especially if they vary much from forecasts.
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... Lock 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