December 7th, 2009 11:26 AM by Lehel S.
This week is fairly light in terms of the number of economic releases scheduled for release. There are only three on the agenda but one of them is considered to be very important and can heavily influence the markets and mortgage pricing. In addition, there are two Treasury auctions the middle part of the week that may hurt or help boost bond prices, depending on how strong of a demand there is for the sales. Since all of the relevant data is scheduled for release Thursday and Friday, the most movement in rates will likely be the middle or latter part of the week.
Fed Chairman Bernanke will be speaking to the Economic Club of Washington D.C. at noon tomorrow. This is not considered to be an important speech and likely will not influence mortgage rates. However, whenever he does speak publicly, the possibility does exist that his words could rattle or rally the markets. I am not concerned about this one and don't feel there should be much attention placed on it.
The two important Treasury auctions are the 10-year Note sale Wednesday and the 30-year Bond sale Thursday. Wednesday's auction is the more important of the two events and will likely influence mortgage rates more. Results of each sale will be posted at 1:00 PM ET. If they were met with a strong demand from investors, particularly international buyers, we should see afternoon strength in bonds and improvements to mortgage pricing those days.
There is no relevant economic news scheduled for release tomorrow, Tuesday or Wednesday. October's Goods and Services Trade Balance report will be posted early Thursday morning. This report gives the size of the U.S. trade deficit, but it is the week's least important release. It is expected to show a $37.0 billion trade deficit. Unless it varies greatly from forecasts, I don't expect it to affect mortgage pricing.
The most important data of the week comes early Friday morning with the release of N ovember's Retail Sales report. This data is very important to the financial markets because it measures consumer spending. Since consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, any related data is watched closely. Current forecasts call for it to show a 0.7% increase in sales from October's levels. If it reveals weaker than expected sales, the bond market should thrive and mortgage rates should fall as a result. A stronger than expected reading could fuel stock market gains and push mortgage rates higher Friday morning.
Also Friday is the release of December's preliminary reading to the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment. This index measures consumer willingness to spend and can usually have enough of an impact on the financial markets to change mortgage rates slightly. However, with the Retail Sales data report before this data, I don't expect it to affect mortgage rates much. It is expected to show a reading of 6 8.5, which would be an increase from last month's final reading.
Overall, expect to see a pretty volatile second half of the week with the biggest moves in mortgage pricing likely to come Wednesday or Friday. Friday's Retail Sales report can cause a great deal of movement in rates, but Wednesday's Treasury auction may also help determine if rates will close the week higher or lower than tomorrow's opening levels. It will also be interesting to see if bonds extend Friday's selling into tomorrow's trading or if they recover some of those losses. This looks to be one of those weeks that maintaining contact with your mortgage professional would be wise.
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.