February 26th, 2010 10:21 AM by Lehel S.
Friday's bond market has opened up slightly despite an upward revision to the 4th Quarter GDP reading. The stock markets are in negative ground with the Dow down 26 points and the Nasdaq down 3 points. The bond market is currently up 3/32, but I don't think we will see much of a change in this morning's mortgage rates, possibly a slight improvement.
This morning's GDP revision for the 4th quarter came in a little higher or stronger than last month's previous estimate of 5.7%. Today's release showed a 5.9% rate of growth, meaning economic activity was stronger than many had thought. This headline number is bad news for bonds and mortgage rates because a strengthening economy raises inflation concerns and make bonds less appealing to investors. However, a relatively important inflation reading within the data was revised lower than previously thought. That has helped to keep bonds in positive ground during early trading.
The second report of the morning came from the University of Michigan who updated their Index of Consumer Sentiment for February. They announced a reading of 73.6 that was close to forecasts. It is a slight decline from the previous estimate but I don't believe this small change will affect mortgage pricing today.
Also posted this morning was January's Existing Home Sales data from the National Association of Realtors. They reported a 7.2% decline in home resales last month when a small increase was expected. This dropped sales to their lowest level since last summer, indicating that the housing sector still has some hurdles to tackle. This can be considered favorable news for bonds, but the data usually does not heavily influence trading or mortgage rates.
Next week is looking to be pretty active with several important economic reports scheduled for release. There is relevant data being posted four out of the five days, with a couple of them having multiple releases sche duled. Monday does bring us the release of some important data with January's Personal Income and Outlays report and February's ISM manufacturing index both scheduled. Income and spending are bother expected to rise, but the ISM index is likely to show that manufacturer sentiment slipped this month. Look for more details on next week's events in Sunday's weekly preview.
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.