February 27th, 2009 9:03 AM by Lehel Szucs
Friday's bond market has opened in negative territory again despite weaker than expected economic news. The stock markets are also showing early losses with the Dow down 74 points and the Nasdaq down 2 points. The bond market is currently down 11/32, which will likely push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .125 of a discount point.
Today's big news was the first revision to the 4th Quarter GDP that showed a sizable downward revision from last month's preliminary estimate. Today's release revealed that the GDP, which is the sum of all goods and services produced in the U.S. and is considered to be the best measurement of economic activity, actually shrank at 6.2% annual pace. This was much weaker than the negative 3.8% that was released last month and weaker than the 5.2% decline that was forecasted for this revision. This was also the worst quarterly reading in 26 years. That indicates that the economy was weaker than many had thought .
Generally speaking, today's headline reading was good news for bonds and mortgage rates. The problem came in a key inflation reading in the report that went from a 0.1% decline to a 0.5% gain, meaning that despite the drop in activity there still remains a concern about inflation. That has contributed to this morning's bond loss along with further debt supply concerns that are coming as a result of the Fed's revised holdings in banking giant Citigroup.
The University of Michigan's revised Index of Consumer Sentiment for February was also posted this morning. It showed a reading of 56.3, which was little change from this month's previous estimate of 56.2. This news had little impact on today's trading or mortgage pricing.
Next week is pretty busy with economic releases scheduled for four of the five trading days. The week's kicks off with the release of two reports- January's Personal Income and Outlays along with February's ISM Manufact uring Index. Both will be posted Monday morning and can influence bond trading and mortgage rates.
There is important data being posted everyday of the week except Tuesday. 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... 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.
©Mortgage Commentary 2009