March 10th, 2009 7:19 PM by Lehel Szucs
Tuesday's bond market has opened in negative territory with stocks rallying behind favorable earnings news from Citigroup. The Dow is currently up 254 points while the Nasdaq has gained 60 points. The bond market is currently down 24/32, but I am expecting to see an increase in this morning's mortgage rates of approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point.
The news that banking giant Citigroup was profitable the first two months of the year has led to rally in many sectors that have been hit hard due to economic and stability news. Whether or not this rally is the beginning reversal for stocks or if this is just a good day in a bad quarter remains to be seen. It will be interesting to see if the major indexes can hold this morning's gains during afternoon trading and over the next few days. If not, look for more selling in stocks that could benefit bonds and mortgage rates. However, if they continue to rise, we may see pressure in bonds that lead to high er mortgage rates in the near future.
There is no relevant economic data scheduled for release again today. The rest of the week brings us the release of three economic reports for the bond and mortgage markets to digest along with 10-year Treasury Note and 30 year Bond auctions. The first will be held tomorrow with results posted at 1:00 PM. It is fairly common to see weakness in bonds right before the sales as trading firms prepare for them. If the auctions are met with a strong demand, that weakness is usually erased almost immediately.
The most important of the three reports will be posted Thursday morning when February's Retail Sales data is released. This report is extremely important to the financial markets because it measures consumer spending. Since consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, data that is related usually has a big impact on the financial markets. This month's report is expected to show a decline in sales of a pproximately 0.4%. If it reveals a larger decline in sales, the bond market should rise and mortgage rates will likely fall. If it reveals an increase, I expect to see bond prices fall and mortgage rates rise Thursday 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... 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