March 10th, 2010 6:16 PM by Lehel S.
Wednesday's bond market has opened in negative territory as investors prepare for today's Treasury auction. The stock markets are showing minor gains again with the Dow up 13 points and the Nasdaq up 7 points. The bond market is currently down 8/32, which will likely push this morning's rates higher by approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point.
There is no relevant economic data scheduled for release today. The 10-year Treasury Note auction is being held today and could influence mortgage rates later. It is common to see some weakness ahead of these important sales as participants look to protect themselves against potential volatility. This is especially true when there is not a high expectation of a strong sale. However, if the sales are met with decent demand, it is also common to see the morning losses erased during afternoon trading.
Results of today's auction will be posted at 1:00 PM ET. If investor demand for the 10-year Notes was h igh, we may see bonds rally during afternoon trading, possibly improving mortgage rates this afternoon. But, is the sale was met with weak interest, selling in bonds could precede an increase to mortgage pricing. The results of recent sales do not give us much to look forward to, so it is not likely that these auctions will fuel a bond rally today. We also get to repeat the process tomorrow for the 30-year bond auction.
Tomorrow brings us the release of two relatively minor economic reports. January's Goods and Services Trade Balance is the first. It gives us the size of the U.S. trade deficit and is expected to show a $41.0 billion deficit. It is the week's least important piece of news and likely will not influence mortgage rates much.
Also early tomorrow morning is the weekly release of unemployment figures from the Labor Department. They are expected to say that 460,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, which would be a decline from the previous week. The larger the number, the better the news for bonds and mortgage pricing. However, since it tracks only a week's worth of new claims, it usually takes a wide variance between forecasts and the actual total for it to affect mortgage rates.
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... 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.