March 19th, 2009 9:52 AM by Lehel Szucs
Thursday's bond market has opened in positive territory this morning as yesterday's afternoon news has continued into this morning's trading. The stock markets are not boding so well with the Dow down 37 points and the Nasdaq down 3 points. The bond market is currently up 7/32, which will likely keep mortgage rates near yesterday's afternoon pricing. Overall, this morning's rates should be approximately .625 of a discount point lower than yesterday's morning rates. This equates to an improvement of a little more than .125 of a percent in rate.
Today's economic data did not heavily influence trading or mortgage rates. The Labor Department gave us weekly unemployment claim figures, saying that 646,000 new claims for benefits were filed last week. This was a little lower than expected, but offsetting that number was news that the number of continuing claims reached a record number. Generally speaking, this data is not considered to be of high importance to the markets, so its impact on rates is usually limited.
The second piece of news was February's Leading Economic Indicators (LEI). The Conference Board reported that the index fell 0.4% last month, which was stronger than the 0.6% decline that was expected. However, they also revised January's reading weaker by 0.3%, effectively making this morning's results a non-factor in the markets. But it does indicate that economic conditions are expected to weaken moderately over the next several months and that is favorable for bonds.
There is no relevant economic news scheduled for release tomorrow. I would not be surprised to see the bond market give back a little of this week's gains as the markets stabilize. This could lead to a small increase in mortgage rates if true. Therefore, we may want to consider locking an interest rate if closing in the immediate future. The longer-term out look is still quite favorable for mortgage shoppers in my opinion t hough.
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Float 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