Our Real Estate Blog

Mortgage Rates (3/2/2011)

March 2nd, 2011 2:46 PM by Lehel S.

Wednesday’s bond market has opened in negative territory following early stock gains. However, the major stock indexes has since moved the opposite direction. The Dow was up 58 points earlier this morning, but is now down 14 points. The Nasdaq is currently up 9 points, down from its peak of a 25-point gain. The bond market is currently down 8/32, but we will likely still see an improvement of approximately .125 in this morning’s mortgage rates due to strength late yesterday.

There was no relevant government economic data posted this morning. The private-sector employment-related reports that were posted didn’t exactly give us great news, but they also didn’t raise much concern in the markets either. Their results gave an indication of strength in the labor market, which is considered unfavorable news for bonds and mortgage rates. The good news is that the results did not show a significant surprise from forecasts.

Fed Chairman Bernanke is appearing before the House Financial Services Committee this morning in what is basically a repeat of yesterday’s proceedings before the Senate Banking Committee. His prepared statement matched yesterday’s, so they had little impact on the markets. He is currently in the Question and Answer portion of the proceedings, but there has been nothing of significance to report- at least not as of yet.

The Fed Beige Book will be posted at 2:00 PM ET this afternoon. This report details economic activity throughout the country by region. The Fed relies heavily on this data during their FOMC meetings, so look for a potential reaction later today. It probably will not cause a major sell off in the stock or bond markets, but could cause enough movement in bond prices to possibly improve or worsen mortgage rates slightly if it reveals any significant surprises.

Tomorrow’s only monthly or quarterly data is the revised Productiv ity index for the 4th Quarter of last year. The preliminary reading posted last month showed an annual rate of 2.6% increase in worker output. Analysts are expecting to see a 0.3% downward revision to the initial reading. Employee productivity is watched fairy closely because a higher level of output per hour is believed to mean that the economy can expand without inflation concerns, although it will likely take a noticeable revision for this data to affect bond trading and mortgage rates tomorrow.

The Labor Department will give us last week’s employment figures early tomorrow morning. They are expected to announce that there were 400,000 new claims for unemployment benefits last week, increasing from the previous week. This data normally does not heavily influence mortgage rates because it tracks only a single week’s worth of new claims. But with the monthly report coming Friday morning, we may see the markets and rates react a little more than usu al as investors prepare for February’s figures.

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. 
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Posted by Lehel S. on March 2nd, 2011 2:46 PM

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