March 24th, 2009 1:44 PM by Lehel Szucs
Tuesday's bond market has opened in negative territory with no relevant data scheduled for release today. The stock markets are showing minor losses compared to yesterday's significant rally with the Dow down 42 points and the Nasdaq down 14 points. The bond market is currently down 9/32, which will likely push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .250 of a discount point.
Today's selling does not completely surprise me. After the size of last week's rally, there is still room for profit taking so that traders can capture the gains from that rally. They also need to prepare for upcoming economic reports, beginning with next week's highly important data. With this being a fairly uneventful week in terms of expected announcements and the level of importance of the economic news on tap, traders are taking the opportunity to reposition their portfolios and prepare for the next few weeks.
There are two reports scheduled for release tomorrow. The first is the week's most important and comes from the Commerce Department. They will release February's Durable Goods Orders early tomorrow morning. This report gives us a measurement of manufacturing sector strength by tracking new orders for big-ticket items, or products that are expected to last three or more years. This data is known to be volatile from month to month but is still considered to be of high importance. Analysts are expecting it to show a decline in new orders of approximately 2.4%. A smaller decline would be considered a negative for bonds and could lead to higher mortgage rates tomorrow morning.
The second of the day will be released at 10:00 AM ET. February's New Home Sales report is expected to show a small decline in sales of newly constructed homes. But with tomorrow's report covering only approximately 15% of all home sales, its result will likely have less of an impact on mortgage rates than yesterday's Existing Home Sa les report did.
Thursday and Friday bring us the release of a couple of moderately important reports. Thursday's final reading to the 4th Quarter GDP will likely not influence trading or mortgage rates much. Friday's Personal Income and Outlays data, along with the revised reading to this month's University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment are a little more important to rates than Thursday's report is, but both are generally considered to be only moderately important. In other words, it will likely take a large variance from forecasts for them cause a noticeable change in mortgage rates.
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 fin ancing 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