March 27th, 2010 8:03 AM by Lehel S.
Friday's bond market has opened flat again as traders look to quietly end a very volatile week. The stock markets are showing gains with the Dow up 45 points and the Nasdaq up 12 points. The bond market is nearly unchanged from yesterday's close, which will likely keep this morning's rates very close to yesterday's levels.
The final revision to the 4th Quarter GDP did give us a little surprise. The final calculation shows a 5.6% annual rate of economic growth during the last three months of last year. This was a downward revision of 0.3%, meaning that economic activity was not as strong as expected. That can be considered good news for bonds and mortgage rates. However, a key inflation reading within the data was revised slightly higher than previously estimated. But, the age of the data and the fact that we will see fresh readings on the 1st quarter next month has prevented today's results from having much of an impact on this morning's mortgage rates.
The second report of the morning was the revision to the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment for March. It showed a reading of 73.6, indicting that surveyed consumers were more optimistic about their own financial situations than many had thought. This month's initial reading was 72.5 and analysts were expecting to see a 73.0 reading this morning. Therefore, this data can be considered negative for bonds because it means consumers may be more willing to spend. Although, this report is not considered to be highly important so its impact on today's mortgage rates has been minimal.
Next week is very active in terms of relevant economic reports being released. There are reports scheduled to be posted every day next week. They start with February's Personal Income and Outlays data early Monday morning and conclude Friday with the almighty monthly Employment report. In between we have several releases scheduled that can influence mort gage rates also. It will be a holiday-shortened week for the stock markets, but not so much for the bond market. The stock markets will be closed Good Friday, but the bond market will open for a half day of trading. This means that the bond market will be able to react to Friday's key data but the stock markets will have to wait until Monday. Look for Sunday's weekly preview to detail next week's events.
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 financing a home. It is only an opinion and cannot be guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers.