April 21st, 2009 8:44 AM by Lehel Szucs
Monday's bond market has opened strong following a sizable sell-off in stocks. The stock markets are starting the week off with large losses during early trading. The Dow is currently down 213 points while the Nasdaq has lost 51 points. The bond market is currently up 28/32, but we will likely see little change in this morning's mortgage rates due to weakness late Friday.
The Conference Board gave us the week's first data late this morning, saying that their Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) for March fell 0.3%. This matched forecasts and therefore had little impact on today's bond trading or mortgage rates. The decline means that the index is predicting moderate slowing in economic activity over the next several months.
There is no relevant data scheduled for release tomorrow or Wednesday, so expect to have any movement in stocks to be the driving force behind bond and mortgage rates swings.
The National Association of Realtors wil l post March's Existing Homes Sales numbers Thursday morning, which are expected to show a drop from February. A similar report to this one and actually the week's least important data- March's New Home Sales will be released Friday morning. Both of these releases give us an indication of housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand, but unless they vary greatly from analysts' forecasts, I don't think they will cause much movement in mortgage rates.
Overall, look for Friday to be the most important day of the week with the Durable Goods report being posted. The rest of the week will likely be heavily influenced by the stock markets. If the major stock indexes rally, bonds will likely suffer and mortgage rates will move higher. If stocks fall for the week, we could see mortgage rates move lower the next few days.
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... 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