April 23rd, 2009 2:14 PM by Lehel Szucs
Thursday's bond market has opened fairly flat after this morning's economic news failed to give us any significant surprises. The stock markets are showing early losses with the Dow down 23 points and the Nasdaq down 6 points. The bond market is currently down 4/32, but we still will likely see an improvement of .125 of a discount point in this morning's mortgage rates due to strength in bonds late yesterday.
The Labor Department reported this morning that 640,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week. This nearly matched forecasts so has had little impact on this morning's bond trading and mortgage rates.
The second report released this morning came from the National Association of Realtors who said that home resales fell 3% last month. This was a larger decline than expected and indicates that the housing sector is not ready to rebound yet. This is good news for bonds, but this data is not considered to be a highly importa nt piece of data. Therefore, its results also have not heavily influenced this morning's mortgage rates.
March's Durable Goods Orders will be posted early tomorrow morning. This report gives us an indication of manufacturing sector strength by tracking orders for big-ticket items at U.S. factories. Current forecasts are calling for a decline of 1.5%. This would be a sign of manufacturing sector weakness that would be good news for bonds, especially if the report shows a larger than expected decline. A stronger level of new orders could lead to stock strength and weakness in bonds, translating into higher mortgage rates tomorrow.
The last report of the week will be March's New Home Sales data but it is the least important release of the week. It tracks approximately 15% of all home sales in the U.S., so its impact on bonds will likely be less than today's report that covered the other 85% of home sales. It is expected to show little change in sales fr om February's levels.
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