April 5th, 2010 10:02 AM by Lehel S.
Monday's bond market has opened in negative territory following early stock gains. The stocks markets are reacting favorably to Friday's data as they were expected to do. The Dow is currently 54 points while the Nasdaq has gained 22 points. The bond market is currently down 5/32, which will likely push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .125 of a discount point over Friday's morning rates.
This week brings us the release of little relevant economic data for the markets to digest. We will, however, see the minutes from the last FOMC meeting and have a couple of Treasury auctions to watch. There are no relevant monthly economic reports scheduled for release this week, so look for the stock markets to heavily influence bond trading and mortgage rates.
There is no relevant news scheduled until tomorrow afternoon when the FOMC minutes will be released. Market participants will be looking at these minutes closely. They give us insigh t to the Fed's current thought process and individual Fed member opinions. Any surprises in the 2:00 PM ET release, particularly about inflation or when the Fed may start raising key interest rates, could cause afternoon volatility in the markets tomorrow and possible changes in mortgage pricing.
The two Treasury auctions are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. There is a 10-year Treasury Note sale Wednesday and a 30-year Bond sale Thursday. We could see some weakness in bonds ahead of the sales as investing firms sell current holdings to prepare for them. This weakness is usually only temporary if the sales are met with a decent demand. The results of the auctions will be posted at 1:00 PM ET each day. If the demand from investors was strong, the bond market could rally during afternoon trading, leading to lower mortgage rates. If the sales were met with a poor demand, the afternoon weakness may cause upward revisions to mortgage pricing Wednesday and/or Thursd ay afternoon.
Overall, I am proceeding into this week very cautiously. There are several variables that could make this week very quiet or quite rocky for mortgage shoppers. Tomorrow's FOMC minutes could very well be a major market mover or a complete non-factor. The same goes for the Treasury auctions. In other words, we may have a very calm week ahead of us, or we may see rates move noticeably several days. With no important economic data to drive trading and mortgage rates, bonds may move opposite of stocks. This means large stock gains could lead to bond selling and higher mortgage rates. But stock weakness could lead to mortgage pricing improving for the week. Regardless, a lack of economic data is not reason to let our guard down if still floating an interest rate. Watch the market closely and proceed cautiously if not locked yet.
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... F loat 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.