April 7th, 2010 9:58 AM by Lehel S.
Wednesday's bond market has opened fairly flat as investors cautiously prepare for today's important auction. The stock markets are showing losses with the Dow down 66 points and the Nasdaq down 5 points. The bond market is currently down 2/32, but we will probably still see an improvement in this morning's mortgage rates of approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point due to strength late yesterday.
There is no relevant economic data scheduled for release today. Yesterday's FOMC minutes did shed some light on the Fed's current thought process about rates and the economy. They indicated that despite recent signs of the economy gaining strength, they have concerns that it may not be able to continue on that pace. Any concerns about the economy being able to expand are considered to be good news for bonds and mortgage rates. However, the minutes also hinted that the Fed may be closer to raising key short-term interest rates than some had thought. The lan guage that the Fed had been using of ?an extended period? when referring to how long they expect those rates to remain this low was clarified to mean a change could come sooner than what was previously thought. Overall, the release didn't hurt the bond market or mortgage rates, but didn't do much to help them either.
There are two events worth watching today. The first is the 10-year Treasury Note auction, which is the more likely candidate to affect mortgage rates in my opinion. Results of the sale will be posted at 1:00 PM ET. Expectations for the sale are not high. If the investor demand was indeed weak, we may see selling in bonds this afternoon that lead to upward changes in mortgage rates. However, if we are surprised by a decent interest, particularly from international buyers, there is a good possibility of seeing bonds rally and mortgage rates move lower this afternoon.
The second event is a speech by Fed Chairman Bernanke at 1:30 PM ET. He is speaking in Dallas and is expected to touch on the economy. So, it does make our radar as something worth watching out for. If he gives an indication that the economy will have a difficult time recovering at its current pace, we may see bonds react favorably as a result. I suspect that he will not say much that is a surprise, so the likelihood of this event impacting mortgage rates is moderate.
There is no relevant economic data being posted tomorrow except for weekly unemployment figures from the Labor Department. They are expected to report that 435,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week. This would be a small decline from the previous week, but unless there is a large variance from that total, this data will have minimal influence on mortgage pricing.
There also is the 30-year Bond auction tomorrow. It will be the same pattern as today's 10-year Note sale with results being posted at 1:00 PM ET. This sale is somewh at relative to mortgage rates, but not nearly important as today's 10-year Note sale is. We usually see similar results, so if today's sale goes badly, there is little likelihood of tomorrow's going exceptionally well.
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.