April 8th, 2010 11:04 AM by Lehel S.
Thursday's bond market has opened up slightly following news of a spike in unemployment claims and early stock weakness. The stock markets are showing losses with the Dow down 40 points and the Nasdaq down 17 points. The bond market is currently up 2/32, which with yesterday's late strength should lead to an improvement in this morning's mortgage rates of approximately .375 - .500 of a discount point over yesterday's morning rates.
The only factual economic data posted this morning was weekly unemployment figures from the Labor Department. They announced that 460,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week. This was much higher than the 435,000 that was expected. Because this data only tracks a single week's worth of new claims, it usually does not impact bond trading enough to affect mortgage rates. However, this morning's news did have a minor role in this morning's positive open.
Most of today's improvements in mortgage pr icing actually came as a result of a bond rally late yesterday. Buyers entered the market after the results of the 10-year Treasury Note action were posted yesterday afternoon. The sale went surprisingly well, which helped boost bonds in broader market. The result was downward revisions to mortgage rates late yesterday. Just how much an improvement you should see this morning depends on whether or not your lender revised rates lower yesterday afternoon and if so, by how much. Overall, the improvement should be in the neighborhood of .375 of a discount point when comparing to yesterday's morning rates.
The 30-year Bond auction is being held today. Even with the interest in yesterday's 10-year Note sale being strong, I am not expecting similar results in today's sale. As long as there is a fairly decent demand in today's auction, I suspect mortgage rates will remain near this morning's levels. But if the sale goes poorly, we may see some of yesterday's gains erased, leading to upward revisions to mortgage rates this afternoon. Results of the sale will be posted at 1:00 PM ET.
There is no relevant economic data scheduled for release tomorrow, so look for the stock markets to influence bond trading and mortgage pricing. If stocks move higher, expect bonds to fall and mortgage rates to increase. If stocks continue their weakness into this afternoon and tomorrow morning, we could see further improvements to mortgage rates tomorrow.
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.