May 1st, 2009 12:49 PM by Lehel Szucs
Friday's bond market has opened in negative territory after this morning's economic data gave us mixed results. The stock markets opened with early losses but have since rebounded. The Dow is currently up 16 points and the Nasdaq is up 2 points. The bond market is currently down 12/32, but we will likely see little change to this morning's mortgage rates due to strength late yesterday. This morning's losses will erase the gains that may have been expected from the afternoon improvements we saw yesterday.
There were three relevant reports posted this morning, but they failed to give us a clear picture of an improving economy or further weakness. The first was the University of Michigan's update to their Index of Consumer Sentiment for April. It revealed a reading of 65.1 that exceeded forecasts of 61.5, indicating that consumers were more comfortable with their own financial situations than many had thought. This can be considered a negative for bonds bec ause a higher level of confidence usually translates into increases in consumer spending.
The second was March's Factory Orders data that gave us favorable results. The Commerce Department said that new orders for durable and non-durable goods fell 0.9% in March, which was a larger than expected drop. They also announced a sizable downward revision to February's orders (from 1.8% gain to .7% gain), meaning that factory orders were weaker than expected over the past couple of months.
The most important data of the morning was the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index. They announced a reading of 40.1 that exceeded forecasts by a couple of points. That means that more surveyed manufacturers felt business had improved during the month than had said so last month. Since this means that manufacturing activity may be improving, it is considered bad news for bonds.
Next week is fairly light in terms of the number of econom ic reports scheduled for release, but it does yield some very important employment data. The only relevant data that is expected to influence bond trading and mortgage rates comes out later in the week. There is nothing of concern due out Monday, but look for details on next week's events in Sunday's weekly preview.
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... Lock 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