May 20th, 2008 10:56 AM by Lehel Szucs
Tuesday's bond market has opened in positive despite stronger than expected inflation news. The stock markets are showing significant losses with the Dow down 179 points and the Nasdaq down 30 points. The bond market is currently up 8/32, which should improve this morning's mortgage rates by approximately .250 of a discount point.
The Labor Department gave us April's Producer Price Index (PPI) this morning, showing a 0.2% increase in the overall reading. That was below the 0.4% that was forecasted. However, the bad news came in the more important core reading that showed a 0.4% increase compared to the 0.2% that was expected. This means that excluding more volatile food and energy prices, inflationary pressures were much stronger at the producer level than analysts had thought. That is a negative for bonds because those price increases will likely trickle down to the consumer level of the economy eventually.
Tomorrow's only news is the minutes from the last FOMC meeting. Market participants will be looking for how Fed members voted during the last meeting and any comments about inflation concerns in the economy. The goal is to form a guess about what the Fed's next move will be. The minutes will be released at 2:00 PM ET, so if there is a market reaction to them it will be evident during afternoon trading.
I would not be surprised to see stock prices continue to fall over the next few days. They seem to be reacting to high oil prices. If this is true, we should see funds shift into bonds as a sage haven, leading to improvements in mortgage rates. Accordingly, I am holding the float recommendations for the time being.
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Float 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 pl ace 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 2008