May 21st, 2008 1:24 PM by Lehel Szucs
Wednesday's bond market has opened in negative territory as investors prepare for today's FOMC minutes. The stock markets are posting another round of losses with the Dow down 97 points and the Nasdaq down 8 points. The bond market is currently down 9/32, which will likely push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .125 of a discount point.
There was no relevant economic news posted today. The only relevant news we really need to worry about are 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.
Tomorrow brings us no relevant economic data except for weekly unemployment claims from the Labor Department. T hey are expected to report that 372,000 new claims for benefits were filed last week. However, since this data tracks only a week's worth of numbers, it likely will not influence mortgage rates unless it varies greatly from forecasts.
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 safe haven, leading to improvements in mortgage rates. Accordingly, I am holding the float recommendations for short and longer periods for the time being.
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 o nly an opinion and cannot be guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers.
©Mortgage Commentary 2008