May 24th, 2010 11:41 AM by Lehel S.
Monday's bond market has opened in positive territory despite stronger than expected housing news. The stock markets are mixed with the Dow down 40 points and the Nasdaq up 4 points. The bond market is currently up 7/32, but we will likely still see an increase in this morning's mortgage rates of approximately .250 - .375 of a discount due to weakness late Friday.
The National Association of Realtors said late this morning that sales of existing homes rose 7.6% last month, exceeding forecasts. This indicates that the housing sector was stronger than thought last month, but since this data is not considered to be highly important to the markets, its impact on today's mortgage rates has been minimal.
The Conference Board will post May's Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) at 10:00 AM tomorrow. This is one of the more important releases of the week because is measures consumer willingness to spend. If the index rises, it indicates that consumers feel be tter about their personal financial situations and are more apt to make large purchases. If confidence is sliding, analysts think consumer spending may slow in the near future. The latter is good news for the bond market because consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy. A decline should boost bond prices and push mortgage rates lower tomorrow morning. It is expected to show a reading of 58.3 after April's 57.9 reading.
Overall, I think we have a busy week ahead of us. The big reports of the week are tomorrow's CCI and Wednesday's Durable Goods Orders. If Thursday's GDP revision varies greatly from forecasts, it can also lead to sizable changes in rates. There are also a couple of Treasury auctions that are worth noting. The 5-year Note sale is Wednesday and the 7-year Note auction on Thursday may influence bond trading and possibly mortgage rates if they are met with an exceptional demand or if there is lackluster interest from investors. The bond market will close early Friday afternoon ahead of next Monday's Memorial Day holiday. There is a pretty good possibility of seeing mortgage rates change several times this week, especially if there is more volatility in the stock markets, so please proceed extremely cautiously if still floating an interest rate.
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... Lock 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.