June 22nd, 2009 10:29 AM by Lehel Szucs
This week will likely prove to be very active in terms of mortgage rate movement due to the economic data and other events that are scheduled. There are six economic reports scheduled for release, but in addition to the data another Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting will be held and another round of Treasury sales are on the calendar. Together, we have the makings of a potentially volatile week in the financial and mortgage markets.
There is no relevant economic news scheduled for release tomorrow. Tuesday brings us the first data with the release of May's Existing Home Sales report. The National Association of Realtors will give us figures on home resales. This data helps us measure housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand, but it is one of the week's less important reports. It is expected to show an increase in sales from April to May.
The only important release scheduled for Wednesday is May's Durable G oods Orders, which gives us an indication of manufacturing sector strength. It is known to be quite volatile from month to month and is expected to show a decline of 0.5% in new orders from April to May. A larger decline would be the ideal scenario for the bond market and could lead to a decline in mortgage pricing Wednesday.
Also Wednesday is the release of May's New Home Sales that is similar to Tuesday's Existing Home Sales report. This report tells us how well sales of newly constructed homes were last month. It is also expected to show a rise in sales, but will likely not have much of an impact on mortgage rates because this data is considered to be of low importance to the markets.
The FOMC meeting that begins Tuesday afternoon will adjourn Wednesday afternoon. It is widely expected that Mr. Bernanke and company will not change key short-term interest rates at this meeting. But, as we have seen so many times in the past, it i s the post meeting statement that often creates the most volatility in the markets. They could give an opinion of the overall economy or inflation, hinting at a possible future move or lack of one. Statements like these could cause a knee-jerk reaction in the markets and possibly mortgage pricing Wednesday afternoon.
The only relevant economic data scheduled for release Thursday is the final reading to the1st Quarter GDP and weekly unemployment claims. The GDP data is quite aged now (covers January through March) and will likely have little impact on the bond market or mortgage pricing unless it varies greatly from previous readings. Last month's first revision showed a 5.7% decline in the GDP. This month's second and final revision is expected to the same decline.
May's Personal Income and Outlays data will be posted Friday morning. This report gives us an indication of consumer ability to spend and current spending activity. Anal ysts are expecting to see an increase of 0.2% in income and a 0.4% rise in the spending portion of the report. Smaller than expected increases should be good news for the bond market and mortgage rates.
The second report of the day and the last important data of the week will come from the University of Michigan who will update their Index of Consumer Sentiment for May. An upward revision would be considered a negative for bonds.
Also worth noting is the fact that the Fed will be selling $104 billion in new debt this week. These sales may influence trading enough to affect mortgage rates. There are sales every day except Friday but the two most likely to affect rates are Wednesday and Thursday's sales. If they are met with a strong demand, we could see bond prices rise some during afternoon trading. This could lead to afternoon improvements to mortgage rates. But, the sales draw a lackluster interest from investors, mortgage ra tes may move higher during afternoon trading.
Overall, tomorrow will likely be the quietest day of the week. The most active should be Wednesday due to the importance of the data and FOMC meeting. Friday's news may also affect mortgage rates, but likely not as much as earlier days. This would definitely be a good week to maintain constant contact with your mortgage professional.
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 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