June 26th, 2008 11:27 AM by Lehel Szucs
Thursday's bond market has opened in positive territory as stock prices are showing significant losses during early trading. The stock markets are reacting to downgrades and fears of future problems in the banking sector. This has led to the Dow dropping 214 points and the Nasdaq falling 59 points. The bond market is the benefactor as investors seek safe haven from the volatility. With the bond market currently up 8/32, we will likely see an improvement in mortgage rates of approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point.
There were a couple of pieces of economic data released this morning, but none are considered to be of high importance. The final reading to the 2nd quarter GDP matched forecasts at up 1.0%. This was slightly higher than the previous estimate that was announced last month. An important inflation component of the data also was revised higher by 0.1%, but has not impacted bond trading or mortgage rates.
The National Association o f Realtors released May's Existing Home Sales report that tracks home resales in the U.S. It showed an increase in sales compared to April's numbers, but this data usually is of low importance to the markets and mortgage rates.
The Labor Department gave us weekly unemployment figures from last week, saying that new claims for benefits rose to 384,000, when analysts were expecting to see a drop in claims. This brings the total back near the important benchmark of 400,000. However, this data also usually has little influence on mortgage rates. But, if the number of claims continues to move higher, this release will likely be watched more closely.
Also worth noting is today's 5-year Treasury Note auction. This sale can affect bond prices and therefore mortgage rates if investor interest in the sales are met with a strong or poor demand. The results will be posted at 1:00 PM ET today. If demand was strong, we should see bond prices improve during afte rnoon trading. However, a lackluster interest in the sale could lead to bond weakness later today and possibly higher mortgage rates.
May's Personal Income and Outlays data will be posted early tomorrow morning. This report gives us an indication of consumer ability to spend and current spending activity. Analysts are expecting to see an increase of 0.4% in income and a 0.7% rise in the spending portion of the report. Smaller than expected increases should be good news for the bond market and mortgage rates.
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.
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