July 17th, 2008 10:49 AM by Lehel Szucs
Thursday's bond market has opened in negative territory as stocks continue their upward move and inflation concerns make bonds less attractive to investors. Yesterday's rally in bonds seem to be carrying over into this morning's trading with the Dow up 58 points and the Nasdaq up 7 points. The bond market is currently down 5/32, which with yesterday's late selling will likely push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .500 of a discount point compared to yesterday's morning rates.
The minutes from the last FOMC meeting did raise some concern in the bond market yesterday and helped fuel the stock rally. Some of excerpts included indications that the Fed's next move would likely be an increase to key short-term interest rates rather than another rate cut. This means that the Fed is more worried about inflation than a slowing economy. Since inflation erodes the value of a bond's future fixed interest payments, this news sent mortgage related bon ds lower and mortgage rates higher.
Today's only relevant data was June's Housing Starts report that surprised many by showing an increase in starts of new homes. It was expected to show another decline in starts. However, this data is not considered to be of high importance and has not had much influence on today's trading or mortgage pricing.
The Labor reported that 366,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week. This was an increase from the previous week, but not as high as analysts had expected. However, since this data tracks only a week's worth of claims it also hasn't affected mortgage rates this morning.
There is no relevant economic data scheduled for release tomorrow, meaning that stocks will likely heavily influence bond trading and mortgage rates. With this week's volatility, we could see traders adjust portfolios ahead of the weekend. That could lead to further volatility in bonds and mortgage rates agai n tomorrow.
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... 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.
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