July 21st, 2008 8:57 AM by Lehel Szucs
This week will be interesting for the bond market and mortgage rates. There are six economic reports scheduled for the financial and mortgage markets to digest, but only one of them is considered to be of high importance to the markets. But with data being posted all but one day of the week, we may see some fluctuations from day to day in mortgage pricing.
The first report of the week comes tomorrow morning with the release of June's Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) at 10:00 AM. This Conference Board index attempts to measure economic activity over the next three to six months. While it is not a factual report, it still is considered to be of relative importance to the bond market. It is expected to show a 0.1% increase, meaning that we may see a slight increase in economic activity over the next few months. A decline in the index would be good news for the bond and mortgage markets.
The Federal Reserve will release its Beige Bo ok report Wednesday afternoon. This report is named simply after the color of its cover, but it is considered to be important to the Fed when determining monetary policy during their FOMC meetings. It details economic activity and conditions by region throughout the U.S. With Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony last week, I don't think we will see any significant surprises in this report, and therefore will likely not cause much movement in mortgage rates Wednesday afternoon.
There are two housing sector related releases scheduled for Thursday and Friday, but I don't think they will have much of an impact on the bond market or mortgage rates. June's Existing Home Sales will be posted Thursday while New Home Sales will be released Friday. I would expect that other reports or factors will drive bond trading and mortgage pricing much more than these will.
Friday brings us the release of two of the week's most important reports. The first will come from the Commerce Department when they will post June's Durable Goods Orders at 8:30 AM ET. Current forecasts are currently calling for a gain of 0.1% after showing little change in new orders during May. This data gives us an indication of manufacturing sector strength by tracking orders at U.S. factories for big-ticket items. These are products that are expected to last at least three years. A stronger than expected number may lead to higher mortgage rates Friday morning. If it reveals a smaller than expected rise or a decline, mortgage rates should drop Friday.
Also being released Friday is the final revision to July's University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment. Unless we see a drastic revision to the preliminary estimate, I think the markets will probably shrug this news off.
Overall, this is a moderately significant week for the bond market and mortgage rates. If we get weaker than expected economic results, we may see mortgage rates move low er for the week. However, stronger than expected results will likely lead to higher rates for the week. We also have a 5-year Treasury Note auction Thursday that may influence bond trading but will also give us an indication of investor appetite for bonds. Generally speaking, despite the lack of a data-packed calendar, I would still maintain constant contact with your mortgage professional.
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... 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 2008