July 22nd, 2009 9:49 PM by Lehel Szucs
Wednesday's bond market has opened down slightly with no relevant economic new scheduled for release today. The stock markets are showing minor gains with the Dow up 17 points and the Nasdaq up 5 points. The bond market is currently down 3/32, but we will still likely see an improvement in this morning's mortgage rates of approximately .250 - .375 of a discount point due to continued strength during afternoon trading yesterday.
Fed Chairman Bernanke is in the second stage of his semi-annual testimony to Congress on the status of the economy and monetary policy by testifying to the Senate Banking Committee today. There is little likelihood of him saying anything different from yesterday's testimony. Therefore, I am expecting little reaction in the markets and mortgage rates this morning or afternoon.
Tomorrow brings us the release of June's Existing Home Sales figures from the National Association of Realtors. This report gives us a measurement o f housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand, but it is not considered highly important and often has a minimal impact on mortgage rates. Current forecasts are calling for an increase from May's sales totals. A smaller than expected increase or a decline in sales would be considered good news for bonds and mortgage rates because a weak housing sector would make it difficult for the economy to recover anytime soon. However, unless this data varies greatly from forecasts it probably will not lead to much of a change in rates.
The Labor Deportment will post weekly unemployment numbers early tomorrow morning. They are expected to show that 558,000 new claims for benefits were filed last week. This would be a sizable increase from the previous week's 522,000 claims, which would be considered good news for bonds and mortgage rates. However, this data is not considered to be highly important to the markets because it tracks a short period of claims. So unless it varies greatly from forecasts it probably will have little influence on tomorrow's mortgage rates.
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock 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