July 24th, 2008 12:43 PM by Lehel Szucs
Thursday's bond market has opened in positive territory following sizable stock losses and weaker than expected economic news. The Dow is down 110 points and the Nasdaq has lost 16 points. The bond market is currently up 12/32, which should improve this morning's mortgage rates by approximately .250 - .375 of a discount point.
Neither of today's economic releases ere considered to be high importance to the markets unfortunately, or we may have seen more of an improvement to mortgage rates. The National Association of Realtors said that home resales in the U.S. fell 2.6% last month. This was a larger drop than was forecasted. In addition, the Labor Department reported that 406,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week. This was a much larger increase than was expected and again crosses the important 400,000 benchmark.
Yesterday afternoon's Beige Book release showed that economic activity slowed in most regions and that infla tion continued to rise. The slowing economic activity is good news for bonds, but the inflationary pressures are a threat to bonds and could drive prices lower and mortgage rates higher if they continue to rise. Overall, it didn't reveal any significant surprises.
The results of today's 5-year Treasury Note auction will be posted at 1:00 PM ET. If the auction was met with a strong demand from investors, bond prices may rise during afternoon trading and could lead to lower mortgage rates. However, if the sale was met with a poor demand, we could see bond prices fall and mortgage rates rise revise higher.
Tomorrow morning 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 decline of 0.3% after showing little change in new orders during May. This data gives us an indication of manu facturing 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 tomorrow morning. If it reveals a larger than expected drop, mortgage rates should improve tomorrow.
Also being released tomorrow is the final revision to July's University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment. Unless we see a drastic revision to the preliminary estimate of 56.6, I think the markets will probably shrug this news off.
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 b e guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers.
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