July 28th, 2008 1:14 PM by Lehel Szucs
Monday's bond market has opened in positive territory following early stock weakness. The stock markets are showing losses with the Dow down 68 points and the Nasdaq down 7 points. The bond market is currently up 16/32, which should improve this morning's mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point.
There is no relevant news scheduled for release today, but there are several important reports due this week that are likely to affect mortgage pricing. The first piece of news comes late tomorrow morning when the Conference Board posts their Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for July. This index measures consumer sentiment, giving us an idea of consumer willingness to spend. This is important because consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy. If the CCI reading is weaker than expected, we may see bond prices rise and mortgage rates drop tomorrow. Current forecasts are calling for a reading of 50.0, which would be a lightly lower readin g than June's reading.
There is no relevant economic news scheduled for release Wednesday that is relevant to mortgage rates. However, there are two on the schedule for Thursday. The first is the quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is considered to be the best indicator of economic growth. It is the sum of all goods and services produced in the U.S. and usually has a great deal of influence on the financial markets. Current forecasts are estimating a 1.8% pace. A larger increase will probably hurt bond prices, leading to higher mortgage rates. But a smaller increase would likely fuel a bond market rally.
The second report of the day is the 2nd Quarter Employment Cost Index (ECI) that measures employers' costs for wages and benefits. It is considered to be an important measurement of wage inflation and can have a pretty big impact on the bond market and mortgage rates. If it shows a rapid increase, raising inflation concerns, the bond market may drop and mortgage rates rise. It is expected to reveal an increase of 0.7%.
Overall, it likely will be a fairly active week in the mortgage market. With several important economic reports on tap, we will likely see noticeable movement in mortgage rates more than one day. The most important day of the week is Friday with the Employment and ISM reports being released, but Thursday's GDP release is highly important to the markets and could heavily influence mortgage pricing also.
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Float 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 2008