July 29th, 2008 10:29 AM by Lehel Szucs
Tuesday's bond market has opened in negative territory following stronger than expected economic news and sizable stock gains. The stock markets are showing strength with the Dow up 122 points and the Nasdaq up 46 points. The bond market is currently down 16/32, which will likely push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point.
This morning's economic news came from the Conference Board who posted their Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for July. It showed a reading of 51.9 and also revised last month's final reading higher by 0.6. This means that consumer confidence was higher the past two months than many had thought. This is considered bad news for bonds and mortgage rates because consumer spending is tied to consumer confidence.
There is no relevant economic news scheduled for release tomorrow that is relevant to mortgage rates. Look for the stock markets to influence bonds and mortgage rates. If s tocks rise again, bonds will likely fall and mortgage rates inch higher. If stocks give back today gains, we should see mortgage rates improve tomorrow.
There are two reports scheduled for release 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 2.3% 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 inflatio n concerns, the bond market may drop and mortgage rates rise. It is expected to reveal an increase of 0.7%.
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 2008