July 7th, 2008 9:39 AM by Lehel Szucs
Monday's bond market has opened relatively flat with no relevant economic news scheduled for release today. The stock markets are kicking the week off in positive territory with the Dow up 70 points and the Nasdaq up 14 points. The bond market is nearly unchanged from Thursday's close, but we will still see an increase in this morning's mortgage rates of approximately .250 of a discount point due to weakness late Thursday.
This week brings us the release of only two economic reports for the bond market to digest. It also is the beginning of corporate earnings season. Those quarterly earnings reports can lead to significant volatility in the stock markets, which could influence bond trading and mortgage rates.
The first piece of economic news that may affect mortgage rates is Thursday's weekly unemployment figures from the Labor Department. Analysts will be paying a little more attention to this week's release than usual because last week's report showed that claims had crossed above 400,000 the previous week. This is an important benchmark that will be watched closely. Last week's numbers didn't get much attention because they were posted at the same time as June's monthly Employment report. But with little data scheduled for release this week, I believe more focus will be made on Thursday's report.
Also worth mentioning are a couple of public speeches by Fed members including Fed Chairman Bernanke and a 10-year Treasury auction of inflation protected notes. The speeches will be watched closely for any possible hint of the Fed's next move. The Treasury auction likely will not have an impact on rates, but could influence bond trading slightly if it is met with a strong or weak demand from investors. In a very light week of economic news such as this week is, events like these sometimes have a greater impact on the markets than if they took place during a busy week of news.
Overall, I am e xpecting to see a fairly calm week in mortgage rates. Friday will be the most important day with two economic reports scheduled for release. If the corporate earnings reports that are scheduled for this week are a disappointment, we could see stocks move lower and investors seek safe-haven in bonds. This would likely help push bond prices higher and mortgage rates lower for the week.
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... 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.
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