August 1st, 2008 9:15 AM by Lehel Szucs
Friday's bond market has opened down slightly following the release of this morning's economic news that had mixed results but leaned more towards unfavorable to bonds. The stock markets are also in negative ground with the Dow down 74 points and the Nasdaq down 30 points. The bond market is currently down 3/32, which will likely have little impact on this morning's mortgage rates. However, if bonds fall any further we likely will see mortgage rates revise higher later today.
The Labor Department gave us this morning's big news with the release of July's Employment figures. They said that the unemployment rate moved higher by 0.2% to a four year high of 5.7%. Analysts were expecting an increase but only to 5.6%. This was the part of the report that was favorable to bonds.
The negative portion came in the number of payrolls added or lost during the month. Analysts were expecting to see a loss of 75,000 jobs last month, but today's report showe d a loss of 51,000 payrolls. It also revised June's loss upward by 11,000 jobs. However, this was the seventh consecutive monthly decline in payrolls, which indicates that the employment sector remains soft. Generally speaking, that is good news for bonds even though its not as good as we had hoped for.
Today's second release was the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) Manufacturing Index for July. It showed a stronger than expected reading of 50.0. Analysts were expecting to see a larger decline to a reading of 49.2. This means that more surveyed manufacturers felt business had improved during the month than was expected. That is also considered to be a negative for bonds, but was not enough to create much concern in the market.
Next week brings us a handful of relevant economic reports for the markets to digest, beginning with July's Personal Income and Outlays early Monday morning. This report is considered to be moderate-to-high in import ance and can influence bond trading and mortgage rates. However, I would not expect to see a significant move in rates solely as a result of this report.
The rest of the week includes data on manufacturing and worker productivity along with another Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Look for more details on this meeting and next week's events in Sunday's weekly preview.
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.
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