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Mortgage Rates (8/2/2009 - The Week Ahead)

August 3rd, 2009 9:09 AM by Lehel Szucs

There are four relevant reports scheduled for release this week that are likely to affect mortgage pricing. The first important release scheduled for the week is the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index for July late tomorrow morning. This index measures manufacturer sentiment by surveying trade executives about business conditions during the month and is considered to be of fairly high importance to the markets. A reading below 50.0 means that more surveyed executives felt that business worsened last month than those who said it had improved. Tomorrow's release is expected to show a reading of 46.5, up from last month's 44.8, indicating manufacturer sentiment improved from June. A smaller than expected reading would be good news for the bond market and would likely improve mortgage rates tomorrow. However, a stronger than expected reading could lead to higher mortgage rates.

June's Personal Income and Outlays data will be posted early Tuesday morning. This report helps us measure consumer ability to spend and current spending habits. If it shows sizable increases, bond selling could lead to higher mortgage rates. Current forecasts are calling for a decline of 1.0% in income and an increase of 0.3% in spending. The sizable decline in June's income that is expected is simply a result of the unusual spike in May's income and not a sign of declining wages.

Wednesday morning brings us the release of June's Factory Orders data. This report helps us measure manufacturing sector strength by tracking orders for both durable and non-durable goods during the month of June. It is similar to last week's Durable Goods Orders report that tracks only orders for big-ticket items. Since a significant portion of the data was released last week, this report may not have as big of an impact on the markets as you may think. Analysts are expecting to see an increase of approximately 0.5% in new orders. A smaller t han expected increase would be considered good news for bonds and mortgage pricing.

There is no relevant monthly or quarterly economic news scheduled for release Thursday, but Friday's data is a different story. The most important piece of data this week and arguably each month is the monthly Employment report. This report gives us the U.S. unemployment rate, number of jobs added or lost during the month and the average hourly earnings reading for July. The ideal situation for the bond market is rising unemployment, a sizable loss of jobs and little change in earnings. This report is considered to be one of the single most important releases that we see each month.

While the GDP is arguably the single most important report in general, it is posted quarterly rather than monthly like the Employment report. Friday's report is expected to show that the unemployment rate rose to 9.6% last month while approximately 333,000 jobs were lost. The unemployment r ate probably will not be much of a factor unless it moved much more than the 0.1% that is expected. However, due to the importance of these readings, we will most likely see quite a bit of volatility in the markets and mortgage pricing Friday morning if they vary from forecasts.

Overall, I am expecting to see another active week for mortgage rates. The most important day is Friday due to the data being released, but tomorrow is also a very important day with the ISM index scheduled for release. The rest of the week is likely to be a little calmer than Monday and Friday. We may see some pressure in bonds mid to late week ahead of Friday's employment numbers, but we also need to watch the stock markets for significant moves that can influence bond trading. Accordingly, this is a good week to maintain contact with your mortgage professional.

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... Lock 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 2009

Posted in:General
Posted by Lehel Szucs on August 3rd, 2009 9:09 AM



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