August 3rd, 2009 9:11 AM by Lehel Szucs
Monday's bond market has opened down sharply following early stock gains and a stronger than expected economic release. The stock markets are starting the week in positive territory with the Dow up 109 points and the Nasdaq up 20 points. The bond market is currently down 38/32, which should push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point compared to Friday's morning rates. Preventing a much larger increase in this morning's rates was strength in bonds late Friday, meaning this morning's losses more or less erase Friday's late gains. However, if bond prices continue to fall, we can expect to see further increases to mortgage rates later today.
Today's only relevant economic data came from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) who reported that their manufacturing index for July rose to 48.9. This was an increase from June's 44.8 and higher than the 46.5 that was expected. A reading below 50 means that more surv eyed executives said business worsened than those who said it had improved. But fewer felt conditions had worsened than last month and than was expected this month. Therefore, today's report was bad news for bonds and mortgage rates because manufacturer sentiment was stronger than expected, indicating stabilization in the manufacturing sector. A strengthening manufacturing sector would be key to the overall economic recovery that bond traders fear.
Tomorrow morning gives us the release of June's Personal Income and Outlays data. 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.
Overall, I am expe cting to see another active week for mortgage rates. The most important day is Friday due to the data being released, but today's movement in bonds showed that this morning's data was extremely relevant to the markets also. The rest of the week is likely to be a little calmer than today and what could take place Friday. But day-to-day movement in rates should be expected every day this week. 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