August 6th, 2009 10:00 PM by Lehel Szucs
Thursday's bond market has opened relatively flat with no important economic data on the schedule for today. The stock markets are showing minor losses with the Dow down 15 points and the Nasdaq down 11 points. The bond market is currently nearly unchanged from yesterday's close, but we will still see an increase in this morning's mortgage rates of approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point due to weakness in bonds late yesterday.
Today's only semi-relevant data was weekly unemployment claims from the Labor Department. They reported that 550,000 new claims for benefits were filed last week. This was much lower than the 580,000 that was expected, but since this data basically tracks only a week's worth of claims it usually has a minimal impact on mortgage rates.
Tomorrow morning brings us the almighty monthly Employment report. This report gives us the U.S. unemployment rate, number of jobs added or lost during the month and the average hourl y 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, therefore, can heavily influence the markets and mortgage rates.
Current forecasts are calling for the unemployment rate to have risen 0.1% to 9.6% while approximately 328,000 jobs were lost. The unemployment rate 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 tomorrow morning if they vary from forecasts. If the data shows stronger readings such as fewer jobs lost in the month or a lower than expected unemployment rate, expect to see mortgage rates move higher tomorrow. Weaker than expected readings should push mortgage rates lower.
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