August 7th, 2008 9:12 PM by Lehel Szucs
Thursday's bond market has opened in positive territory following sizable stock losses. The stock markets are reacting to weak earnings news as the Dow fell 130 points and the Nasdaq lost 9 points. The bond market is currently up 16/32, which will likely improve this morning's mortgage rates by approximately .250 - .375 of a discount point over yesterday's morning rates.
The Labor Department gave us last week's unemployment figures early this morning. They reported that 455,000 new claims for benefits were filed when analysts had predicted 420,000. This was a 6 year high for new claims and raises concerns that the employment sector is quickly weakening. This is good news for bonds and mortgage rates, however, since this data tracks only a week's worth of filings it is not considered to be of high importance to the bond market.
Yesterday's Treasury auction went fairly well and led to afternoon buying in bonds. Today's sale will bring 30 year bond s to market and if investor demand is also strong we could see afternoon improvements in bonds again today. Results of the auction will be posted at 1:00 PM ET.
Employee Productivity and Costs data for the second quarter will be released early tomorrow morning. It will give us an indication of employee output. High levels of productivity are believed to allow the economy to grow without fears of inflation. I don't see this being a big mover of mortgage pricing, but since it is the only data of the day it may influence rates slightly. Analysts are currently expecting to see an increase in productivity of 2.5%. A higher than expected reading could help improve bonds, leading to lower mortgage rates.
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 closin g 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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