August 7th, 2009 10:36 AM by Lehel Szucs
Friday's bond market has opened down sharply following the release of stronger than expected employment numbers. The stock markets are reacting favorably to the data with the Dow up 136 points and the Nasdaq up 32 points. The bond market is currently down 28/32, which should push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .375 - .500 of a discount point compared to yesterday's morning rates.
The Labor Department reported this morning that only 247,000 jobs were lost last month and that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 9.4%. Both of these readings were stronger than expected. Analysts had forecasted a job loss of 328,000 and an increase on the unemployment rate of 0.1% to bring it to 9.6%. In addition, average hourly earnings also exceeded forecasts with a 0.2% increase.
Today's news was definitely negative for bonds and mortgage rates. It indicates that the employment sector is not as bad as many had thought. While it was still so ftening last month, it was at a much slower pace than expected. That helps support the theory that the recession may be nearing an end. In fact, some analysts are already stating they think it has ended. This is bad for bonds because economic growth often creates an environment with inflation concerns that make bonds less attractive to investors. The result usually ends up being higher mortgage rates as investors shift funds into a growing stock market.
Next week is another busy one for the markets and mortgage rates. There are several very important economic releases scheduled to be posted in addition to another FOMC meeting that can heavily influence bond trading and mortgage rates. None of them is due out Monday, but there is relevant data or events scheduled for every other day of the week. Look for more details on 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... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Lock 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