Our Real Estate Blog

Mortgage Rates (9/1/2010)

September 2nd, 2010 8:10 AM by Lehel S.

Wednesday's bond market has opened down sharply after this morning's economic data showed surprising strength. The stock markets are heavily influencing bond trading with significant gains. Stocks have had quite a strong reaction to this morning's news, pushing the Dow up over 230 points and the Nasdaq up 57 points. The bond market is currently down 30/32, which will likely push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .250 of a discount point. Strength in bonds late yesterday is helping to prevent a larger increase to this morning's rates.

Today's news came from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), who released their manufacturing index for August late this morning. They announced a reading of 56.3 that was not only well above forecasts, but also an increase from July's reading. This means that manufacturer sentiment about business conditions was much stronger than analysts had expected. When this happens, bonds tend to move lower and s tocks higher as it is a sign of economic strength. 

Yesterday afternoon's release of the minutes from the last FOMC meeting didn't reveal any significant surprises, but did indicate that the Fed is considering, or at least willing to invest more funds into mortgage-related securities. That can be considered good news for bonds and mortgage rates since the additional buying should drive mortgage pricing lower. However, it is just a thought at this time and cannot be given much weight until the Fed does decide to pursue that route.

There are two reports scheduled for release tomorrow morning that have the potential to influence rates. The first is the revised 2nd Quarter Productivity numbers, which measures employee productivity in the workplace. Strong levels of productivity allow the economy to expand without inflation concerns. It is expected to show a downward change from the previous estimate of a 0.9% decline. Forecasts are currently calling for a 1.7% drop, meaning productivity was weaker than previously thought. This would be negative news for the bond market and mortgage rates, but this data is not one of the more important reports we see each quarter. Therefore, unless there is a large variance from expectations, this report will likely have little impact on tomorrow's rates.

July's Factory Orders data will also be released tomorrow morning. This report measures manufacturing sector strength and is similar to last week's Durable Goods Orders, but includes orders for both durable and non-durable goods. It is expected to show a 0.3% increase in new orders. A smaller than expected rise would be favorable for bonds, while a large than forecasted increase could lead to higher rates tomorrow morning.

Also worth noting are weekly unemployment figures that will be released by the Labor Department early tomorrow morning. They are expected to say that 475,000 new claims for unemployment benefits we re filed last week. Since this data tracks only a single week's worth of claims, it usually takes a fairly significant surprise for mortgage rates to react. This is especially true when monthly figures will be posted the following day, as is the case this week.

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. 
Posted in:General
Posted by Lehel S. on September 2nd, 2010 8:10 AM

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