September 16th, 2008 2:34 PM by Lehel Szucs
Tuesday's bond market has opened in positive territory again as yesterday's frantic buying has carried into this morning's trading. The stock markets are showing modest gains compared to yesterday's massive sell-off that had the Dow closing down over 500 points. The Dow is currently up 35 points while the Nasdaq has gained 6 points. The bond market is currently up 9/32, which will likely improve this morning's mortgage rates by another .250 of a discount point.
Today's only relevant economic data was August's Consumer Price Index (CPI). It showed a decline in the overall reading of 0.1% and an increase of 0.2% in the core data reading. Both of these readings matched forecasts, therefore, they have had little impact on the bond market or mortgage rates.
The biggest influence on this morning's trading is still the financial sector woes and the stock markets. There is still talk of more bank and financial company collapses that could still create widespread panic in the markets. The spotlight is currently on insurance giant AIG and its ability to continue to remain solvent. Whether or not that will be accomplished remains to be seen. However, the markets often overreact to a crisis and then correct. The stock volatility that came as a result of news from the past few days has certainly benefited bonds as investors seek safe-haven. But, I suspect that this may end in the immediate future, hence the extended lock recommendation yesterday. I am going to hold the lock recommendations for the time being as any type of correction in stocks could drive bond prices sharply lower and create a significant spike in mortgage rates.
The FOMC meeting will adjourn at 2:15 PM today. The recent financial and bank news has some analysts now thinking that the Fed may lower key short-term interest rates at this meeting. I don't believe that to be the case and that the Fed will leave rates unchanged. However, I would no t be surprised to see the post-meeting statement address the recent events. Depending on what is said or addressed in the statement, we may see another round of volatility in stocks and bonds during afternoon trading today.
Look for an update to this report shortly after the markets have an opportunity to react to the FOMC meeting's results.
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 2008