September 18th, 2008 10:37 AM by Lehel Szucs
Thursday's bond market has opened in negative territory as the markets go through another day of significant volatility. The stock markets are currently showing gains, but are well off earlier highs. The Dow is currently up 66 points but is down over 100 points from its earlier high. The Nasdaq is now up 7 points but has slipped nearly 40 points from its peak of the morning. The bond market is currently down 10/32, however, we will likely see little change in mortgage rates due to strength late in the day yesterday.
This morning's economic news was actually favorable to bonds, but the seesaw activity in stocks and the fact that neither of today's releases are considered to be very important has prevented bonds from reacting to the data in a positive way. The Labor Department said that 455,000 new claims for benefits were filed last week. This exceeded analysts' forecasts but since the data tracks only a week's worth of claims, its impact on bonds and mor tgage rates usually is fairly minimal.
Also posted this morning was August's Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) that showed a 0.5% drop. This index attempts to measure economic activity over the next three to six months, meaning economic activity is being predicted to slow fairly quickly during the near future. That is considered good news for bonds, especially since it was expected to fall only 0.2%. But again, stocks and financial sector news is taking the lead in bond trading.
There is no relevant data scheduled for release tomorrow. This leaves stocks to again heavily influence trading. Generally speaking, falling stock prices should push bonds higher and mortgage rates lower as investors shift funds for safety. But if stock prices rise, those same funds will likely be pulled from bonds to be put back into stocks, leading to upward revisions to 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... 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.
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