September 21st, 2009 10:13 AM by Lehel Szucs
Monday's bond market has opened in positive territory after this morning's sole economic report gave us a slightly lower than expected reading. The stock markets are mixed with the Dow down 30 points and the Nasdaq up 6 points. The bond market is currently up 12/32, but we will likely see little change in this morning's mortgage rates.
The Conference Board said late this morning that its Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) for August rose 0.6%, meaning that it is predicting moderate to rapid growth in economic activity over the next few months, but at a slightly slower pace than analysts had thought. This is basically good news for bonds, but an upward revision to July's reading offset this news. Besides, this data is considered to be only moderately important and a wide variance would have been needed to really influence trading and mortgage rates.
The rest of the week brings us the release of four more relevant economic reports in addition to an other FOMC meeting and two important Treasury auctions. None of the factual reports are considered to be highly important. In fact, most of the economic news is considered to be only moderately important. This should help limit the possibility of significant changes to mortgage rates most days this week.
There is relevant economic data scheduled for release tomorrow. The first of this week's two important Treasury sales will take place Wednesday and the Fed's two-day FOMC meeting will adjourn Wednesday afternoon. The Treasury will sell 5-year Notes Wednesday and 7-year Notes Thursday. If investor demand in these sales is strong, particularly from international buyers, the broader bond market should move higher pushing mortgage rates lower. But a lackluster interest from investors could lead to bond selling and higher mortgage pricing. The results of each sale will be announced at 1:00 PM ET each day, so any reaction to the results will come during afternoon tr ading Wednesday and Thursday.
The FOMC meeting will begin tomorrow and adjourn at 2:15 PM Wednesday. There is little possibility of seeing any type of change to key short-term interest rates. However, the post-meeting statement could very well lead to volatility during afternoon trading as investors dissect it in an effort to find when the Fed's next move may come. The wild card is how the markets react to the statement because the lack of a change to monetary policy will not affect the markets. If we see significant weakness in stocks, the bond market may benefit as a safe-haven from the volatility. This could lead to lower mortgage rates Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.
Overall, the single most important report of the week is Friday's Durable Goods Orders, but the most important day will probably be Wednesday due to the FOMC adjournment and the 5-year Treasury Note auction. Thursday's 7-year Note sale is actually a little more important for mortgage rates than Wednesday's auction but the first of the two will give us an idea of what to expect from Thursday's sale. I don't believe any of this week's data has the potential to move the markets or mortgage rates heavily. But, we may some change in rates day-to-day, with the most likely coming mid-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... Float 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 2009