September 24th, 2008 10:33 AM by Lehel Szucs
Wednesday's bond market has opened in positive territory in what hopefully is a sign of stabilization. The stock markets are mixed with the Dow down 40 points and the Nasdaq up 8 points. The bond market is currently up 6/32, but we will likely see this morning's mortgage rates move higher by approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point due to weakness late yesterday.
Today's only economic news was the release of August's Existing Home Sales report. The National Association of Realtors reported that home resales in the U.S. fell more than expected last month. This indicates that the housing sector has still not bottomed out. That is good news for bonds because a soft housing sector will likely slow economic activity and ease inflation concerns.
Fed Chairman Bernanke is speaking to a Joint Economic Committee of Congress today, where he has basically warned that the Fed bailout program needs to be enacted quickly to stabilize the financial system. His words have led to some fluctuation in the markets this morning, but don't seem to be of significant surprise to traders. Accordingly, I don't believe we will see any further changes to mortgage rates as a result.
August's Durable Goods Orders will be posted early tomorrow morning. This report gives us an indication of manufacturing sector strength by tracking orders for big-ticket items at U.S. factories. Current forecasts call for a drop in orders in the neighborhood of 1.3%. A larger decline could help bond prices and cause mortgage rates to drop tomorrow. However, a smaller than expected decrease would indicate a stronger than expected manufacturing sector and would likely help push mortgage rates higher.
Also tomorrow morning will be the release of August's New Home Sales. It is expected to show that sales of new homes rose slightly in August. As with today's Existing Home Sales data, this report will likely not have a significant impact on m ortgage 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.
©Mortgage Commentary 2008