September 30th, 2008 10:48 AM by Lehel Szucs
Tuesday's bond market has well in negative territory following a stock rebound that has shifted funds back away from bonds. The stock markets are rebounding after yesterday's walloping with the Dow up 260 points and the Nasdaq up 30 points. This means that the major stock indexes have recovered approximately one-third of yesterday's losses. The bond market benefited form yesterday's stock sell-off but is suffering today as investors move funds back into stocks. The result is the bond market down 13/32 that will likely push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .250 of a discount point.
Today's only economic news was September's Consumer Confidence Index (CCI). It showed a reading of 59.8 that was much higher than forecasts had called for. Analysts were expecting to see a reading of 55.0, meaning that consumers had more confidence in their own financial situation than was expected. This is considered bad news for bonds and mortgage rates because it indicates that consumers are more willing to make large purchases in the near future.
Tomorrow only relevant data is the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index for September. This index gives us an indication of manufacturer sentiment. Analysts are expecting to see a 0.4 decline from last month's 49.9 reading. The 50.0 benchmark is extremely important because a reading below that level means more surveyed executives felt business worsened than those who said it had improved. This data is important not only because it measures manufacturer sentiment, but it is very recent data. Some economic releases track data that are 30-60 days old, but the ISM index is only a few weeks old. If we get a smaller than expected reading, I expect to see the bond market rally and mortgage rates fall tomorrow morning.
We need to keep an eye on the stock markets and Fed bailout attempt. I don't think we will see much come today as the markets take a breather, but we probably will see more volatility in stocks before the end of the week. This could affect bond prices and mortgage rates. Generally speaking, look for stock weakness to lead to bond gains and lower mortgage rates as investors move funds into the safety of bonds. If the stock markets continue to move higher, we should see bonds suffer and mortgage rates move higher.
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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