September 8th, 2008 12:29 PM by Lehel Szucs
Monday's bond market has opened down slightly following strong gains in stocks. The stock markets are rallying as the news of the government's takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is being taken as positive for the markets. Also contributing to early stock gains were rallies in international markets overnight. The bond market is currently down 7/32 as investor interest has turned towards stocks. However, due to strength in bonds Friday and reassurances by the Fed that Fannie and Freddie have enough funds to conduct business, we should see mortgage rates improve this morning by .250 - .375 of a discount point.
This week brings us the release of four pieces of economic data, with three of them likely to affect mortgage rates. There is no relevant data scheduled for release until Thursday and the most important reports are all scheduled for release Friday. Therefore, look for the biggest changes to rates the latter part of the week.
The first r eport of the week is not considered to be of high importance. July's Goods and Services Trade Balance data will be posted Thursday morning, giving us the size of the U.S. trade deficit. It is expected to show a deficit of approximately $58.0 billion, which would be an increase from June's $56.8 billion. However, I would consider this the least important of this week's releases, meaning it will likely have little impact on bond trading or mortgage rates.
Overall, the latter part of the week will likely be pretty active for the bond market and mortgage rates. Friday's Retail Sales and PPI reports are the week's most important and make Friday the biggest day of the week. If we see weaker than expected readings in that data, we should see mortgage rates move lower for the week. However, stronger than expected readings will likely drive bond prices lower and mortgage rates higher.
I am holding the float recommendations for now, but could change if there is a lackluster interest in the 10-year auction or if Friday's data shows stronger than expected results. We may also see the stock markets significantly influence bond trading, so look for sizable movement in the major indexes to also lead to a possible change in recommendations.
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.