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If you are considering locking in an interest rate for a New York mortgage or a Florida mortgage, read this post.
Wednesday’s bond market opened well in positive territory due to a much weaker than expected manufacturing report and sizable stock losses. The stock markets opened with minor losses but have since reacted negatively to today’s late morning economic data. The Dow was down 122 points while the Nasdaq has lost 22 points. The bond market was up 22/32, which has pushed the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury Note below 3.00%. This will likely translate into an improvement of approximately .250 of a discount point in this morning’s mortgage rates.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) announced late this morning that their manufacturing index fell to 53.5 last month, well below what analysts were expecting. This was the lowest reading since September 2009 and dropped the index interestingly close to the extremely important threshold of 50.0. A reading below 50 means that more surveyed executives felt business worsened during the month than said it had improved. The sub-50.0 reading is considered to be a recessionary sign and is great news for the bond market and mortgage pricing.
The markets are having a textbook like reaction to the news. The surprisingly weak manufacturing data questions the likelihood that the economy can continue its slow recovery, making stocks less attractive to investors. Bonds are benefiting in two ways- as a safe-haven from the stock volatility and as a longer-term investment due to a significant sign of economic weakness. Since we still have some highly important economic data scheduled for the week, we could see even more movement in the markets and mortgage rates the next couple of days. It will be interesting to see if the 10 year Note can stay below 3.00%. If so, there is plenty of room for mortgage rates to move lower. Unfortunately, I believe we will see a battle at 3.00%, so keep an eye on the markets if still floating an interest rate.
Tomorrow has three pieces of data scheduled that may influence bond trading and mortgage rates. The first is the revised 1st Quarter Productivity and Costs that measures employee output and employer costs for wages and benefits. It is considered to be a measurement of wage inflation. It is believed that the economy can grow with low inflationary pressures when productivity is high. Last month's preliminary reading revealed a 1.6% increase, but I don't think this piece of data will have much of an impact on the bond market or mortgage pricing unless it varies greatly from that reading.
The second release of the day will come from the Commerce Department, who will post April's Factory Orders data during late morning trading. This manufacturing sector report is similar to last week's Durable Goods Orders release, but also includes orders for non-durable goods. It can cause some movement in the financial markets if it varies from forecasts by a wide margin, but it isn't expected to cause much change in rates either. Current forecasts are calling for a decline in new orders of 1.0%.
The third is the Labor Department’s weekly update on unemployment claims. They are expected to announce that 413,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, down from the previous week. Ideally, the bond market would like to see an increase in new claims as the higher the total, the weaker the employment sector is. With the almighty monthly Employment report being posted Friday morning, this release may cause more movement in the markets than it usually does as traders prepare for Friday’s major report.
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.
Empire Home Mortgage Inc. is a registered Mortgage Broker with the NYS and Florida State Banking Depts and our loans are arranged through third party providers.