Tuesday's bond market has opened fairly flat as investors wait for this week's little economic news. The stock markets are showing gains after yesterday's rebound from early losses to close in positive territory. The Dow is currently up 49 points while the Nasdaq has gained 20 points. The bond market is currently down 2/32, which will likely keep this morning' s mortgage rates at yesterday's levels.
There is no relevant economic news scheduled for release today. The first report is September's Existing Home Sales late tomorrow morning. This report gives us an indication of housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand. It is expected to show another decline in home resales, meaning the housing sector continues to weaken. This would generally be good news for bonds, but this data is not considered to be of high importance to the bond market or mortgage rates. Accordingly, unless we see a sizable variance from forecasts, the report will likely not greatly affect mortgage rates tomorrow.
Thursday morning, the Commerce Department will post Durable Goods Orders for September. This is the week's most important data. It gives us a measurement of manufacturing sector strength by tracking orders at U.S. factories for big-ticket items. Analysts are currently calling for an increase in new orders of approximately 1.5%. If we see a larger than expected rise in orders, mortgage rates will probably rise as bond prices fall. A weaker than expected reading should be good news for the bond market and mortgage rates, but this data can be quite volatile from month to month and is difficult to forecast.
Also Thursday are weekly unemployment figures from the Labor Department and New Home Sales from the Commerce Department. Neither are considered to be very important since the unemployment numbers track only a week's worth of claims and the home sales report covers only approximately 15% of all home sales in the U.S. The Durable Goods Orders data will be the biggest influence on bonds and mortgage rates Thursday morning.
The Treasury auction is also Thursday, when 5-year Notes will be sold. This will help gauge investor interest in bonds and could lead to a bond rally or selling. Results of these sales are posted at 1:00 PM ET, so any impact on trading and mortgage rates will come during afternoon hours. If investor demand was strong, we should see bond prices rise and mortgage rates move lower. However, a lackluster interest from investors could lead to high mortgage rates Thursday afternoon.
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.
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