Tuesday's bond market has opened flat despite weaker than expected economic news and early stock losses. The stock markets are in negative territory with the Dow down 45 points and the Nasdaq down 3 points. The bond market is currently nearly unchanged from yesterday's closing levels, which should keep this morning's mortgage rates unchanged.
The Confe rence Board said this morning that their Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for October fell to 95.6. This was much lower than was expected and indicates that consumers felt much less confident in their own financial situations than many had thought. This is good news for bonds and mortgage rates because it means that consumer spending is likely to slow in the near future. However, with the importance of tomorrow's economic data and FOMC meeting, the reaction to this news has been rather subdued.
Tomorrow morning brings us the release of the preliminary reading of the 3rd Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GDP is considered to be the benchmark measurement of economic growth because it is the sum of all goods and services produced in the U.S. and is likely to have a major impact on the financial markets and mortgage pricing. There are three versions of this report, each a month apart. Tomorrow's release is the first and usually has the biggest impact on the mark ets. Current forecasts call for an increase of approximately 3.1% in the GDP. I think we need to see a smaller increase for the bond market to rally and mortgage rates to drop. Just matching the estimate will probably bring a stock market rally and could cause mortgage rates to rise.
The second report of the day will be the 3rd Quarter Employment Cost Index (ECI), which tracks employer costs for salaries and benefits. Rapidly rising costs raises wage inflation concerns and may hurt bond prices. It is expected to show an increase in costs of 0.9%. A smaller than expected increase would be good news for bonds and mortgage rates.
The FOMC meeting is a two-day meeting that began today and will adjourn tomorrow afternoon. It is expected to bring another rate cut to key short-term interest rates. Assuming this does happen, traders will be looking at the post-meeting statement for any indication of the Fed's next move. While it is widely expected that the Fed will cuts rates at this meeting, there is a lot of different opinions of when the following cut will come, if at all. The meeting will adjourn at 2:00 PMET, so look for quite a bit of volatility in the markets and possibly mortgage pricing during afternoon hours.
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days.. . Float 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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