Monday's bond market has opened in positive territory following another weak morning in stocks. The Dow is currently down 167 points while the Nasdaq has lost 35 points. The bond market is currently up 10/32, which will likely improve this morning's mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point.
There is no relevant economic news scheduled for release today. The rest of this holiday-shortened week brings us the release of three factual economic releases. However, none of them are likely to affect mortgage rates much. The bond market is expected to close early Wednesday and Friday and be closed the entire day Thursday in observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. In addition, I expect to see light trading in the financial markets most of the time that the markets are open.
The first report of the week is tomorrow's release of October's Housing Starts. This data gives us an indication of housing sector strength, but usually does not have a noticeably impact on mortgage rates. I don't expect this month's version to be any different unless it varies greatly from analysts forecast. It is expected to show a decline in starts of new homes.
Also tomorrow is the afternoon release of the minutes to the last FOMC meeting. These may be a major mover of the markets or could be a non-factor, depending on what they say. The key will be concerns over inflation and the Fed's next move. If the Fed members were concerned about inflationary pressures, we may see the bond market move lower and mortgage rates higher Tuesday afternoon. However, if they indicate a likelihood of another rate cut in the coming months, we should see the bond market rise and mortgage rates drop during afternoon trading.
Overall, I expect see bond trading get lighter as the week goes on as more traders head home for the holiday. If we get any significant surprises or unexpected news this week, bond prices will move more than usual due to the thin trading. But, if we see no surprises, it should be a fairly quiet week for mortgage rates. With the little likelihood of much improvement in rates, I am holding the Lock 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... Lock if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Lock 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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