Tuesday's bond market has opened in negative territory following early stock strength. The stock markets are rebounding form yesterday's losses with the Dow currently up 104 points while the Nasdaq has gained 31 points. The bond market is currently down 11/32, which will likely keep this morning's mortgage rates near yesterday's levels. Strength in bonds late y esterday prevented an increase in this morning's rates.
The first report of the week was October's Housing Starts that was posted early this morning. It showed an increase in starts of new homes of 3.0%, exceeding forecasts of a 1.5% decline. This is somewhat bad news for the bond market, however, this data is of relatively low importance to the market. In addition, a portion of the report that tracks new permits pulled for future starts actually dropped to a 14-year low. Overall, this hasn't helped or hurt bond prices this morning and had little impact on mortgage pricing.
The minutes to the last FOMC meeting will be posted at 2:00 PM ET today. 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.
The next data is the Conference Board's Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) late tomorrow morning. This index attempts to measure economic activity over the next three to six months and can directly affect the bond market and mortgage rates. It is expected to show a decline from last month's reading. The forecasted 0.3% drop would indicate slower economic activity over the next few months, which is considered to be good news for the bond market.
The revised November reading to the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment will also be posted late tomorrow morning. Analysts are expecting to see no revision to the preliminary reading of 75.0. Unless we see a significant variance from the forecasted reading, I don't think this data will cause much movement in mortgage rates tomorrow.
Also tomorr ow is an early close in the bond market ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. This could lead to additional volatility and thin trading as traders begin the holiday. If tomorrows data shows any major surprises, we could see a bigger move than usual in bonds due to the light trading.
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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