Friday's bond market has opened sharply higher following quite favorable results from August's Employment report. The stock markets are not reacting well to the news with the Dow down 193 points and the Nasdaq down 45 points. The bond market is currently up 27/32, which should improve this morning's mortgage rates by approximately .375 of a discount point.
The Labor Department reported this morning that the unemployment rate remained at 4.6% last month and that average earnings rose 0.3%, both as expected. The shock came in the number of new payrolls during the month. What was expected to be 110,000 new jobs turned out to be a decline of 4,000 jobs. In addition, June and July's payroll numbers were revised significantly lower. This gives a strong indication of a possible economic slowdown, which is very good news for the bond market and mortgage rates.
Today's news has led to further speculation that the Fed will cut key short-term interest rates at their next FOMC meeting on September 18th. There was somewhat of a division amongst analysts before today's data on whether the rate cut would come at this next meeting or later in the year. The only debate by most of them now is whether we will see a quarter or half-point cut this month. I suspect we will see plenty of speculation and volatility in the markets as we get closer to the date.
Next week brings us the release of a couple of important pieces of data to watch. However, all of them are scheduled for release Friday morning. This will leave the bond market to be influenced by stock market fluctuations the first part of the week. I suspect that we will see continued weakness in stocks as investors now become more concerned about next quarter's earning results. This could lead to further gains in bonds as investors seek safe-haven from the volatility. But, if stocks rebound, we may see bonds move higher quickly, so be prepared to react.
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Float 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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