Wednesday's bond market has opened slightly in positive territory after the stock markets showed early weakness. The stock markets are posting losses with the Dow down 49 points and the Nasdaq down 12 points. The bond market is currently up 4/32, which with strength later yesterday should improve this morning's mortgage rates by approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point over yesterday's morning rates.
There was no relevant economic news scheduled for today, so look for the stock markets to be the biggest influence in today's bond trading. If we see further weakness in the major stock indexes, we could see funds shift into bonds, especially with stocks at near record levels. This would lead to bond prices rising and mortgage rates to move lower as investors shy away from the volatility in stocks.
The Commerce Department will post August's Factory Orders data late tomorrow morning. This manufacturing sector report is similar to last week's Durable Goods Orders release, but includes orders for non-durable goods. It can usually impact the financial markets enough to change mortgage rates if it varies from forecasts by a wide margin. Current forecasts are calling for a decline in new orders of approximately 2.8%. An unexpected rise could drive mortgage rates higher, while a weaker than expected reading should push them slightly lower tomorrow.
The Labor Department will post September's Employment report early Friday morning. This report will reveal the U.S. unemployment rate, number of new payrolls added and average hourly earnings. These are considered to be very important readings of the employment sector and can have a huge impact on the financial markets. The ideal scenario for the bond market is rising unemployment, falling payrolls and a drop in earnings.
Weaker than expected readings should help boost bond prices and lower mortgage rates Friday. However, stronger then forecasted readings could be disastrous for mortgage pricing. Analysts are expecting to see a slight increase in the unemployment rate to bring it to 4.7%, an increase in new payrolls of approximately 100,000 and a 0.3% increase in earnings.
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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