Thursday's bond market has opened in negative territory following early stock market strength. The stock markets are showing gains with the Dow up 64 and the Nasdaq up 14 points. The bond market is currently down 9/32, which will likely push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .125 of a discount point.
The Commerce Department reported early this morning that the trade deficit fell to $57.6 billion in August. This was much lower than expected, but since this data is not considered to be of high importance to the bond market, its results have not influenced trading or mortgage rates this morning.
The Labor Department gave us weekly unemployment claims, saying that 308,000 new claims were filed last week. This was lower than analysts had expected, but was with the trade deficit figures, usually does not have much of an impact on bonds or mortgage rates unless it varies greatly from forecasts.
There are three reports scheduled to be posted tomorrow. The first is September's Retail Sales report, which is very important to the markets. This data measures consumer spending by tracking sales at retail establishments in the U.S. Since consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, any related data is considered to be highly important. If we see weaker than expected readings in this repo rt, the bond market should respond favorably and mortgage rates should drop. However, stronger than expected sales could fuel a stock rally and push mortgage rates higher. Current forecasts are calling for a 0.2% increase in sales.
September's Producer Price Index (PPI) is the second report of the day. This index measures inflationary pressures at the producer level of the economy and is considered to be of high importance to the markets. Analysts are expecting to see an increase of 0.5% in the overall index and a 0.2% rise in the core data reading. The core data is the more important of the two because it excludes more volatile food and energy prices. A larger than expected increase could fuel more inflation concerns in the bond market and push mortgage rates higher. But, weaker than expected readings should lead to lower rates, especially if the sales report doesn't give us stronger than expected results.
The last report of the week is October's preliminary r eading to the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment late tomorro morning. This index measures consumer willingness to spend and usually has a moderate impact on the financial markets. With the day's other two reports being of such importance to the markets, I am not expecting this index to cause much movement in rates. It is expected to show a reading of 84.0, up from September's final of 83.4.
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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