Tuesday’s bond market has opened up sharply following much weaker than expected housing news and early selling in stocks. The major stock indexes are showing sizable losses of 303 points in the Dow and 404 points in the Nasdaq. The bond market is currently up 31/32 (2.75%), which should improve this morning’s mortgage rates by approximately .250 of a discount point.
April's New Home Sales report was posted early this morning, revealing a 16.6% drop in sales of newly constructed homes. Forecasts were calling for a much smaller decline, pointing to a softer than thought new home portion of the housing sector. While this news is favorable for bonds, it doesn’t carry enough significance to fuel this type of bond rally. Stock weakness and overnight gains are the driving forces behind this morning’s bond trading much more than this report.
Tomorrow has three events that we will be watching, starting with April's Durable Goods Orders at 8:30 AM ET. It gives us an idea of manufacturing sector strength by tracking orders at U.S. factories for big-ticket products, such as airplanes, appliances and electronics. Analysts are expecting to see an increase in new orders of 0.6%, hinting at the manufacturing sector strength. This data is known to be quite volatile from month to month. Therefore, a small variance from forecasts will likely have a minimal impact on tomorrow's mortgage rates. The smaller the rise in orders, the better the news it is.
Also, we have the first of this week’s two relevant Treasury auctions taking place tomorrow. 5-year Treasury Notes are being sold tomorrow, followed by 7-year Notes Thursday. Neither of them will directly impact mortgage pricing, although they can influence general bond market sentiment. If the sales go poorly, we could see broader selling in the bond market that leads to a slight upward revision to mortgage rates. On the other hand, strong sales usually make bonds more attractive to investors, bringing additional funds into the market. The buying that follows translates into lower mortgage rates. Results of the sales will be posted at 1:00 PM ET each auction day, so look for any reaction to come during early afternoon hours tomorrow and/or Thursday.
Furthermore, the minutes from the May 3-4 FOMC meeting will be posted at 2:00 PM ET tomorrow afternoon. Market participants will be looking for how Fed members feel about inflation, the global economy and the size of future rate hikes. Because of recent public speaking engagements and such, we likely are not going to see too much in the minutes that we didn't already know. If there is a reaction, it will come during mid-afternoon trading tomorrow.
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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