Thursday’s bond market has opened in positive territory, extending yesterday’s post-FOMC rally. The major stock indexes are in positive ground also, pushing the Dow up 64 points and the Nasdaq up 28 points. The bond market is currently up 3/32 (2.51%), which should keep this morning’s mortgage rates approximately .125 – .250 of a discount point lower than yesterday’s morning pricing. That improvement is a result of yesterday’s afternoon rally and not this morning’s economic news.
30 yr – 2.51%
Weekly Unemployment Claims (every Thursday)
Last week’s unemployment figures were released early this morning, showing that 221,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week. This was a decline from the previous week’s revised 230,000 initial filings. The decline in claims is a sign the employment sector strengthened last week, but since the 221,000 was close to forecasts of 223,000, there has been no influence on this morning’s mortgage pricing.
Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) from the Conference Board
February’s Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) index was posted at 10:00 AM ET. The Conference Board announced an increase of 0.2%, pegging expectations. The rise means the index is predicting modest economic growth over the next several months. Since it was not a surprise, it has had little impact on today’s trading.
Existing Home Sales from National Assoc of Realtors
The week closes tomorrow with a single moderately important economic report. February’s Existing Home Sales report will be posted by the National Association of Realtors at 10:00 AM ET tomorrow morning. It will give us a measurement of housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand. It is expected to reveal an increase in home resales, meaning the housing sector strengthened last month. Bond traders would prefer to see a large decline in sales, pointing towards a rapidly weakening housing sector. Bad news would be a sizable increase in sales, indicating that the housing sector is gaining momentum. That could be troublesome for the bond market and mortgage rates because housing strength makes broader economic growth more likely.
Float / Lock Recommendation
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would…. Lock 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.