Weekly Rate Lock Advisory


Rate Lock Advisory - Sunday Aug. 8th

This week brings us the release of five relevant economic reports in addition to another FOMC meeting and two relevant Treasury auctions. The first is Employee Productivity and Costs data for the second quarter that will be released Tuesday morning. It will give us an indication of employee output. High levels of productivity are believed to allow the economy to grow without fears of inflation. I don't see this being a big mover of mortgage pricing, but since it is the only data of the day it may influence rates slightly during morning trading. Analysts are currently expecting to see an increase in productivity of only 0.1%. A higher than expected reading could help improve bonds, leading to lower mortgage rates Tuesday.

The FOMC meeting will be held Tuesday and will adjourn at 2:15 PM ET. It is expected to yield no change to key interest rates. Usually, the post-meeting comments seem to have more of an influence on the markets than the rate adjustments themse lves, or a lack of one in many cases. Look for the statement to lead to volatility during afternoon trading if it hints at what the Fed's next move may be and when it will come. If the statement does not give us new information, mortgage rates will probably move little after its release.

June's Trade Balance report will be released early Wednesday morning. It gives us the size of the U.S. trade deficit but is the week's least important report and likely will have little impact on the bond market and mortgage rates. Analysts are expecting to see a $42.5 billion deficit, but it will take a wide variance to directly influence mortgage pricing.

There is no important data on the calendar for Thursday. Friday brings us the release of three reports, two of which are highly important to the markets and mortgage rates. The first is July's Consumer Price Index (CPI) at 8:30 AM. The CPI is one of the most important reports we see each month. It measures inflation at the consumer level of the economy. There are two readings in the report- the overall index and the core data reading. The more important of the two is the core data because it excludes more volatile food and energy prices. Current forecasts call for a 0.2% increase in the overall index and a 0.1% increase in the core data reading. Declines in the readings, especially in the core data, should lead to a bond rally and lower mortgage rates. However, stronger than expected readings will likely cause a spike in mortgage pricing Friday.

July's Retail Sales data is the second report of the day and is nearly important as the CPI. This data is very important to the financial markets and mortgage rates because it helps us measure consumer spending. Since consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, any data related to it can cause a fair amount of movement in the markets. A smaller than expected increase would indicate that consumers are spending less than previously thought, potentially slowing the economic recovery. This is good news for the bond market and mortgage rates as it eases inflation concerns and makes long-term securities such as mortgage-related bonds more attractive to investors. Current forecasts are calling for an increase of 0.5%.

The last report of the day will come from the University of Michigan, who will release their Index of Consumer Sentiment for August at 9:45 AM. This index gives us a measurement of consumer willingness to spend. If confidence is rising, then consumers are more apt to make large purchases. This helps fuel consumer spending and economic growth. By theory, a drop in confidence should boost bond prices, but this is the least important of the day's three reports and will probably have little impact on rates.

Also worth noting are two important Treasury auctions this week. The sale of 10-year Notes will be held Wednesday while 30-year Bonds will be sold Thursday. We often see some weakness in bonds ahead of the sales as the firms participating prepare for them. However, as long as they are met with decent demand from investors, the firms usually buy them back. This tends to help recover any presale losses. But, if the sales are met with a lackluster interest from investors- particularly international buyers, the bond market may move lower after the results are posted and mortgage rates may move higher. Those results will be announced at 1:00 PM each sale day.

Overall, look for the most movement in bond prices and mortgage rates late in the week. Friday will likely turn out to be the most important day with two of the week's most important releases and three reports scheduled altogether. If we get stronger than expected results in the Retail Sales and CPI releases, we may see mortgage rates spike higher fairly quickly. I suspect the FOMC meeting will not have as much of an influen ce on mortgage rates as recent meetings have, but the markets can react wildly to a single word or omission of a word in the statement, so we need to be cautious. This is certainly another week that continuous contact with your mortgage professional is highly recommended if you are still floating an interest rate.

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.

©Mortgage Commentary 2010



This is not the opinion of Brad Bergamini, Realty Executives Northern Arizona or any of its affiliates.  This post is for informational purpose only and is not guaranteed and does not render as legal advice.  Buying and selling Real Estate in Arizona or Prescott Arizona is a serious task and should be consulted with personally with Realtor or Real Estate Attorney.  Please visit my website for contact information

http://bradbergamini.com or http://everythingprescott.com