Friday's bond market has opened in negative territory despite the release of a much weaker than expected Employment report. The stock markets are showing gains after a couple of sizable down days this week. The Dow is currently up 84 points while the NASDAQ has gained 17 points. The bond market is currently down 19/32, but we should still see an improvement in this morning's mortgage rates of approximately .250 of a discount due to a strong rally in bonds late yesterday. This morning's losses are taking back some of yesterday's late gains, but mortgage rates are still lower than yesterday's morning rates.
The Labor Department gave us some surprising readings this morning, saying that the U.S. unemployment rate jumped from 6.1% in September to 6.5% in October. They were expected to show a 6.3% unemployment rate. This was the highest rate of unemployment since March 1994.
The number of payrolls added or lost during the month also opened some eyes. The economy lost 240,000 jobs last month, which was worse than the 200,000 that was forecasted. But equally as bad was a large revision to September's payrolls. What was previously announced as a loss of 159,000 jobs in September is now being estimated at 284,000. This was the 10th consecutive monthly drop in payrolls and brings the yearly total to 1.2 million jobs lost and the first time we have seen 1 million jobs lost since 2001.
Today's report gives us little to be optimistic about in regards to the employment sector. It is becoming more and more clear to many analysts that the economy is actually in a recession despite the lack of an official announcement or other benchmark indicators. What is equally concerning is that many think the problems are going to get worse before better. This could be good news for bonds and mortgage shoppers, but the crazy volatility we have seen in the markets recently makes it very difficult to follow historical patter or make realistic predictions. There is little doubt that we will see more volatility in the coming weeks.
Next week is light in terms of the number of relevant economic reports scheduled for release. We will get some important data late next week, but the first part of the week there is nothing scheduled for release to be concerned with. This make sit very likely that the stock markets will be the biggest influence on bonds and mortgage rates the first couple of days of the week. But look for more details on next week's event sin Sunday's weekly preview.
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.