Thursday's bond market has opened in positive territory following favorable economic data and early stock market losses. The major stock indexes are giving back yesterday's gains with the Dow currently down 160 points and the Nasdaq down 30 points. The bond market is currently up 12/32, which should improve this morning's mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point over yesterday's morning rates.
January's Durable Goods Orders report was released early this morning, showing a surprising 3.0% increase in new orders for big-ticket items. This was much larger than the 1.4% increase that was expected, however, an upward revision of 0.9% to December's orders made the month-to-month change less drastic. Also, a reading within the report that tracks new orders for products not attributed to transportation related items actually fell 0.6% when it was expected to rise. This means that overall new orders rose more than expected, but when more volatile tr ansportation related orders are excluded, new orders fell short of forecasts. We can consider these results neutral or slightly favorable to bonds.