Friday's bond market has opened in positive territory after this morning's employment data gave us favorable results. The stock markets have actually had little reaction to the news with the Dow and Nasdaq mixed from yesterday's close. The Dow is currently up 10 points while the Nasdaq has slipped 4 points. The bond market is currently up 9/32, which should improve this morning's mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point.
The Labor Department gave us September's Employment report this morning. It showed that the unemployment rate remained at 9.6% last month and that 94,000 jobs were lost during the month. The unemployment rate was slightly below forecasts but the payroll number was much weaker than analysts had expected. They were calling for no change in the number of payrolls from August's level, meaning the employment sector was weaker than expected. This is very good news for the bond market and mortgage rates.
The third reading that is watched also gave us favorable results. It showed that average hourly earnings were unchanged from August when it was expected to rise 0.1%. Rising earnings give consumers more money to spend, fueling economic activity. Therefore, the weaker than expected reading is also good news for bonds and mortgage pricing.
Next week brings us an abundance of economic data along with two relevant Treasury auctions and the minutes from the past FOMC meeting. There is nothing of importance scheduled for Monday, but the rest of the week is packed with data and related events. Look for more details on next week's calendar in Sunday's weekly preview.