Thursday's bond market has opened in negative territory despite another round of stock losses and favorable economic news. The stock markets are continuing yesterday's late selling that drove the Dow down 486 points and the Nasdaq down 98 points. The Dow has currently lost another 174 points while the Nasdaq has fallen 41 points. The bond market has fluctuated this morning between positive and negative ground, but currently stands down 11/32. This should mean that this morning's mortgage rates will be approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point higher than yesterday's rates.
This morning's release of the 3rd Quarter Productivity reading revealed a larger than expected increase of 1.1% in employee output. This was slightly higher than forecasts, but is still considered to be good news for bonds because high levels if productivity allows the economy to grow without inflationary pressures rising.
The second piece of data this morning was last week's unemployment figures from the Labor Department. They reported that 481,000 new claims for benefits were filed last week. This was a drop from the previous week but higher than expected. This news isn't the cause of this morning's stock weakness, but today's data was watched more closely due to the importance of tomorrow's monthly report.
October's Employment report will be released early tomorrow morning. It is expected to show that the economy lost 200,000 jobs, that unemployment rate moved from 6.1% to 6.3% and that average earnings rose 0.2% during the month. The large drop in payrolls and 0.2% jump in the unemployment rate are numbers of concern to the markets, therefore, I don't believe that we will need to see weaker than expected results to see bonds improve and mortgage rates move lower.
I am expecting to see more volatility in bonds and mortgage rates in the days ahead. Accordingly, it may be a good time to lock if closing in the immediate future. Regardless though, I strongly recommend maintaining contact with your mortgage professional over the next week or so.
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.