Wednesday’s bond market has opened flat despite a batch of mostly unfavorable economic news. The stock markets are showing minor gains of 20 points in the Dow and 12 points in the Nasdaq. The bond market is currently up 1/32 (2.23%), which should keep this morning’s mortgage rates at yesterday’s levels.
The first of this morning’s four economic reports was October’s Durable Goods Orders at 8:30 AM ET. The Commerce Department announced a 3.0% increase in new orders for big-tickets products at U.S. manufacturers. These are items with a life expectancy of three or more years. Analysts were expecting to see only a 1.5% increase, indicating manufacturing sector strength. However, this data is known to be volatile from month to month and a secondary reading that excludes more volatile and pricey transportation-related products, such as new airplanes, matched forecasts of a 0.5% rise. Those two points have helped prevent a negative reaction in bonds this morning as this was the most important data of the day.
October’s Personal Income and Outlays data was also posted at 8:30 AM. It showed that income rose 0.4% and spending rose 0.1% last month. The income reading pegged predictions but the spending reading fell short of forecasts. That makes the data positive for bonds and mortgage rates because consumer spending makes up a significant portion of our economy. Slower than expected signs of spending means overall economic growth may be softer than thought and bonds tend to thrive in weaker economic conditions.
Last week’s unemployment figures showed that new filings for unemployment benefits dipped to 260,000. This was lower than the 272,000 that was forecasted, giving a sign that the employment sector was stronger than expected last week. This is bad news for bonds and mortgage rates, but because this is only a weekly report it has had little influence on this morning’s mortgage rates.
Lastly, October’s New Home Sales report at 10:00 AM revealed a 10.7% increase in sales of newly constructed homes. This was a larger increase than was expected, pointing towards a strengthening new home portion of the housing sector. This is a minor report though that tracks a small portion of all home sales. Therefore, it also has not moved this morning’s mortgage pricing.
There is also a Treasury auction taking place today that has the potential to affect mortgage rates. Yesterday’s 5-year Note sale went fairly well but not overly strong. The bond market had little reaction to that sale, but a strong sale today could help push bond prices higher and mortgage rates slightly lower ahead of the holiday. Today’s auction results will be posted at 11:30 AM ET, so look for a reaction to them around mid-day.
The financial and mortgage markets will be closed tomorrow for the Thanksgiving holiday. They will reopen Friday morning but for a shortened trading day. There will be no report tomorrow but we will update Friday even though it should be a very light and thin trading day in the markets. We would like to take this opportunity to wish our readers a safe and wonderful holiday!