Wednesday’s bond market has opened up slightly following the lead of stocks. The major stock indexes are calm with the Dow up 7 points and the Nasdaq up 6 points. The bond market is currently up 3/32 (1.77%), which should keep this morning’s mortgage rates at yesterday’s levels.
Today’s sole relevant economic report was March’s Existing Homes Sales at 10:00 AM ET. The National Association of Realtors announced that home resales rose 5.1% last month, coming close to expectations. This is a sign of housing sector strength, but since it didn’t show much of a surprise and the report is considered to be moderately important, the news did not affect today’s mortgage rates.
Tomorrow has two pieces of data, but neither are considered to be of much concern. The first is last week’s unemployment update at 8:30 AM ET. It will give us a small snapshot of the employment sector and is expected to show that 263,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, up from the previous week. The higher the number of claims, the better the news it is because rising claims hints at a softening labor market. However, since this is only a weekly report, it likely will not have much of an impact on mortgage rates unless it shows a significant variance from forecasts.
The third and final monthly release of the week will come from the Conference Board at 10:00 AM tomorrow morning when they post their Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) for March. This data attempts to predict economic activity over the next three to six months. It is also considered to be only a moderately important report, so at best we can expect to see a slight movement in rates as a result of this data. It is expected to show a 0.4% increase from February’s reading, meaning it is predicting moderate growth in economic activity over the next several months. A decline would be considered good news for the bond market and could lead to slightly lower mortgage rates.