Monday’s bond market has opened in positive territory despite stocks showing strong gains during early trading. The Dow is currently up 109 points while the Nasdaq has gained 31 points. The bond market is currently up 4/32 (2.19%), which should improve this morning’s mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point if comparing to Friday’s morning pricing.
There is nothing of importance scheduled for release today. The rest of the week brings us the release of six pieces of monthly and quarterly economic data that are considered relevant to mortgage rates. It is a holiday-shortened week with the financial markets closing early Thursday and remaining closed Friday in observance of the Christmas holiday. None of the week’s data is considered key, but some of it does carry enough importance to affect mortgage pricing.
Tomorrow has two of those reports scheduled with the first being the final revision to the 3rd Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reading at 8:30 AM ET. I don’t think this data will have an impact on mortgage rates unless it varies greatly from its expected reading. Last month’s first revision showed that the economy expanded at a 2.1% annual pace during the quarter and this month’s final revision is expected to show a 2.0% growth rate. A revision higher than that would be considered bad news for bonds. But since this data is quite aged at this point and 4th quarter numbers will be posted next month, I am not expecting this release to affect rates tomorrow.
November’s Existing Home Sales figures will be released late tomorrow morning. The National Association of Realtors is expected to announce a decline in home resales last month, indicating a slowing housing sector. This report will give us a measurement of housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand. A sizable decline in sales would be considered positive for bonds and mortgage rates because a softening housing market makes broader economic growth more difficult. But unless the actual sales figures vary greatly from forecasts, the results will probably have a minor impact on mortgage rates.
Overall, labeling Wednesday as the key day of the week for mortgage rates is an easy call with four report releases, but tomorrow may also be pretty active for the markets and mortgage rates. It is worth noting that the markets will close early Thursday and will remain closed Friday for the Christmas Day holiday. Despite the shortened week, it still would be prudent to watch the markets and maintain contact with your mortgage professional if still floating an interest rate.