Monday’s bond market has opened in positive territory with stocks starting the last week of the year in negative ground. The Dow is currently down 82 points while the Nasdaq has lost 36 points. The bond market is currently up 5/32 (2.22%). This should improve this morning’s mortgage rates slightly from last Thursday’s closing levels.
There is no relevant economic data or other events scheduled for today. The rest of the holiday-shortened week has only one monthly economic report scheduled for release that may affect mortgage rates in addition to a couple of potentially influential Treasury auctions tomorrow and Wednesday.
That sole monthly report will come late tomorrow morning when the Conference Board posts their Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for December. This is a fairly important release because it measures consumer willingness to spend. If consumers are more confident about their personal financial and employment situations, they are more apt to make a large purchase in the near future. Since consumer spending makes up over two-thirds of the U.S. economy, any related data is watched closely by market participants and can affect mortgage rate direction. Current forecasts are calling for an increase in confidence from November’s reading of 90.4. Analysts are expecting tomorrow’s release to show a reading of 93.5, meaning consumers felt much better about their own financial situation than they did in November. The lower the reading, the better the news it is for bonds and mortgage pricing.
Overall, I am expecting to see tomorrow be the most active day for mortgage rates, although I don’t see much to be worried about in this week’s calendar. Despite a lack of data this week, please maintain contact with your mortgage professional if still floating an interest rate and closing in the near future. This is because something unexpected can have a heavier impact on the markets than usual when holidays create thing trading days such as these.