Tuesday’s bond market has opened in negative territory with stocks staging a strong rally during early trading. The Dow is currently up 276 points while the Nasdaq has gained 68 points following strong earnings news. The bond market is currently down 7/32 (1.93%), but we should still see a slight improvement in this morning’s mortgage rates due to strength late yesterday.
Today has no economic data scheduled for release that is expected to affect mortgage rates. We do however, have the 10-year Treasury Note auction that certainly has the potential to move mortgage rates. Today’s sale will be followed tomorrow by 30-year Bonds. Today’s sale is the more important of the two as it will give us a better indication for demand of mortgage-related securities. If the sales are met with a strong demand from investors, we should see the bond market move higher later today. On the other hand, a lackluster interest from buyers, particularly international investors would indicate a waning appetite for longer-term U.S. securities and lead to selling n the bond market. The selling in bonds would likely result in upward revisions to mortgage rates. Results will be posted at 1:00 PM ET, so any reaction will come during early afternoon trading.
Besides the 30-year Bond auction, tomorrow also brings the release of the week’s first economic data and it is a very important report. That would be December’s Retail Sales data from the Commerce Department at 8:30 AM ET tomorrow. This report measures consumer spending by tracking sales at U.S. retail level establishments. Since consumer spending makes up over two-thirds of the U.S. economy, any related data is watched closely. Rising consumer sales fuels expectations for broader economic growth that makes long-term bonds less attractive to investors. Current forecasts are calling for a 0.1% increase December’s sales. A decline in sales would be good news for bonds and mortgage rates because it would hint at weaker than thought economic growth.
Also tomorrow, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book will be posted at 2:00 PM ET. This report is named simply after the color of its cover and details economic conditions throughout the U.S. by Fed region. Since the Fed relies heavily on it during their FOMC meetings, its results can have a fairly big impact on the financial markets and mortgage rates if it reveals any surprises, particularly regarding inflation, unemployment or future hiring. Any reaction to the report though will come during afternoon trading tomorrow.