Friday’s bond market has opened in positive territory with no negative surprises in this morning’s economic data and early stock weakness helping to make bonds more attractive. The major stock indexes are looking to close the week out on a negative note. The Dow is currently down 79 points while the Nasdaq has lost 6 points. The bond market is currently up 19/32 (1.80%), which should improve this morning’s mortgage rates by approximately .250 of a discount point.
Neither of this morning’s economic reports gave us a significant surprise. The National Association of Realtors announced late this morning that home resales rose 2.4% last month, indicating modest growth in the housing sector. While the sign of growth is technically bad news for bonds, it was a smaller increase in sales than many had thought. That makes the data neutral to slightly favorable for bonds and mortgage rates.
December’s Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) was the second report of the morning, revealing a 0.5% rise. This means that the indicators are predicting an increase in economic activity over the next several months. Since it pegged forecasts, it also has had little impact on this morning’s mortgage pricing.
Next week brings us a handful of economic reports that have the potential to affect mortgage rates, including one that is highly influential to the financial and mortgage markets. In addition to the reports, we also have a couple of semi-relevant Treasury auctions and a highly relevant FOMC meeting. There is nothing of importance scheduled for Monday, so expect weekend news and stock movement to be the biggest factors in that day’s mortgage rate changes. Look for details on next week’s activities in Sunday evening’s weekly preview.