Tuesday’s bond market has opened in negative territory even thought this morning’s only economic news gave us favorable results. The stock markets are mixed with the Dow up 26 points and the Nasdaq down 6 points. The bond market is currently down 13/32 (2.26%), which should push this morning’s mortgage rates higher by approximately .125 of a discount point.
The Conference Board gave us July’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) at 10:00 AM ET this morning. They announced a reading of 90.9 that fell well short of expectations and was a sizable drop from June’s revised 99.8. Analysts were expecting to see a decline from June but forecasts were for a much smaller drop. This means that surveyed consumers were less optimistic about their own financial and employment situations than many had thought. Because waning confidence usually translates into softer consumer spending that drives economic growth, we can consider this data good news for bonds and mortgage rates. Unfortunately, this is only a moderately important report, so its impact on today’s trading and mortgage pricing has been restricted.
Tomorrow has no relevant economic data but does have two afternoon events that may affect mortgage rates. The first is the 5-year Treasury Note auction. This sale will not directly impact mortgage pricing, but can influence general bond market sentiment. If sales such as this go poorly, we sometimes see broader selling in the bond market that leads to upward revisions to mortgage rates. On the other hand, strong sales usually make bonds more attractive to investors, bringing more funds into the bond market. The buying of bonds that follows translates into lower mortgage rates. Results will be posted at 1:00 PM ET tomorrow, so look for any reaction to come during early afternoon hours.
Next up is the adjournment of the fifth FOMC meeting of the year that began today. This is not a meeting that will be followed by a press conference with Fed Chair Yellen nor is it expected to yield a change to key interest rates. Many analysts believe the Fed will make their first increase to key short-term interest rates at the September FOMC meeting. Anything in the post-meeting statement that either confirms or contradicts that theory will cause volatility in the markets. The meeting will adjourn at 2:00 PM ET, so any reaction will come during mid-afternoon hours.