This week has no relevant economic reports for the bond market to digest but we do have the minutes from the last FOMC meeting and two fairly important Treasury auctions taking place. However, before we get to any of those, the focus will be on Greek’s voting down of the proposed bailout plan today. It will likely cause stocks to start the week well in negative territory while bonds should open with pretty strong gains and a noticeable improvement in mortgage pricing.
There is nothing of relevance scheduled for release tomorrow or Tuesday but corporate earnings season begins this week. Alcoa is expected to post their earnings after the market closes Tuesday, so it will have an impact on overnight and early morning trading Wednesday. This company isn’t necessarily important to gauging economic strength, but it is the first Dow component company that posts earnings each quarter. Since it is the first look into Dow-related earnings, it draws plenty of attention in the markets. Generally speaking, weaker corporate earnings translates into stock selling that makes bonds more attractive to investors. As bond prices rise, yields fall and mortgage rates usually follow bond yields.
Wednesday has the first of two important Treasury auctions when 10-year Notes will be sold. That sale will be followed by a 30-year Bond auction Thursday. These sales can influence market trading in bonds and possibly affect mortgage rates. If the sales are met with a strong demand from investors, particularly Wednesday’s sale, we should see afternoon improvements in bonds that could lead to downward revisions to mortgage rates. However, if buyers stay on the sidelines, we may see bonds fall after results are posted at 1:00 PM ET and mortgage rates move higher those days.
Also Wednesday afternoon is the release of the minutes from the last FOMC meeting. There is a possibility of the markets reacting to them following their 2:00 PM ET release. I don’t believe that they will reveal anything surprising from the last FOMC meeting and during Chairperson Yellen’s press conference that followed. Still, market participants will be looking for any indication of when the Fed will make their first rate increase that is expected sometime this year. The minutes will tell us how members voted for related motions and could cause more volatility in the markets if there is anything unexpected in them.
Overall, it is a fairly easy decision to label tomorrow as the most important day due to the expected reaction to Greece’s vote. As for the calmest day, it could be Friday unless the Greek situation takes another turn or Janet Yellen says something surprising in her speaking engagement. In between we should see plenty of volatility in the markets and movement in mortgage rates. Therefore, it is highly recommended to maintain contact with your mortgage professional if still floating an interest rate and closing in the near future.