Monday’s bond market has opened in negative territory, giving back some of the rally from late last week. Stocks are starting the week calm with the Dow up 7 points and the Nasdaq down 2 points. The bond market is currently down 15/32 (2.20%), but due to strength late Friday we should see an increase in this morning’s mortgage rates of only approximately .125 of a discount point.
There is nothing of importance scheduled for release today. The rest of the week brings us the release of four pieces of relevant economic news in addition to the minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting. Only one of the economic reports is considered to be highly important to the markets and mortgage rates, but a couple do carry enough significance to influence mortgage rates if they show a wide variance from forecasts.
April’s Housing Starts will kick-off the week’s calendar early tomorrow morning. It will give us an indication of housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand by tracking newly issued permits and actual starts of new home construction. It is expected to show an increase in new construction starts from March’s reading, hinting at housing sector growth. However, since this report is not considered to be of high importance to the bond market, it likely will have little impact on mortgage rates unless it varies greatly from forecasts.
Overall, I believe Friday will be the most important day for rates, not just due to the CPI release, but also because it will be a shortened trading day ahead of the Memorial Day holiday. Wednesday afternoon could also be pretty active if the minutes show anything of importance. Despite a relatively light calendar, I still recommend maintaining contact with your mortgage professional if you have not locked an interest rate yet as recent trading shows we don’t need key data for the bond market and mortgage rates to turn volatile.