Friday’s bond market has opened in positive territory following mixed economic data. Sizable losses in stocks are helping to boost bond prices during early trading. The Dow is currently down 144 points while the Nasdaq has lost 35 points. The bond market is currently up 8/32 (2.11%), which should improve this morning’s mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point.
The first is the revision to the 1st quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was posted at 8:30 AM ET this morning, showing that the economy actually contracted during the first three months of the year at an annual rate of 0.7%. This decline was expected and matched analysts’ forecasts. Since it showed the economy shrank last quarter, we can consider the data slightly favorable for bonds and mortgage rates. Because it was of no surprise to the markets though, we haven’t see much of a reaction to the news.
Late this morning, the University of Michigan posted their revised Index of Consumer Sentiment for May. It came in at 90.7 that exceeded forecasts and was an increase from this month’s preliminary reading of 88.6. This means surveyed consumers were more optimistic about their own financial and employment situations this month than previously thought. That makes the data negative for bonds and mortgage rates because rising confidence usually translates into higher levels of consumer spending and economic activity.
Next week has a full schedule of relevant economic reports, including a couple of highly important releases. The calendar starts Monday with the release of April’s Personal income and Outlays report in addition to the very influential ISM index. There is data set to be posted each day next week, ending with the almighty monthly Employment report, so we can expected to see quite a bit of movement in rates. Look for details on Monday’s and the rest of the week’s schedule in Sunday evening’s weekly preview.