Wednesday’s bond market has opened in negative territory with stocks showing sizable gains. The Dow is currently up 226 points while the Nasdaq has gained 89 points. The bond market is currently down 4/32 (2.07%), but due to strength late yesterday we still should see a slight improvement in this morning’s rates if comparing to Tuesday’s morning pricing.
Today’s only relevant economic data failed to reveal any surprises. September’s ADP Employment report that was released at 8:15 AM ET this morning showed that 200,000 private sector payrolls were added, matching forecasts. Therefore, we can consider the data neutral for mortgage rates.
Tomorrow has two reports scheduled for release. One of them is much more important to the markets than the other. The less important one is the weekly unemployment update from the Labor Department. They are expected to say that 270,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, up slightly from the previous week’s 267,000. Ideally, we want to see a large increase in initial claims because rising claims indicate a weakening employment sector. This report will be posted at 8:30 AM ET, but it usually takes a wide variance from expectations for it to have an impact on mortgage rates.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) will post their manufacturing index for September at 10:00 AM ET tomorrow. This index measures manufacturer sentiment and it can be heavily influential on the markets and mortgage rates. Analysts are expecting to see a decline from August’s 51.1 reading, meaning surveyed manufacturers felt business conditions were a little weaker in September than they were in August. This data is important not only because it measures manufacturer sentiment, but it is also very recent data. Some economic releases track data that are 30-60 days old. But the ISM index is only a few weeks old and usually the first report we see each month. If it reveals a reading below 50.6, meaning sentiment fell short of expectations, we should see the bond market move higher and mortgage rates fall tomorrow.