January 3rd, 2020 12:44 PM by T. Fanning
Last Updated: 1/3/20Friday's bond market has opened well in positive territory following the military strike that killed an Iranian general and favorable economic data. Stocks are reacting negatively to both events, pushing the Dow down 210 points and the Nasdaq down 61 points. The bond market is currently up 17/32 (1.81%), which should improve this morning's mortgage pricing by approximately .125 of a discount point from Thursday's morning pricing.Today's only relevant economic data came late this morning when the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) posted their manufacturing index for December. They announced a reading of 47.2, down from November's 48.1 when it was expected to rise. This was also the lowest reading since June 2009. The decline means fewer surveyed manufacturing executives felt business improved during the month than did in November. It also should renew concerns about the stability of the manufacturing sector and overall strength of the economy. Since the weaker reading is a sign of a softening manufacturing sector and this is considered to be a very important release, we should consider the news quite favorable for bonds and mortgage rates.The ISM index isn't the heaviest impact on today's trading though. The U.S. missile strike that killed the Iranian general caused stocks to sell overnight, pushing funds into bonds that carried into this morning's trading. There is fear that it will escalate tensions with Iran that makes bonds more appealing to investors. In times of global turmoil, bonds tend to be the favored investment for the security and safety they offer investors. While the ISM index is contributing to the morning gains, it is the missile strike that seems to be having the biggest influence on this morning's trading.We also have the minutes from last month's FOMC meeting to digest this afternoon. They will give market participants insight to the Fed's thinking and concerns regarding the economy, inflation and monetary policy. It is one of those pieces of information that may cause a great deal of volatility in the markets or be a non-factor, depending on what they show. They will be released at 2:00 PM ET, so they won't affect the markets or mortgage rates until mid-afternoon hours. The last FOMC meeting was followed by revised Fed forecasts and a press conference by Fed Chair Powell, so the possibility of seeing something unexpected is minimal. Still, market participants will be looking for any tidbits about what the Fed may do next with interest rates and when the next move may be made.Next week brings us the release of just a few relevant economic reports in addition to a couple of Treasury auctions that also may influence mortgage rates. However, one of those economic releases is the almighty monthly Employment report. There is nothing scheduled for Monday that we need to be concerned with. Look for details on all of next week's activities in Sunday evening's weekly preview.If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would....Lock if my closing were taking place within 7 days...Float if my closing were taking place between 8 and 20 days...Float if my closing were taking place between 21 and 60 days...Float if my closing were taking place over 60 days from now...This is only my opinion of what I would do if I was financing a home. It is only an opinion and cannot be guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers.**http://www.hlmcolorado.com/DailyRateAdvisory
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