March 16th, 2018 12:09 PM by T. Fanning
Last Updated: 3/16/18Friday's bond market has opened in negative territory following unfavorable economic news. Stocks are reacting favorably to the data, driving the Dow up 75 points and the Nasdaq up 24 points. The bond market is currently down 2/32 (2.84%), which should push this morning's mortgage rates slightly higher than Thursday's morning levels.The first of today's three economic releases was February's Housing Starts data at 8:30 AM ET. The Commerce Department announced a 7.0% drop in new home groundbreakings last month. That was a larger decline than analysts were expecting, indicating the new home portion of the housing sector was weaker than many had thought. However, the decline is being attributed to a sizable slowdown in multi-family units and not single-family housing that is of more interest to mortgage rates. Single family starts rose 2.9%. In other words, this data has mixed results for mortgage rates, limiting its impact on today's rates.Next up was February's Industrial Production report at 9:15 AM ET that showed a surprising 1.1% increase in output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities. This was much stronger than the 0.3% that was forecasted, meaning the manufacturing sector may be stronger than thought. That makes the data bad news for bonds and mortgage pricing.The final release of the week was the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment for March at 10:00 AM ET. It came in at 102.0, well above expectations and touched a 14-year high. This indicates surveyed consumers felt much better about their own financial situations than many had thought. Because rising confidence means consumers are more likely to make a large purchase in the near future, fueling economic growth, we should consider this data bad news also.Next week brings us a few economic reports for the markets to digest but the big news will be the FOMC meeting followed by updated Fed economic projections and a press conference with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. The week's events don't start until mid-week, so the earlier days will likely be the calmest. There is nothing of relevance taking place Monday. 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...Lock 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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