Tuesday’s bond market has opened in positive territory following early stock selling that is a result of renewed concerns about the economy possibly sliding back into a recession. The Dow has lost another 218 points while the Nasdaq is down 43 points. The bond market is currently up 10/32, keeping the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury Note below 2.00%. This should improve this morning’s mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point.
The first relevant economic release of the week comes tomorrow afternoon when the Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book report at 2:00 PM ET. This report details current economic conditions in the U.S. by Federal Reserve region. It is believed to be a key source of data when the Fed meets for their FOMC meetings and is usually released approximately two weeks prior to each meeting. If it reveals any significant surprises, we may see movement in the markets and mortgage pricing as analysts adjust their theories on the Fed’s next move. Most likely though, it will be a non-event and will not lead to a noticeable change in mortgage rates as softer economic activity if expected.
Don’t be surprised to see more safe haven investing, where traders sell stocks to avoid the volatility and park funds in bonds for safety. This is common, but also causes concerns for those who rely on the bond market (ie- mortgage borrowers) because those funds often leave bonds quicker than they flowed in. That means we often see rates move higher when the process reverses quicker than they have come down during the volatility. With the 10-year setting record lows, you should watch the markets closely if still floating an interest rate. This is especially true if closing on a loan in the immediate future.
Overall, this week looks like it may be a little less active for mortgage rates than last week was. There is no particular data that is important enough to label its day of release as the most important of the week, but Thursday’s speeches (Chairman Bernanke and President Obama) make that day the best candidate. The lack of important economic news may allow the stock markets to heavily influence bond trading and mortgage rates as we have seen today.