Santa Fe Las Campanas Market Update

Friday’s bond market has opened in positive ground following the release of May’s key employment data. The stock markets are reacting negatively to the news with the Dow down 85 points and the Nasdaq down 15 points, but these are well off earlier lows. The Dow had been down over 140 points at one point early this morning. As the stock indexes have slowly recovered some of their earlier losses, the bond market has given back a good portion of its’ opening gains. The bond market is currently up 8/32, but I don’t believe we will see much of an improvement in this morning’s mortgage rates due to significant selling late yesterday.
This morning’s big news came from the Labor Department, who reported that the U.S. unemployment rate rise 0.1% to 9.1% last month and that only 54,000 new payrolls were added to the economy. Both of these readings were favorable to the bond market and mortgage rates as analysts were expecting to see no change in the unemployment rate and 169,000 new jobs. The data indicates that the employment sector was much weaker than many had thought, making a broader economic recovery less likely. Since weaker economic conditions make long-term securities such as mortgage-related bonds more attractive to investors, the data should be taken as favorable for mortgage rates.
Unfortunately, it appears there is a battle going on between stock and bond investors that has prevented bonds from holding on to earlier gains. A piece of negative news in today’s report was the 0.3% increase in average hourly earnings that exceeded forecasts. That is an indication of wage inflation that is concerning because it can easily spread to other parts of the economy. Still, the two headline numbers make this report good news for mortgage shoppers. However, it just may not be reflected in today’s mortgage pricing.
I would not be surprised to see upward revisions to mortgage rates later today, especially if your lender already issued morning pricing based on early bond gains. If the major stock indexes continue to recover their early losses, we will most likely see the bond market suffer and mortgage rates move higher later today. I don’t see much of a possibility of an improvement coming because the bond market has already reached today’s high and is well off that level.
Next week has few relevant economic reports scheduled, but does have two Treasury auctions that may influence mortgage rates. None of the week’s reports will be released or events take place until the middle part of the week. Fed Chairman Bernanke does speak Monday afternoon, but I don’t believe it will draw much attention from the markets.