Tuesday’s bond market has opened fairly flat after this morning’s economic data gave us mixed results. The stock markets are giving back some of yesterday’s gains with the Dow down 36 points and the Nasdaq down 12 points. The bond market is currently up 2/32, but we will likely see an improvement in this morning’s mortgage rates of approximately .250 of a discount point due to strength in bonds late yesterday.
This morning’s release of the 3rd Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) revision revealed a downward revision, as expected. It revealed a 2.8% annual rate of growth during the third quarter that nearly matched forecasts. This means that the economy did not grow as much during the 3rd quarter than previously thought. That is good news for bonds and mortgage rates, but since the 2.8% increase was nearly what analysts had predicted, the impact on this morning’s trading and mortgage pricing has been minimal.
November’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) was posted late this morning, showing a reading of 49.5. This was higher than forecasts were calling for, indicating that consumers were more optimistic about their own financial situations than many had thought. That is considered negative news for bonds because rising confidence means consumers are more apt to make large purchases in the near future, effectively fueling economic growth.
We have two more events to watch for later today. The first are the results of the 5-year Note auction being held today. They will be posted at 1:00 PM ET. If there was a strong demand from investors, we could see bond prices rise and mortgage rates fall this afternoon. But a lackluster interest in the sale could lead to higher mortgage pricing.
The FOMC minutes may be a major mover of the markets or a non-factor, depending on what they say. The key will be concerns over inflation and the Fed’s next move. If the Fed members were concerned about inflationary pressures and overly optimistic about economic growth, we may see the bond market move lower and mortgage rates higher after they are released at 2:00 PM ET.
There are four reports scheduled for release tomorrow morning. October’s Durable Goods Orders is the first and will be posted early morning. This data helps us measure manufacturing strength by tracking orders for big-ticket items, but is known to be quite volatile from month-to-month. It is expected to show a 0.5% increase in new orders. A smaller than expected rise would be considered good news for the bond market and mortgage rates.
The second is October’s Personal Income and Outlays data. This data is thought to measure consumers’ ability to spend and their current spending habits. This is important because consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy. It is expected to show that income rose 0.2% and that spending increases 0.5%. Smaller than expected readings would be good news for bonds and could lead to improvements in mortgage rates.
The revised November reading to the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment will be posted late tomorrow morning. Analysts are expecting to see an upward revision of 1.0 to the preliminary reading of 66.0. Unless we see a significant variance from the forecasted reading of 67.0, I don’t think this data will cause much movement in mortgage rates tomorrow.
October’s New Home Sales is the last report, but it is the least important. I don’t think this data will influence mortgage rates unless it varies greatly from forecasts and the rest of the day’s news matches forecasts. It is expected to show a slight increase in sales of newly constructed homes.
Source: Ken Mason, Mortgage California