Rate Lock Advisory

Wednesday, August 15th

Wednesday’s bond market has opened well in positive territory with stocks in selling mode and today’s economic data showing mixed results. The major stock indexes are showing sizable losses, pushing the Dow lower by 282 points while the Nasdaq is down 121 points. The bond market is currently up 15/32 (2.84%), which should improve this morning’s mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point.

15/32


Bonds


30 yr - 2.84%

282


Dow


25,017

121


NASDAQ


7,748

Mortgage Rate Trend

Trailing 90 Days - National Average

  • 30 Year Fixed
  • 15 Year Fixed
  • 5/1 ARM

Indexes Affecting Rate Lock

High


Negative


Retail Sales

The Commerce Department gave us July's Retail Sales data at 8:30 AM ET this morning. They announced a 0.5% rise in retail-level sales last month, exceeding forecasts of up 0.1%. The headline number indicates consumers spent much more than many had thought, making the data bad news for bonds and mortgage rates. Even a secondary reading that excludes more volatile and costly auto transactions came in well above forecasts (+0.6% vs 0.3%). However, a bit of good news came from noticeable downward revisions to both readings for June. Still, this is not a favorable report for bonds and mortgage rates. Fortunately, the stock selling and global concerns are taking centerstage this morning instead of this data.

Medium


Positive


Productivity and Costs (Quarterly)

Employee Productivity and Costs data for the second quarter gave us much more favorable results. It showed a 2.9% jump in worker productivity rate when analysts were expecting to see 2.0%. In this reading, the higher the number the better the news it is for mortgage rates because strong levels of productivity allow the economy to grow with less fear of inflation rapidly rising also. The other reading showed even better results with a 0.9% decline in labor costs. Forecasts were calling for a 0.5% increase, meaning there is a wide variance between forecasts and actual readings. The indication that labor costs dropped during the quarter is very good news for bonds and mortgage pricing.

Medium


Positive


Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

The final release of the day was July's Industrial Production report at 9:15 AM ET. It showed a 0.1% increase in output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities. Since forecasts were calling for a 0.4% rise in production, we can consider this data to be good news for bonds and mortgage rates also.

Low


Unknown


Housing Starts (New Residential Construction)

Tomorrow has two more economic releases, but neither are considered to be highly important. July's Housing Starts will be post at 8:30 AM ET, giving us an indication of housing sector strength and future mortgage credit demand. It usually doesn't cause much movement in mortgage rates unless it varies greatly from forecasts. Tomorrow's release is expected to show an increase in construction starts of new homes last month. The lower the number of starts, the better the news for the bond market, as it would indicate a weaker than expected new home portion of the housing sector.

Low


Unknown


Weekly Unemployment Claims (every Thursday)

The second release of the day will be last week’s unemployment update, also with an early post time. It is expected to show that 217,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, up from 213,000 of the previous week. Rising claims is a sign of a weakening employment sector, so good news will be a sizable jump in new filings. It is worth noting though, this report is only a weekly snapshot. Therefore, it takes a significant surprise for it to directly influence mortgage rates.

Float / Lock Recommendation

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Float if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now... This is only my opinion of what I would do if I were financing a home. It is only an opinion and cannot be guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers.