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James Brooks

Mortgage Rates Move Lower On Today's News 11-18-2013

Monday, November 18, 2013 - Article by: James Brooks - Message

By James Brooks

The bond market is currently up 8/32, which should improve this morning's mortgage rates by approximately .250 of a discount point.

There is nothing of importance scheduled for release today to drive trading, but the rest of the week has five economic reports scheduled for release that are relevant to mortgage rates in addition to the minutes from last month's FOMC meeting. A couple of the reports are considered highly important to the markets, meaning we could see noticeable movement in rates more than one day.

It starts tomorrow with the release of the 3rd Quarter Employment Cost Index (ECI) at 8:30 AM ET tomorrow. This data tracks employer costs for salaries and benefits, giving us an indication of wage inflation pressures. Rapidly rising costs raises wage inflation concerns and may hurt bond prices. It is expected to show an increase in costs of 0.5%. A smaller than expected increase would be good news for mortgage rates, but this is not one of the more important reports of the week. Therefore, it will likely take a large variance from forecasts for this report of have a noticeable influence on mortgage pricing.

Overall, I am expecting Wednesday to be the most active day for mortgage rates with three economic reports and the FOMC minutes set for release, but Thursday could be a little volatile also with the second inflation reading of the week. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note closed last week just above 2.70% but this morning's gains have pushed it below that support level. I am watching this move carefully to see if it can hold. If it does, there appears to be plenty of room for more improvements. On the other hand, a rebound above 2.70% would renew my concerns about further increases to mortgage rates in the immediate future.

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... Lock if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Lock if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now.

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