Monday’s bond market has opened in positive territory with no economic data to drive trading and stocks starting the week in negative territory. The major stock indexes are showing moderate losses with the Dow down 72 points and the Nasdaq down 11 points. The bond market is currently up 7/32, which should improve this morning’s mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point from Friday’s level.
There is nothing of relevance to mortgage rates scheduled for release today. This means we can look toward stocks for bond and mortgage rate direction. If the major stock indexes remain near current levels, bonds and mortgage rates will probably follow suit. If stocks fall further, bond prices may rise and mortgage rates could move lower this afternoon.
The rest of the week brings us the release of only two monthly economic reports that are relevant to mortgage rates, in addition to a couple of Treasury auctions and the minutes from the last FOMC meeting that have the potential to be influential on the bond market and mortgage pricing. Corporate earnings season also starts, which could be instrumental in driving stock prices significantly higher or lower. Since stock movement often affects bond trading, we will also be watching the earnings releases from some of the bigger names and bellwethers to help gauge bond direction and mortgage rates movement.The first events of the week will come Wednesday afternoon when we will get the minutes from the last FOMC meeting and the results of 10-year Treasury auction. We should see the most movement in rates the latter part of the week. Wednesday could be the most active day if the FOMC minutes reveal any surprises. If not, the best bet would be Friday. Tomorrow appears to be the lightest and will probably be the calmest day for mortgage rates. Look for the stock markets to also influence bond trading and mortgage rates a good part of the week as traders react to the corporate earnings news.