Monday’s bond market has opened in negative territory as stocks start the week off with noticeable gains. The Dow is currently up 92 points while the Nasdaq has gained 61 points. The bond market is currently down 7/32, which will likely push this morning’s mortgage rates higher by approximately .250 of a discount point is comparing to Friday’s morning pricing.
There is nothing of importance scheduled for release today. We are seeing stocks move higher (pushing bonds lower, yields and mortgage rates higher) this morning due to economic and geopolitical news from overseas. The rest of the week brings us the release of six economic reports that may have the potential to influence mortgage rates. Several of these reports are considered to be of elevated importance to the bond market and therefore mortgage rates. This raises the possibility of multiple days with fairly sizable changes to rates.
The first piece of data is April's Retail Sales at 8:30 AM ET tomorrow morning. This is an extremely important report for the financial markets since it measures consumer spending. Consumer spending makes up over two-thirds of the U.S. economy, so this data can have a pretty significant impact on the markets. Current forecasts are calling for a 0.3% increase in sales from March to April. A weaker than expected level of sales should push bond prices higher and mortgage rates lower tomorrow as it would signal that economic activity may not be as strong as thought. However, an unexpected increase could renew theories of economic growth that would lead to more stock buying and bond selling, pushing mortgage rates higher.
Overall, the most active day for mortgage rates will likely be either tomorrow or Thursday. Both have key economic data being posted that will attract plenty of attention in the bond market. We also need to watch stocks for mortgage rate movement. Generally speaking, stock weakness makes bonds more attractive while stock gains tend to draw funds from bonds, leading to higher mortgage rates (as we have seen this morning).