This week has few economic reports or other scheduled events that are expected to influence rates. In fact, the only economic release that we need to be concerned with will be the weekly unemployment update Thursday morning. There are a couple of other items that may lead to minor changes in rates this week, but no key events are scheduled at this time.
In lieu of data to drive trading and mortgage rates, we can expect the fluid situation of President Trump’s recovery from COVID-19 to be in the forefront the next few days. Generally speaking, a quick recovery and news he is leaving the hospital should be favorable for stocks and detrimental for bonds and mortgage pricing. On the other hand, complications or a delayed return to the White House could fuel stock selling, bond buying and lower mortgage rates.
Wednesday has both of this week’s scheduled events that we will be watching, both coming during afternoon hours. They start with one of this week's two important Treasury auctions. The sale of 10-year Notes will be held Wednesday while 30-year Bonds will be sold Thursday. We often see some weakness in bonds ahead of the sales as the firms participating prepare for them. However, as long as the auctions are met with decent demand from investors, the firms usually buy them back. This tends to help recover any presale losses. But if the sales are met with a lackluster interest from investors- particularly international buyers, the bond market may move lower after the results are posted and mortgage rates could move higher. Those results will be announced at 1:00 PM each sale day, meaning any reaction will come during early afternoon trading.
The second event of the day will be the minutes from last month's FOMC meeting at 2:00 PM ET. These may move the markets or could be a non-factor, depending on what they show. The key points traders are looking for are concerns among Fed members about the impact the pandemic is having on both our domestic and the global economies, future inflation and what action the Fed may need to take to further boost the economy. It is worth noting though that the last FOMC meeting was followed by revised economic predictions and a press conference with Fed Chair Powell. Therefore, the likelihood of seeing a significant surprise in the minutes is relatively low.
Overall, despite Wednesday and Thursday being the only days with events scheduled that we need to watch, neither may actually end up being the most active day for mortgage rates. Look for stocks to heavily influence bond trading and mortgage pricing the next few days, which may be guided by President Trump’s health. We also have Wednesday night’s Vice-Presidential debate that may affect the markets Thursday but should not be a market mover. Even though this week’s calendar is light, it still would be prudent to keep an eye on the financial and mortgage markets if floating an interest rate and closing in the near future as they can get active without notice.