Mortgage Rates Move A Little On Today's News 11-15-2017
By James Brooks
The bond market is currently up 4/32 (2.33%), which should improve Raleigh area mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point.
The Commerce Department gave us the first of this morning?s two important economic reports with the release of October's Retail Sales data at 8:30 AM ET. It showed a 0.2% rise in consumer spending, slightly exceeding forecasts of 0.1%. However, a secondary reading that excludes more volatile auto transactions came in at up 0.1% when it was expected to rise 0.2%. Those variances offset each other with the headline increase being slightly negative for mortgage rates but the secondary reading is good news. The net result is a neutral impact on bond trading and mortgage pricing.
Also at 8:30 AM was the release of October's Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the Labor Department. They announced a 0.1% increase in the overall reading and a 0.2% rise in the more important core data. Both readings matched expectations and point towards subdued inflationary pressures at the consumer level of the economy. This is good news for bonds and mortgage securities because rapidly rising inflation makes long-term securities less appealing to investors. Although, since they didn?t show surprises, their impact on this morning?s mortgage rates has been minimal.
Tomorrow has two pieces of economic data that may affect mortgage rates, but neither are considered to be highly important. The first will come at 8:30 AM ET when last week?s unemployment figures are released. They are expected to show that 234,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, down from the previous week?s 239,000 initial claims. Since rising claims hints at employment sector weakness, the higher the number the better the news it is for mortgage rates. However, because this is only a weekly report, it likely will have little influence on tomorrow?s mortgage rates unless it shows a significant variance.
The second release will be October's Industrial Production report at 9:15 AM ET that measures manufacturing sector strength by tracking output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities. It is expected to show a 0.5% increase from September's level. A decline would be considered favorable news for bonds and mortgage rates because it would indicate manufacturing sector weakness and broader economic growth would be more difficult if manufacturing activity is slipping.
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... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now.