Today's Mortgage Rates Starting To Move Higher 4-19-2017

By James Brooks

The bond market is down 12/32 (2.21%), which should push today's mortgage rates slightly higher. Strength in bonds late Tuesday is helping to prevent more of an increase this morning. However, if your lender did improve pricing intraday yesterday, you will see an increase in today's rates.

This morning has nothing of relevance scheduled, but we do have the Fed Beige Book coming this afternoon. This report is named simply after the color of its cover but details economic conditions throughout the U.S. by Fed region. Since the Fed relies heavily on the contents of this report during their FOMC meetings, its results can have a fairly big impact on the financial markets and mortgage rates if it reveals any significant surprises. Generally speaking, signs of strong economic growth or inflation rising from the last update would be considered negative for bonds and mortgage rates. Slowing economic conditions with little sign of inflationary pressures would be ideal for mortgage rates. The report will be released at 2:00 PM ET, so any reaction will come during mid-afternoon trading.

Tomorrow has two minor pieces of economic data being posted. The first is last week?s unemployment figures at 8:30 AM ET. They are expected to show that new claims for unemployment benefits rose from 234,000 to 242,000. Good news for mortgage shoppers would be a sizable spike as rising claims is a sign of a weakening employment sector. Since this is only a weekly update, it often has little or no impact on mortgage rates unless it shows a sizable variance from forecasts.

Next up is the Conference Board?s Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) for March. This data attempts to predict economic activity over the next three to six months. It is also considered to be only a moderately important report, so at best we can expect to see a slight movement in rates as a result of this data. It is expected to show a 0.3% increase from February's reading, meaning it is predicting moderate growth in economic activity over the next several months. A decline would be considered good news for the bond market and could lead to slightly lower mortgage rates tomorrow.

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.

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