Wednesday's bond market has opened flat with no relevant economic news scheduled for release this morning. The stock markets aren't influencing bond trading either with the major indexes mixed. The Dow is currently down 10 points and the Nasdaq up 15 points. The bond market is nearly unchanged from yesterday's close, but we will still likely see an increase in this morning's mortgage rates of approximately .250 of a discount point due to weakness late yesterday.
Today's only relevant report comes during afternoon trading. The Fed Beige Book will be released at 2:00 PM ET today. This report, which is simply named after the color of its cover, details economic conditions by region. It is relied on heavily during the FOMC meetings when determining monetary policy, so its results can influence bond trading and mortgage rates if it shows any significant surprises.
Tomorrow morning brings us the release of the revised 3rd Quarter Productivity report. This index is expected to show a downward revision from the preliminary reading of worker productivity. Higher levels of productivity are thought to allow the economy to expand without inflationary pressures rising. This is good news for the bond market because economic growth itself isn't necessarily bad for the bond market. It is the conditions around an expanding economy, such as inflation, that hurt bond prices and mortgage rates. Current forecasts are calling for an annual rate of 8.6%, down from the previous estimate of 9.5%.
We also get weekly unemployment figures from the Labor Department tomorrow morning. They are expected to say that 480,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week. This would be an increase from the previous week, but unless the total varies greatly from this forecast I don't believe it will have much of an impact on tomorrow's mortgage rates.
Mortgage Commentary 2009 Please E-mail us your opinion of this report