June 20th, 2011
This will likely prove to be another active week in terms of mortgage rate movement due to the economic data and other events that are scheduled, but we may see less intra-day swings than we did the past two weeks. There are four economic reports scheduled for release in addition to another Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.
There is no relevant economic news scheduled for release tomorrow. Tuesday brings us the first data with the release of May’s Existing Home Sales report. The National Association of Realtors will give us figures on home resales late Tuesday morning. This data helps us measure housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand, but it usually takes a large variance from forecasts for it to cause a noticeable change to mortgage rates. It is expected to show a decline in home sales from April to May.
Wednesday’s only event is the adjournment of the FOMC meeting that began Tuesday. It is widely expected that Mr. Bernanke and company will not change key short-term interest rates at this meeting. But, as we have seen so many times in the past, it is the post meeting statement that often creates the most volatility in the markets. They could give an opinion of the overall economy or inflation, hinting at a possible future move or lack of one. Statements like these could cause a knee-jerk reaction in the markets and possibly mortgage pricing after the 12:30 PM ET adjournment.
Thursday’s only report is the release of May’s New Home Sales. It is similar to Tuesday’s Existing Home Sales report, but tells us how well sales of newly constructed homes were last month. It is also expected to show a decline in sales, but will likely not have much of an impact on mortgage rates because this data tracks only the 15% of home sales that Tuesday’s data does not.
There are two reports being released Friday morning. The first is the final reading to the 1st Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GDP is the sum of all products and services produced in the U.S. and is considered to be the best measurement of economic growth or contraction. However, this data is quite aged now (covers January through March) and will likely have little impact on the bond market or mortgage pricing unless it varies greatly from previous readings. Market participants are looking more towards next month’s release of this quarter’s GDP reading. Last month’s first revision showed a 1.8% rise in the GDP, which is what analysts are expecting to see again.
May’s Durable Goods Orders will also be posted early Friday morning, giving us an indication of manufacturing sector strength. It is known to be quite volatile from month to month and is expected to show an increase of 1.0% in new orders from April to May. A large decline would be the ideal scenario for the bond market and would likely lead to a decline in mortgage pricing because it would indicate manufacturing sector weakness.
Overall, today will likely be the quietest day of the week unless the stock markets stage a rally or sizable sell-off. The most active should be Wednesday with the FOMC meeting adjourning or Friday due to the Durable Goods report being posted that day. Tuesday’s news may also affect mortgage rates, but likely not as much as other days.