Monday’s bond market has opened in positive territory following weaker than expected manufacturing data. Stocks are starting the week with solid gains, pushing the Dow higher by 177 points and the Nasdaq up 68 points. The bond market is currently up 8/32 (1.20%), which should improve this morning’s mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point from Friday’s early pricing.
This week’s calendar started this morning with the release of the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing index for July at 10:00 AM ET. They announced a reading of 59.5, down from June’s 60.6 when forecasts had it rising slightly. The lower reading means fewer surveyed manufacturing executives felt business improved last month than did in June. That is a sign of slowing manufacturing activity, making the report good news for bonds and mortgage rates.
June's Factory Orders data is tomorrow’s sole relevant economic release. It will give us another measurement of manufacturing sector strength, but carries far less importance than today’s ISM release. Tomorrow’s report tracks new orders at U.S. factories for both durable and non-durable goods during the month of June. It is similar to last week's Durable Goods Orders report that covered orders for big-ticket items only. Since a significant portion of the data was released last week, tomorrow’s version likely will not have a big impact on the markets. Analysts are expecting to see a rise in new orders of approximately 0.9%. A much smaller than expected increase would be considered good news for bonds and mortgage pricing. However, it will take a large variance from forecasts for this report to noticeably influence mortgage rates.
Overall, Friday is the key day of the week for mortgage rates due to the importance of the monthly Employment report. Tomorrow or Thursday are the best candidates for calmest day, unless something unexpected happens. Considering the importance of some of this week's data,, it would be prudent to keep a close eye on the markets if floating an interest rate and closing in the near future.