This week has little in terms of scheduled economic reports that are likely to affect mortgage rates. There are no monthly or quarterly reports set for release that are worth watching. We do have a couple of events that certainly can cause mortgage rates to move, but none of them are considered highly important or expected to be a market mover. There is nothing scheduled for Monday or Tuesday, so the week should start off quietly as long as stocks do.
Wednesday has the first event with number one of this week’s two important Treasury auctions. The sale of 10-year Notes will be held Wednesday while 30-year Bonds will be sold Thursday. We often see some weakness in bonds ahead of the sales as the firms participating prepare for them. However, as long as the auctions are met with decent demand from investors, the firms usually buy them back. This tends to help recover any presale losses. But, if the sales are met with a lackluster interest from investors- particularly international buyers, the bond market may move lower after the results are posted and mortgage rates may move higher. Those results will be announced at 1:00 PM each sale day, so any reaction will come during early afternoon trading.
The last FOMC meeting minutes will be posted at 2:00 PM ET Thursday afternoon. These may move the markets or could be a non-factor, depending on what they say. With little else being posted this week they will likely be a little more influential than usual. The key points traders are looking for are concerns over our and the global economies, inflation and the Fed’s next monetary policy move. If Fed members were concerned about the economy continuing to grow, we may see the bond market move higher and mortgage rates lower Thursday afternoon. It will be interesting to see how much debate and disagreement amongst members took place during the meeting, particularly about when they will start raising key short-term interest rates. It is worth noting though that the last FOMC meeting was followed by revised economic predications and a press conference with Fed Chair Yellen. Therefore, the likelihood of seeing a significant surprise in the minutes is relatively low.
Thursday also has last week’s unemployment figures at 8:30 AM. This report usually doesn’t cause much movement in the markets or mortgage rates unless it shows a significant jump or drop in initial claims for benefits. But since this week has so little to drive trading, it could draw more attention than it usually does.
Overall, I see Thursday as the key day of the week, although the most movement in the bond market and mortgage pricing will probably take place during afternoon hours. We still may see some movement in rates from day to day but unless something unexpected happens in the geopolitical arena or stock movement, any move will likely be minor. I never recommend cutting contact off with your mortgage professional if still floating an interest rate. However, this is probably going to be a fairly calm week for mortgage rates, at least compared to recent weeks.