February 4th, 2010 8:57 AM by Mel Samick
Wednesday's bond market has opened in negative territory despite early stock weakness. The stock markets are giving back some of the gains from the previous two days with the Dow down 26 points and the Nasdaq up 1 point. The bond market is currently down 15/32, which will likely push this morning's mortgage rates higher.The Institute for Supply Management released their services index late this morning, announcing a reading of 50.5. This was a little lower than expected, and as mentioned yesterday did not have an impact on this morning's bond trading or mortgage rates.There are a couple of relevant reports scheduled for release tomorrow. The first is Employee Productivity and Costs data for the 4th quarter will be released early tomorrow morning. It can cause some movement in the bond market, but should have a minimal impact on mortgage pricing. If it varies greatly from analysts' forecasts of a 6.5% increase, we may see some movement in mortgage rates. However, the markets will be much more interested in Friday's data. Late tomorrow morning, December's Factory Orders data will be posted. It is similar to last week's Durable Goods Orders release in giving us a measurement of manufacturing sector strength, but this data includes new orders for both durable and non-durable goods. It is one of the less important reports of the week, but can influence mortgage pricing if it varies greatly from forecasts. It is expected to show a 0.5% increase in new orders.The Labor Department will post last week's unemployment figures tomorrow morning also, however, with January's monthly figures coming Friday morning, this release will likely have less impact on rates than the minimal amount it usually does. Look for the other reports of the morning to have a bigger influence on bond trading and mortgage rates than the weekly unemployment figures.