Updated on November 20, 2019 10:13:28 AM EST

This morning’s bond gains have caused the benchmark 10-year Treasury Note yield to fall below 1.78%. As long as that holds, it allows us to be optimistic that rates will move lower in the near future. At the very least, the risk of floating an interest rate eases for the time being. That can change with a single unexpected news release or event, so it would be prudent to still watch the markets if currently floating an interest rate and closing soon.

Today has no relevant economic data scheduled for release but does have the minutes from last month’s FOMC meeting. Traders will be looking for any indication of the Feds next move regarding monetary policy. The minutes will show what economic concerns members have that influenced their vote for a quarter point rate cut at the last meeting. They will be released at 2:00 PM ET, therefore, any reaction will come during mid-afternoon trading. These minutes may lead to afternoon volatility, or they may be a non-factor. Because they do carry the potential to influence mortgage rates, they should be watched.

Tomorrow has two moderately important pieces of economic data, both at 10:00 AM ET. The National Association of Realtor’s Existing Home Sales report is one. It will give us a measurement of housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand by tracking home resales in the U.S. This report is expected to show a small rise in sales, meaning the housing sector strengthened slightly last month. That would be relatively bad news for the bond market and mortgage pricing because a stronger housing sector makes broader economic growth more likely. However, unless it shows a significant surprise, it will likely not have a major impact on tomorrow’s rates.

Also set for release late tomorrow morning is the Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) report for October. This Conference Board release is a moderately important report that attempts to predict economic activity over the next three to six months. It is expected to show a 0.1% decline, meaning economic activity will likely slip over the next couple of months. Generally speaking, this would be good news for bonds. However, since this data is considered only moderately important, its results need to miss forecasts by a wide margin for it to affect mortgage rates.

 ©Mortgage Commentary 2019