Updated on September 22, 2020 10:08:18 AM EDT
Augusts Existing Home Sales report was posted at 10:00 AM ET this morning, revealing a 2.4% rise in home resales last month. This pegged expectations and indicated minor growth in the housing sector, making the data neutral for mortgage rates. The bond market and this morning’s mortgage rates had no reaction to the news.
Fed Chairman Powell will testify before congress later this morning. He and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin will speak before the House Financial Services Committee as part of the Coronavirus Aid Act. The markets listen carefully anytime the Fed Chairman speaks publicly, especially during congressional testimony. This event has the potential to be a market-mover, causing noticeable volatility in the financial and mortgage markets if he says something unexpected about the economy or monetary policy. This process will repeat itself Thursday morning when they appear before the Senate Banking Committee.
Tomorrow doesn’t have any relevant economic data that we need to be concerned with, but there are two other events that may influence mortgage rates. The first is day two of three consecutive days of congressional appearances by Chairman Powell. Tomorrow’s appearance will be before a House of Representatives subcommittee looking into the country’s response to the coronavirus earlier this year. This event appears to be more political than financial. However, the markets always listen when he is talking. It is not a given that we will see a major reaction to his appearance tomorrow, but the possibility does exist.
We also have the first of this week’s two potentially influential Treasury auctions taking place. The Treasury will sell 5-year Notes tomorrow and 7-year Notes Thursday. These sales will tell us if there is an appetite in the markets for medium-term securities. If investor demand in these sales is strong, particularly from international buyers, the broader bond market should move higher, pushing mortgage rates slightly lower. But a lackluster interest from investors could lead to bond selling and higher mortgage pricing. The results of the sales will be announced at 1:00 PM ET each day, so any reaction will come during afternoon trading tomorrow and/or Thursday.
©Mortgage Commentary 2020