Economic news on March 1 was a good news/bad news mix, which is likely to mean that today's mortgage rates will be relatively unchanged. On the good news side, the Labor Department reported that unemployment insurance applications declined by 2,000 in the week ending February 25 to 351,000, better than analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had anticipated.
However, that positive news was tempered by reports on personal income, consumer spending and manufacturing, all of which came in weaker than expected. The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending rose 0.2 percent in January, less than the expected 0.4 percent; personal income rose by an anemic 0.3 percent, less than the expected 0.5 percent. The Institute for Supply Management's factory index fell from 54.1 percent to 52.4 percent in February. In addition, high gas prices remain a negative pressure on the economy.
Mortgage rates are expected to stay relatively stable in the immediate future, but if more weak economic news arrives, the possibility exists they could decline.
If closing in the next 30 days, I would LOCK my rate. Otherwise, I'd FLOAT my rate. This is only an opinion: What I would do if I were closing a mortgage at this time. Your decision may depend on other factors, such as the strength of your loan approval and your tolerance for risk.