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Posted To: MBS CommentaryGDP was +0.8 vs +0.9 forecast this morning Consumer Sentiment was 94.7 vs 95.4 Inflation expectations were the lowest since 2010 But markets didn't trade any of that data Anyone who was still working, was waiting to see if Yellen would say something She did, and the 3 people still working sold bonds These pre-holiday half-days are fairly pointless , and only really exist as a courtesy to the folks who need access to financial markets for operational reasons. To a lesser extent, they also provide another day for economic data releases without needing to reschedule them, potentially clogging up the calendar on a more worthwhile day. Harvard and Yellen made markets wait until half an hour before the early close to find out if she would say anything about monetary policy. She did. It was generic...(read more)
Posted To: Mortgage Rate WatchMortgage rates were sideways to slightly lower today, depending on the lender. Financial markets closed early for Memorial Day weekend, and will be fully closed on Monday. As such, lenders won't be updating rate sheets again until Tuesday. Today's rate sheets aren't too terribly different from yesterday's. Most lenders are unchanged and a few are offering just slightly lower costs for the same "note rates" seen yesterday. The most prevalently-quoted conventional 30yr fixed rate continues to be 3.75% on top tier scenarios, but there are several lenders at 3.625%. The financial markets that underly mortgage rate movement are in a tricky spot at the moment. Investors are weighing the possibilities of a Fed rate hike in June or July. Although mortgage rates don't move in lock-step with the Fed...(read more)
Posted To: Pipeline PressDo you think your company’s computer system is immune from hacking? It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” – just ask Equifax about its data breaches hitting the press . Not only that, but one can buy practically anything on the internet: hackers are selling 117mm LinkedIn passwords on the web. Hackers will likely use such data to mine it and then gain access to email and bank accounts (because so many people reuse passwords for their various accounts). Change your passwords regularly (like from "Passwerd" to "abc1234") and don't use the same one for every account. The largest bank in Africa, Standard Bank Group Ltd., reports it has lost $19 million due to a sophisticated attack carried out in Japan: thieves forged 1,600 cards and withdrew money from...(read more)
Posted To: MBS CommentaryGDP at 8:30am won't matter Consumer Sentiment at 10am won't matter Yellen at 10:30am (and 1:15pm) won't matter All of the above--but especially Yellen--can matter next week As I like to point out from time to time, Wall Street and bond trading desks at the CME in Chicago are s taffed by human beings . With all of the press devoted to algorithmic trading in recent years, and with simple deductive reasoning in an age of ever-increasing digital technology, it's all too tempting to assume that trading can easily be handled by big racks of low-latency servers and sophisticated software programs. But that's just not the way it works . While it's true that algorithms and software play a huge role in financial markets, these digital helpers are like airplanes. They help move...(read more)
Posted To: MBS CommentaryEarly month-end trading environment provided constant support Strong Durable Goods headline didn't matter gains were linear into the noon hour, then leveled off, and came back after the 7yr Auction 10yr yield ended 4.2bps lower at 1.83 Bonds didn't do much through the overnight session, but so-called "duration needs" became apparent right as domestic traders sat down for the day. "Duration needs" refers to bond traders' need to own a certain mix of bonds that satisfy the "duration" requirement of an index that their investors expect them to hit. In other words, if my portfolio has some money allocated to bond markets based on a certain index, and if that index is expressed in a duration of 7.5 years, I need to own bonds that average out to a 7.5-year...(read more)