Today is the day the world awaited (since 9/21); at 2:15 the FOMC statement will come and finally markets will know for sure what the Fed is about to do on the QE 2 easing move. Going in to it, there is widespread belief that the treasury buying will total $500B and accomplished over a six month period. The Fed is always concerned not to shock financial markets so it is unlikely that whatever their plan it won't rattle markets with something well off target.

 

The election results are about what was expected; the House to Republicans, the Senate stays with the Democrats. No noticeable market reaction to the results as they were widely expected. Treasuries and mortgages opened better this morning; at 8:15 the Oct ADP non-farm private jobs report hit, expectations were for an increase of 23K jobs as reported ADP said private jobs increased 43K. In Sept ADP reported private jobs were down 39K, today it was revised to -2K. Better than expected but still no real new hiring; there was no reaction to the report in either the stock or bond markets. 

 

At 9:30 the DJIA opened +10, the 10 yr note +12/32 at 2.55% -4 bp and mortgage prices much better; +12/32 (.37 bp) on 30s and +7/32 (.22 bp) on 15s.

 

At 10:00 Sept factory orders were expected up 1.7%; orders increased 2.1% and Aug orders were revised to unch frm -0.5% originally reported.

 

Also at 10:00 the Oct ISM services sector index, expected at 53.5 frm 53.2 in Sept, was better at 54.3. The new orders components increased to 56.7 frm 54.9, employment component at 50.9 frm 50.2 in Sept and price index at 68.3 frm 61.1.  There was no initial reaction to the data; although stronger with the FOMC statement later today markets are storing the data but not reacting yet.

 

Waiting now for the FOMC policy statement this afternoon. How the Fed will do the so-called easing, how much, when and comments about the economic outlook should be included in the normally short statement that concludes the meeting. It is uncertain how traders will take the easing move, how the dollar trade will occur, and what the market expectations will be on any direct benefits of an easing move. As noted previously, the Fed appears determined to increase the inflation rate by weakening the dollar with the QE. Fixed income investments in US treasuries at the current low levels may be a hard sell to investors if markets believe the Fed will be successful in bringing up the inflation rate back to their perceived target range of 2.0% to 2.5%. A quantative easing will bring interest rates down as long as economic data points are weak, however recent data has been fractionally better than estimates on some of the key data. The markets may not react much on the FOMC statement with Oct employment scheduled Friday. Present estimates after the ADP report this morning are being revised better than prior to the ADP, from estimates of 60K non-farm private job gains to 80K to 100K, still very weak but may bother traders with inflation concerns resting right under the surface. No rally in the bond market and mortgage market if inflation fears increase.

 

The MBA today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 29, 2010 at 7:00 am.  The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 5.0%.  The Refinance Index decreased 6.4% from the previous week. This is the third straight week the Refinance Index has decreased.  The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1.4% from one week earlier. The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up 0.1%.  The four week moving average is down 2.7% for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up 0.8% for the Refinance Index. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 81.3% of total applications from 82.3% the previous week. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.28% from 4.25%, with points increasing to 1.07 from 1.00 (including the origination fee) for 80% loans.  The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.64% from 3.67%, with points increasing to 1.08 from 0.96 (including the origination fee) for 80% loans.

 

Treasury announced the details for next week's quarterly refunding; $32B of 3 yr notes on Monday, $24B of 10 yr notes on Tuesday, and $16B of 30 yr bonds on Wednesday.

 

Not looking for much movement now until 2:15 with the FOMC policy statement release


-www.thinkbigworksmall.com
 


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