The bond and mortgage markets opened better this morning after the strong selling the last two sessions taking rates up 20 basis points. The Greek debt issue is off the radar for the moment after its parliament voted to cut spending and qualify for assistance from the IMF and EU keeping Greece from defaulting, at least for now. Safety trades in US treasuries being closed and the very weak treasury auctions this week along with the end of QE 2 today---all combined to drive rates higher in a rapid move. Mix in that the ECB will likely increase its base interest rates next week and the tone has changed. Both the 10 yr note and FNMA 4.0 coupon hit and held their respective 200 day averages but broke all other shorter term averages, the momentum oscillators are now in bearish levels. As we continue to point, the bond and mortgage markets are going to remain volatile over the next week or so as investors work through the end of QE 2, Europe's continuing debt issues and the weakening economic outlook. We are not looking for interest rates to increase in a major way but it is unlikely rates will return to the best levels seen three or four days ago.

 

Germany’s biggest banks and insurers and the government agreed on a draft proposal to roll over Greek debt holdings before a meeting with Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble today, people familiar with the plan said.(Bloomberg)

 

Weekly jobless claims at 8:30 were down just 1K to 428K, estimates were for a decline of 8K. Continuing claims declined 12K to 3.72 mil. Weekly claims have now been above 400K for 12 consecutive weeks, no improvement but equally no increases in claims.

 

At 9:30 the DJIA opened +47, the 10 yr note +7/32 at 3.10% -2 bp and mortgage prices +5/32 (.15 bp).

 

At 9:45 the June Chicago purchasing mgrs index, expected at 53.8 frm 56.6 in May, jumped to 61.1; new orders increased to 61.2 frm 53.5, employment did decline to 58.7 frm 60.8 and prices pd at 70.5 frm 78.6 on a decline in oil prices recently. The report much stronger than thought flipped the bond and mortgage markets from minor price gains to lower prices; mortgage prices at 9:3 up 5/32 (.15 bp) at 9:50 -5/32 (.15 bp), a .30 bp swing lower and breaking the 200 day averages on the 10 yr yield and prices on the FNMA coupon. VOLATILITY!

 

Will the Fed launch QE 3 at some point? That is the question being debated in minds of traders now with the economic outlook declining somewhat. Many believe the Fed is out of bullets to help the economy, historically low US interest rates haven't helped much, at least based on where the economy stands now; however what would have been the situation if the Fed hadn't executed QE 2, buying $600B of US treasuries? Bernanke has said it is now a fiscal matter, meaning Congress and the Administration have the ball now; that of course isn't a confidence builder in the minds of investors since Washington continues to play its political games while the country stumbles.  

 

Today is the end of the month and the end of the quarter, to some extent today trading in equities and bonds may be impacted on moves large investors need to make to adjust their portfolios for the end of the 2nd quarter.

 


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