Another better start this morning but by 10:00 mortgage prices have fallen back from earlier better levels; the 10 yr at 9:00 +19/32 at 2.75% -8 bp, mortgages up 10/32 (.31 bp). Europe's sovereign debt problems continue to dominate, the impact mostly seen in the currency markets with the dollar continuing to increase. Europe's bank stocks being hit hard as it is increasingly evident that the EU isn't yet ready to face the debt problems head on, letting each country move to the edge before acting. What is lacking is a wider solution to deal with the problems faced by countries in the EU that are close to defaulting. The dollar benefits sending stock indexes lower and safe haven moves into US treasuries. After Ireland Portugal and Spain are now the next two that need a bailout. The US stock market opened weaker, as the dollar increases equity markets fear weaker exports.


At 9:00 the Case/Shiller home price index was expected to show a slight increase in prices, the index fell 0.7% strongly suggesting the housing markets may be headed to a double dip. Q3 home prices fell 1.5% yr/yr and -2.0% from Q2. The report added to selling in stock indexes ahead of the open. It also limited the improvement seen earlier in MBS trading. The gauge fell 0.8% in September from the prior month after adjusting for seasonal variations, the biggest drop since April 2009, following an August decrease of 0.5%. Unadjusted prices fell 0.7% from the prior month. The 20 city index of property values climbed 0.6% from September 2009, the smallest gain since January, the last time prices declined year over year.


The DJIA opened -88 at 9:30; the housing data and Europe's problems setting the early tone. Mortgage prices held gains but were well off the best levels prior to the 9:00 C/S report.


At 9:45 the Nov Chicago purchasing mgrs index, expected at 59.8, jumped to 62.5 frm Oct's 60.6. All sub components were also better; new orders at 67.2 frm 65.0, prices pd at 70.7 frm 68.9 and employment at 56.3 from 54.6 (any index read over 50 is considered expansion, under 50 contraction). The report sent mortgage prices down, from +7/32 to +3/32; the 10 yr note also lost a few clicks and the stock market gained a few points frm down 90 to -70.


At 10:00 the Nov consumer confidence index from the Conference Board; the index was expected at 52.0 frm 50.2 in Oct; it hit at 54.1 and Oct was revised to 49.9; the expectations index also increased, to 74.2 frm 67.5. The confidence index is the best since last June. Not much initial reaction to the better consumer read but mortgage prices slipped once again.


Later this morning the NY Fed will do another QE buy of treasuries; it will not have any direct impact on rate markets however.


The mortgage market remains solidly bearish, the action so far this morning is not encouraging, MBSs opened strong but have been losing ground since. After the 9:45 Chicago purchasing mgrs report 30 yr MBSs fell back to just slightly better on the session. The near term support is coming from the safe haven moves into US treasuries grudgingly dragging prices up.


Leave a Reply