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  • While there are certainly some weeks with far fewer economic reports on tap, the week ahead is still on the light side when it comes to the data that has been moving markets of late.  A few of the reports (like GDP and Durable Goods, for instance) have historical street cred, but they're not in the same league as the key inflation metrics at the moment. It was the Consumer Price Index (CPI) t...

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  • There's a good video in the news stream with Austan Goolsbee going on a bit of rant about how the Senate's procedural vote on a budget resolution late last night was totally expected.  Someone should have told financial markets ahead of time.  Traders speak with dollars and their words were clear in response to the budget bill.  Either it really was a surprise, or they were simply holding out...

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  • It's a crappy day. Sorry to use such an esoteric analytical term, but it's the most accurate way to describe the outlook.  So what changed? Long story short, we'd been in a narrow, consolidative range since late September.  That range had a chance to be a straight up correction back toward lower rates, but bonds weren't able to maintain momentum after last Friday's strong post-CPI rally.  Res...

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  • It was a pretty interesting session for how narrow the range continues to be in bond markets--interesting both for bonds themselves and for the analysts scrambling to make sense of the movement.  Apart from last Friday's CPI data, there hasn't been an unequivocal market mover for bonds.  There hasn't been an obvious theme with a predictable reaction.  That resulted in the collective Western a...

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  • The past 3 days were disconcerting for bond markets--especially yesterday, which saw yields move higher at their quickest pace in two weeks.  This threatened to reverse the positive trend that looked like it was confirmed by last Friday's CPI-driven rally.  But as we discussed in the recap yesterday, 2 simple levels would need to be broken before it was anything other than a consolidative pai...

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  • Everything seemed so simple last Friday when bonds were surging past technical barriers in strong volume--ostensibly ringing the dinner bell for more bond buying.  The fact that everything seemed so simple was also the biggest risk.  Perhaps it was "too simple."  Perhaps the technical conclusions were too obvious.  The weakness so far this week shows us why. The weakness was easier to brush o...

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  • Ah mid-October... All too often in the 2009-2014 time frame, we'd seen abrupt reversals of trends at this time of month.  We haven't really been on the lookout for that old behavior because 2014 seemed to mark a shift in that trend.  2014 itself was easily attributed to the massive sell-off in Chinese stocks.  2015 was mysteriously sideways.  And 2016 was understandably sideways ahead of the ...

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  • Treasuries and MBS have spent the past 2 days trading well inside the range set by last Friday's volatility (big rally following CPI data).  Unfortunately, the central tendency during those 2 days has been toward moderately weaker levels.  This casts some doubt on what looked like a clear signal on Friday, but it's too soon to rule out additional gains based on today's trading. After all, bon...

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  • As we discussed last week, the positive technical signals don't get much clearer than they did after Friday's CPI data (weak inflation helped bonds break a floor that had been stubbornly holding for several weeks.  At the time, the biggest risk as I saw it was that the positive cues were "too obvious."  When there's such a resounding confluence of technical and fundamental input, it makes sen...

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  • If the only things you could observe about today's bond trading were volumes and "buy vs sell," there were a few moments where things got fairly interesting--especially after 2pm.  That's when the biggest volume and the biggest movement of the day occurred. While there were several headlines in play at the time, it was Trump's off-the-cuff reference to a surprise economic development bill tha...

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  • It looks like it will be touch and go for bonds as the week begins.  If yields or technicals touch certain overhead ceilings, you should go lock your loans.  If you're up to speed on Friday's technical victory, you're equipped to understand this week's outlook.  If you're not, here's a brief recap.  We've basically been waiting for bonds to show us a bigger commitment to gains after a few hal...

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  • There was a time--in fact, there was a stretch of several years--when inflation-related reports just didn't matter.  I would have been the first to tell you that (and often was), even as those with a more conventional approach to market analysis would never dismiss the relevance of inflation when it came to bond market motivations. Still, the proof was in the pudding.  Inflation reports would...

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  • My apologies to baseball fans, both of you.  The "judge" in today's case is this morning's CPI (Consumer Price Index) data.  Bonds have been deliberating all month about whether to make an attempt to break above 2.40% or bounce back into the confines of the range that's dominated the past 6 months.  On the plus side, yields quickly backed down from their first run at 2.40%, but on a negative ...

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  • Bond markets are matching their best 3-day performance in over a month with today's stronger closing levels.  Unlike the previous examples, the current 3 days have resulted in the biggest move lower in yields from the previous day's highs.  Pretty confusing sentence... let me explain.   Friday's high yields were just over 2.40% in 10yr Treasuries and today closed at 2.32%--an 8bp improvement....

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  • CPI, CPI, CPI... The "Consumer Price Index" is the one thing on this week's economic calendar that stood out as a top tier potential market mover.  After a few revisions, the lowest-in-years reading of 1.6% for "Core CPI" became 1.7% in June and has held at 1.7% in the 3 subsequent reports.  If we see that number finally rise tomorrow, it will be an ominous sign for bond bulls--one that that ...

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  • "Well?  Get on with it!"   That about sums up what the average bond market watcher was thinking at the end of September--and possibly again after today's trading session.  At the end of September, a run toward higher yields resumed abruptly just after looking like it had calmed down.  The tacit implication was that the last major highs (roughly 2.40-2.42% in terms of 10yr yields) would soon b...

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  • On both MBS Live and Mortgage News Daily, there's a video in the news stream titled "Key things to watch in the Fed minutes."  The commentator rather emphatically says there are 3 important things: "inflation, inflation, and inflation."   News flash to that guy: there's nothing the Fed can say about inflation that we haven't already heard them say in even more meaningful ways.  The commentato...

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  • Bonds struggled to find a theme in their first trading day back from a 3-day weekend.  Much of the international focus was on Catalonia's quest for independence, but headlines from the region never seemed to have a material impact on bond markets--especially US bond markets.   In fact, it was a downright slow and boring session until roughly 9:50am when some big trades started coming through ...

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  • After having waited a day to begin trading this week due to yesterday's Columbus Day holiday, bond markets will spend today waiting for the week's more relevant data and events.  Those will begin in earnest tomorrow with two Treasury auctions (3 and 10yr) and the Fed Minutes (more detailed recap of most recent meeting).  Thursday brings the end of the week's Treasury auction cycle and Friday ...

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  • The Employment Situation (aka the jobs report, or simply, "NFP") is the granddaddy of all economic reports.  Through the years, no other piece of data has mattered more to bond markets or had a bigger effect on average.  With near-clockwork-like regularity, big beats push rates higher and big misses push rates lower.   So why in the world did today's HUGE miss cause rates to spike to the high...

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  • NFP, or "nonfarm payrolls" (the principle component of the big jobs report officially known as the "Employment Situation") are a bond market institution.  No other data has consistently had as much of an impact on rates over the years.  It is to bonds what the day after Thanksgiving is to shopping.  It will always be associated with an abundance of transactions whether or not there are good d...

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  • Generally higher yields and tepid intraday performances are nothing new for bond markets over the past week and a half.  In some ways, today marked a mere continuation of that trend and even offered some silver linings.  In other ways, it kicked the weakness into a slightly higher gear ahead of tomorrow's jobs data. In terms of silver linings, intraday yields managed to hold below the intrada...

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  • Yet again, bond markets have managed to string together 4 days doing something other than selling off abjectly.  Without a firmer push toward lower yields, these strings of days "without pushing toward higher yields" are the first possible signs of a positive reversal.  They're also the least reliable signs of reversal, as seen in mid-September. As the chart suggests, we've been focusing mor...

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  • Bond markets saw a decent amount of strength in the afternoon.  It ultimately allowed 10yr yields and MBS to return to positive territory by the end of the day, although they'd be best-characterized as merely "unchanged."  Who knows where trading levels would have shaken out were it not for the significantly stronger ISM non-manufacturing data this morning. ISM came in at the best levels sinc...

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  • In 2011-2016, Europe was the dark horse market mover that ended up winning the race.  Far too few domestic market participants appreciated the impact of the currency contagion drama in 2011-2012, the onset of ECB QE in 2014-2015, or Brexit in 2016.  Were it not for the European continent, who knows how high US 10yr yields would be right now!  Certainly, it would be high enough to ruin your da...

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  • Both yesterday and today have been the sort of days that just haven't mattered in the slightest for bond markets. Yesterday was spent consolidating the losses seen through the end of last week.  Today saw a similar consolidation, despite trading levels finishing slightly stronger compared to yesterday's close.  Before getting too excited about that, consider that today's 3pm CME closing level...

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  • Bond markets are in the throes of their worst uptrend in yields since the November presidential election.  Granted, trading levels are still roughly in the middle of the post-election range, but that's precious little consolation next to the past 3 weeks of pain. Speaking of words that sound like consolation, let's talk about consolidation.  Yesterday saw a well-behaved consolidation pattern....

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  • You never know...  Sometimes the end of any given month will be skewed in one direction in terms of trading momentum only for the following month to see a surge in the other direction.  We weren't expecting this to be the case, but given the renewed selling pressure last Wednesday, we certainly had part of the equation accounted for. As it happened, bond seemed almost careful to avoid making ...

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