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  • MBS RECAP: "Nice" Rally But Lacking in Substance
    If there were a magical ratio comparing the overall movement in bond markets to the relevance of the factors motivating the movement, it would be off the charts with today's rally.  A 4.72bp improvement in 10yr yields is nothing to shake a stick at--especially when it resulted in the best closing levels in nearly 2 months.  But this particular rally is utterly lacking in a few key ingredients...
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  • MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Trying to Turn Recent Floor Into a Ceiling
    Coincidentally, yesterday's Day Ahead talked about "pivot points."  Now today, we see a prime example of a pivot point in action.  Although I labeled it as 2.215% yesterday, let's simplify the conversation by using 2.22% today.   A hallmark of "pivot" behavior is the tendency to act as both a floor and a ceiling.  A pivot is a level that has been historically more likely to turn bonds away as...
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  • MBS RECAP: With Nothing Better to Follow, Bonds Took Cues From Stocks
    I'm not shy about dismissing the conventional wisdom of bond yields and stock prices following each other.  We're talking about some iteration of the quintessential quip: "buy stocks, sell bonds," or vice versa.  Over the shorter time horizons, we do indeed see that sort of relationship play out from time to time, but the opposite has been true for the last 40 years as both stocks and bonds h...
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  • MBS Day Ahead: What's a Pivot Point? Which One to Watch?
    We have a dedicated primer on pivot points here.  But let's look at a timely example with the pivot points we've been tracking in recent weeks.  Actually, only one of the two has been actively discussed, the other is both newer and older (it was in play several months ago, took a break, and is now back in play due to last week's gains).   The pivot points in question are 10yr yield levels of ...
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  • MBS RECAP: Was the Eclipse a Market Mover?
    It's a good thing financial media outlets aren't too shy about covering topics outside the financial sphere because without the eclipse, there would have been nothing to talk about today.  Volume and volatility dropped off a cliff, abruptly.  In fact, the difference in tone was big enough that I wouldn't mind chalking up some of the ABSENCE of trading as a symptom of the eclipse.  In other wo...
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  • MBS Day Ahead: Nothing to do With The Eclipse
    Welcome!  Here is a safe haven from all of the eclipse talk.  It won't be mentioned at all in this article.  Never mind that it's in the title and the first 3 sentences, because we're about to move on. Bond markets begin another "summertime" week where "summertime" refers not only to atmospheric seasonality but also to changes in market environment.  We've talked about this ad nauseum recentl...
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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds Manage to Close 'Unchanged' Despite Some Volatility
    In the Day Ahead, we discussed bond traders' probable goals regarding keeping things as calm as possible.  This depended on unexpected headlines and movements in external markets.  Either of those were capable of throwing curveballs, and both threw a few today! Out of the gate, bonds were flat, but once equities trading picked up, Treasuries improved in line with a morning stock sell-off.  At...
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  • MBS Day Ahead: Most Traders Thinking "Don't Rock The Boat"
    A maritime analogy for bond trading in the Summertime... In the summer months especially, there's a boat-friendly baseline weather pattern offshore.  Lest you think that's a generality that doesn't merit your full confidence, check out the following shots of wave height at the moment.  Blue is calm, and pink/red/crimson indicates big waves.  You will likely notice a distinct difference betwee...
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  • MBS RECAP: Introducing The "Snow Cohn"
    What do you get when bond markets embark on a snowball rally due to headlines concerning Trump's Economic Advisor Gary Cohn?  A delicious "Snow Cohn," of course (my team of writers assured me that was worth what I paid). In all seriousness, there were some serious tweets earlier today concerning Cohn's potential resignation and there was certainly a snowball rally that followed.  Interestingl...
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  • MBS Day Ahead: Trader Ghost Town Greases Skids For Volatility
    With this morning's econ data already out and having no effect on bond markets, the only other report for the week is tomorrow morning's Consumer Sentiment--admittedly not the biggest market mover in the world.  The backdrop for any potential volatility is the recent, decidedly narrow trading range.  It's allowed volatility to occur within its boundaries, but hasn't allowed a confirmed break ...
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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds Rallied on Trump Tweet Before it Ever Came Out
    Today looked like it would be all about waiting for the Fed Minutes to see if there were any surprises.  That plan began in fairly good shape, with only a mild rally following weaker residential construction data.  By mid-day, bonds were staging near their stronger levels from yesterday's domestic session.  Then the weird stuff started happening. Big trades (purchases) slammed into the bond c...
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  • MBS Day Ahead: How Much Might Today's Fed Minutes Matter?
    Today's biggest calendar item is the release of the FOMC Minutes at 2pm.  The Minutes provide synopsis of the meeting that took place in the 2 days leading up to the official Fed announcement in late July.  That announcement was very little changed from the previous announcement, but the Fed did take the opportunity to telegraph September's widely anticipated launch of the balance sheet norma...
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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds Threaten Momentum Shift
    Today was mostly about North Korean de-escalation, and somewhat about stronger economic data.  If you haven't heard 43 times already, North Korea graciously decided to hold off on their little plan to nuke Guam (though the little plan of marching up and down the square remains intact for now).  Considering that nuking Guam (or more likely, "attempting" to nuke Guam) would have led to Nuclear ...
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  • MBS Day Ahead: The Blessing and Curse of The Geopolitical Risk Cycle
    Geopolitical risk is one of the most intuitive market movers for bonds.  Threats of nuclear attacks from North Korea (as well as the rhetorical response from the US) are a classic example of geopolitical risk.  Were there to be an actual nuclear attack, it would surely result in massive stock losses and bond market gains.  The underlying concept is this: anything that creates uncertainty abou...
Mortgage News Daily
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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds Lose Ground on Various Headlines
    Bond markets lost ground today, with all of the weakness arriving during the overnight session.  The weakness was driven by a general "risk-on" move in financial markets, which tends to favor stocks at the expense of bonds.  In today's case, that was most easily attributable to headlines over the weekend regarding nuclear tension between the US and North Korea.  While far from definitive, the...
Mortgage News Daily
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  • MBS Week Ahead: Risk of Resistance Remains; What Technicals Can Actually Tell Us
    If you haven't seen/read my primers on various technical analysis topics, they're linked at certain points in the text below, and will be helpful in making the most of this post.  If you'd like to read them in advance, here they are: Basic Concepts of Technical Analysis (and some jargon definitions)Pivot PointsSupport/ResistanceTrust the Technicals? Bond markets have traded inside 2 narrow ra...
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Mortgage News Daily
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  • MBS RECAP: CPI Threads Market-Movement Needle
    Bond markets ultimately rallied modestly following today's much-anticipated CPI data.  This is a departure from recent norms as the last 3 reports have generated some of the biggest reactions in each of the past 3 months.  Still, the result is understandable given the lack of change in annual core inflation.  For the 3rd straight month, it came in at 1.7%.  Bond bulls like it because it's sti...
Mortgage News Daily
Mortgage News Daily
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  • MBS Day Ahead: Yes, Inflation Data Matters Now
    After a longstanding reign as one of the most meaningful market movers, inflation data became an outcast for most of the recovery from the financial crisis.  Old dog market watchers probably scoffed in 2011-2015 when I said that "no one cared" about inflation data.  But like so many other potential motivators, market participants have an unfortunate tendency to ignore more recent track record...
Mortgage News Daily
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  • MBS RECAP: Risk-Off Rally, Just Another Day For Bonds
    It's hard to appreciate just how different the trading session was for stocks compared to bonds.  To be sure, a near 5bp drop in 10yr yields is "nice," but it pales in comparison to the amount of movement suggest by or seen in equities markets.  In the following chart, S&P futures daily candlesticks are on the bottom while 10yr yields are on the top.    Much of the day's intraday movement wa...
Mortgage News Daily
Mortgage News Daily
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  • MBS Day Ahead: Core Range Intact All Week
    In terms of 10yr yields, bond markets have been locked in the same narrow range for a week and half.  Even when the range was only 2 days old last week, it seemed likely that it would come to a head by tomorrow's CPI data.  With the boundaries still firmly intact, that seems increasingly likely. The only caveat is that the passing of today's 30yr bond auction presents an opportunity for a "l...
Mortgage News Daily
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  • MBS RECAP: Rally and Resistance After Geopolitical Drama
    Bonds had already begun the process of rallying in response to geopolitical risk yesterday afternoon.  Notably, the headlines hit after the 3pm CME close (which marks the end of the day for a decent chunk of bond market participation).  As subsequent trading sessions began (Asia, Europe, and ultimately, the US again), we witnessed a series of "rolling reactions" to yesterday's headlines.   In...
Mortgage News Daily
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  • MBS Day Ahead: Pain Trade Potential on Multiple Scales
    There are several definitions of "pain trade" floating around on the web, and I'm not a huge fan of any of them.  The top google hit is particularly bad, despite having elements that do indeed jive with how the average trader might describe it. Ultimately, it's a concept that defies simple definitions, and ends up being one of those things that "you know when you see it."  The common element ...
Mortgage News Daily
Mortgage News Daily
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  • MBS RECAP: Mostly Weaker, Bonds Battle Back on Korea Headlines
    Bonds began the day in moderately weaker territory and continued to lose ground through the early afternoon.  After consolidating in extreme fashion over the past 2 weeks, stocks finally popped higher.  This is one of the few cases where I'm happy to give the stock movement some credit for the modest reaction in bonds.  It was right about that time that S&P futures were breaking out of their ...
Mortgage News Daily
Mortgage News Daily
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  • MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Locked in Tight Technical Range, Waiting For Inflation Data
    The extent to which inflation-related metrics have come into focus is uncanny relative to just how unimportant they'd been to markets for most of the past 7 years.  After late 2010 failed to materialize as the scary hyperinflation monster feared by the old guard of market watchers, inflation reports haven't been market movers until just recently.   The shift has to do with the Fed's inability...
Mortgage News Daily
Mortgage News Daily
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  • MBS RECAP: Calm Start and Modest Gains
    Bond markets began the week in underwhelming fashion, with both MBS and Treasuries ending the day very close to unchanged compared to Friday's latest levels.  Movement was in the right direction (both were slightly stronger), but not at first.   Bonds began the day in weaker territory but then followed European yields to stronger levels by the end of the European trading session (around the m...
Mortgage News Daily
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  • MBS Week Ahead: Don't Expect Much (Unless You See It!)
    Last week's NFP was eerily predictable.  Either that, or I got lucky.   My thought was that the market had been fairly range-bound and especially disinterested in breaking below the 2.21/2.22% range following Draghi's late June tapering scare.  Combine that with lighter summertime tradeflows, Jackson Hole coming up at the end of the month, and September's potentially big central bank announce...
Mortgage News Daily
Mortgage News Daily
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  • MBS RECAP: Weaker Today Means Boring Week Overall
    The week began on Tuesday, for all intents and purposes.  July's "month-end" trading generally took place by last Friday and Monday was left as a mere afterthought.  Yields fell nicely on Tuesday as "new month" trades unwound July's month-end weakness, perhaps getting some help from ultra-weak GM sales numbers (I know... this may be the first time we've brought "auto sales" into the rate anal...
Mortgage News Daily
Mortgage News Daily
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  • MBS Day Ahead: Medium Strong Jobs Having Expected Effect
    My commentary took a bearish turn, essentially saying that bond markets had done what they could to price-in a poor NFP number and that anything outside a big miss would likely result in a push back into the recent range.  I attached yesterday's video as a refresher in case you missed it.  And here's yesterday's recap, which is essentially a perfect Day Ahead if you simply add the conclusion:...

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