October 19th, 2017
Suggestions that can change during the day: Mortgage Bonds are getting a boost from lower Stocks prices. Carefully floating is recommended.
After close Commentary: MBS closed with modest gains and traded in a tight range for most of the session ending near the highs of the session. Today's better than expected economic data limited today's Bond price gains. The Fannie Mae 30-yr 3.5% coupon closed at 102.91, +9bp. Stocks closed mixed. The Dow squeaked at a fresh record close, up 5.44 points to 23,163.04, while the S&P also closed at a fresh record high of 2,562.10 with a fractional gain. The NASDAQ fell 19.15 points to 6,605.06 as tech Stocks declined. WTI oil closed at $51.29/barrel, -$0.75. 10-yr yield 2.31%. Existing Home Sales will be released tomorrow.
Late morning Commentary: Americans filing for first time unemployment benefits declined in the latest week to levels not seen since March 1973 as the labor markets continue to gain strength. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims fell by 22,000 in the latest week to 222,000, below the 236,000 expected. The big drop could be attributed to the Columbus Day holiday. Claims had risen to near 300,000 after hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit southern Texas and Florida. Last week marked the 137th consecutive week that first time unemployment benefits remained below the 300,000 level, which is associated with a strong labor market.
Fannie Mae released its October 2017 Economic & Housing Outlook this week revealing that it sees economic growth unchanged at 2.2% following offsetting hurricane-related impacts to Gross Domestic Product growth in the third and fourth quarters. The report went on to say that for the third quarter, consumer spending growth most likely weakened and residential investment declined sharply. In addition, Fannie Mae believes that total home sales will be essentially flat this year.
Rising tensions between Spain and Catalonia are lifting Bonds across the globe, with the 10-year Note yield edging lower to 2.30% from yesterday's near high of 2.35%. Concerns on demand for Apple's iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are weighing on Stocks while investors take the headlines as an excuse to cash in some chips with Stocks at record highs. The Dow (23,157.60), S&P (2,561.26) and the NASDAQ (6,624.22) all closed at record highs yesterday. And for a look back in history, 30-years ago today Black Monday took place, where Stocks melted down on Wall Street as the Dow suffered its worst one-day percentage loss of 22.6%.
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