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The Day Ahead: Perhaps the Start of an Unofficial 4-Day Weekend
Posted to: MBS Commentary
Friday, January 18, 2013 7:10 AM

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Every so often we're reminded that financial markets are staffed by real people, and depending on how it turns out, Friday could be one of those days.  Real people take vacations, and with it's lack of big-ticket economic data and events, Friday is a prime target to make 4 days out of a 3 day weekend.  If we see a marked decline in volume and something close to a sideways trading pattern or better for bond markets, we might infer that sellers "got their fill" on Thursday in anticipation of a light Friday.

"Getting one's fill" in this case was an easy enough call for bond markets, and this particularly nasty little bounce coincides perfectly with the collision with the intermediate term bearish trend in bond markets.  Here's how that bearish trend looks in terms of 10yr yields.  Note that the short term bullish trend remains intact despite the sell-off.  An incrementally more serious sell-off would have broken that line.  This implies that there would be even firmer support overhead at 1.91-1.92 before things got super serious in the upper 1.9's.

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Same bearish trend in terms of MBS (less "tidy" due to periodic monthly settlements--one of the reasons that Treasuries are preferable for charting/technicals beyond intraday time frames--but the underlying trend remains evident),

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Despite the intermediate term trends, it's good to periodically revisit the bigger picture.  And the core trend in the bigger picture has been a bounce off all-time yield lows in the summer, gradually leading back to "the great range trade" levels of late 2011 / early 2012.  It's hard to know exactly what rates will do next, but it's interesting to consider how contained they've been compared to the previous range.  It's also potentially a silver lining to consider that we're nearer the high side of the current trend.

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Unofficial 4-day weekends may not be in the cards, but they wouldn't even be a possibility were it not for an essentially empty data calendar.  There's Consumer Sentiment at 9:55am, and that's it.  There's Fed buying in Treasuries at the normal 10:15-11:00am time slot, but that's been a non-event this week, not to mention it does it's best to already be priced in to the market.  Bond markets will likely continue to pay attention to equities during earnings season, especially on weeks like this with no Treasury Auctions or FOMC-related festivities.  In that regard, Friday could still manage to be interesting if stocks move briskly in either direction.

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