Much like the past two sessions, markets took a fair amount of guidance from overnight events in Europe. Treasuries retested yesterday afternoon's weakest levels early but strengthened into the domestic session. MBS opened in relatively unchanged territory and improved along with broader bond markets after comments from ECB Pres Draghi indicated the board was actively discussing rates and the possibility of a "less than zero" deposit rate. Around the same time, Draghi noted ECB staff forecasts for 2013 GDP had fallen sharply, further contributing to the rally. Jobless Claims data was slightly stronger than expected, but wasn't traded much at all. Treasuries once again rallied into the 11:00am conclusion of today's first round of Fed Twist buying which served as yesterday's high point for MBS prices. Now waiting to see if the same thing happens again today...
MBS Pricing Snapshot
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Pricing as of 11:04 AM EST
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Stronger Levels Thanks To Europe, But Resistance Ahead
Treasuries Backed up to yesterday afternoon's weakest levels at the start of the European session, but were soon in rally mode along with German Bunds. Whereas stronger German economic data facilitated moderate weakness earlier in the session, Italian political drama took a toll on peripheral spreads which paved the way for core debt to move lower in yield ahead of the ECB Announcement and Press Conference.
The Announcement itself, along with stronger-than-expected domestic Jobless Claims arrived to little fanfare at 8:30am, but bond markets have since taken cues from Draghi's press conference where the ECB President said that European Central Bank governors were widely discussing interest rates, including a potential move to NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES on the ECB's deposit facility. Those comments followed closely behind massive negative revisions to 2013 GDP forecasts where ECB governors see a range of -0.9 to +0.3 vs a previous range of -0.4 to +1.4.
MBS and Treasuries were already off to a moderately positive start for the day, but those Draghi comments provided a noticeable boost, taking 10yr yields down under 1.57 from 1.58+ and lifting MBS from 105-12 to 105-14.
Those levels have essentially held flat leading into the domestic stock open where S&Ps have moved a bit higher out of the gate. So far this looks to be giving bond markets at least a small pause for reflection on their rallying ways, though we'd emphasize that the two sides of the market don't mind a certain level of disconnection these days. That said, we're coming up against some technical resistance regardless of stock market gains, so we're feeling generally more defensive today, but especially after the 11:00am conclusion of Fed Twist buying.
Apart from the Fed operation, there's nothing else on the calendar, leaving the potential for any Fiscal Cliff headlines to have an impact later in the session, as well as tradeflow considerations ahead of tomorrow's NFP. Again though... without a salient, negative Cliff headline or another compelling reason for bond markets to extend the late november rally, further progress is challenging to say the least. For MBS's part, they're already showing a clear predisposition to treat 105-14 to 105-16 as overhead resistance. The first major downside pivot is 105-11, providing a clear line in the sand for and early indication of a shift toward increased reprice risk if crossed later in the session.
ECON: Jobless Claims Slightly Lower Than Expected
- 370k vs 380k Consensus
- 4-Week Average at 408k, Highest Since Oct 2011
In the week ending December 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 370,000, a decrease of 25,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 395,000. The 4-week moving average was 408,000, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week's revised average of 405,750.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5 percent for the week ending November 24, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 24 was 3,205,000, a decrease of 100,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,305,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,309,000, an increase of 7,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,301,250.
Live Chat Featured Comments
Matthew Graham : "RTRS - ECB'S DRAGHI - ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL FOR ECB TO HAVE LEGAL BASIS FOR SUPERVISION IN PLACE, OTHERWISE OUR WORK WILL BE SLOWED DOWN "
Matthew Graham : "RTRS - DRAGHI -WIDE DISCUSSION ON RATES TODAY "
Matthew Graham : "RTRS - DRAGHI - NEGATIVE INTEREST RATE ON DEPOSIT FACILITY WAS DISCUSSED, DID NOT ELABORATE FURTHER "
Ira Selwin : "market hasn't cared about anything in the past few months"
Oliver S. Orlicki : "market does not seem to care"
Matthew Graham : "RTRS- US JOBLESS CLAIMS 4-WK AVG ROSE TO 408,000 DEC 1 WEEK, HIGHEST SINCE OCT 1, 2011, FROM 405,750 PRIOR WEEK (PREVIOUS 405,250) "
Matthew Graham : "RTRS- US JOBLESS CLAIMS FELL TO 370,000 DEC 1 WEEK (CONSENSUS 380,000) FROM 395,000 PRIOR WEEK (PREVIOUS 393,000) "