Sadly, our preoccupation with the "one week anniversary" of last week's Jobless Claims sell-off, turned out to be somewhat prophetic this morning as we simply have another Jobless Claims sell-off. If you missed that commentary, you can catch up on it HERE
. The bottom line was that markets are interested in employment data at the moment in the same sort of way that it was a hot button in the lead up to QE3. Whereas the failure
of economic data to demonstrate a sustainable and substantial recovery was the Fed's "if/then" for QE3, this time around, there's a straight up unemployment threshold written into Fed policy. Now... to be fair, we know that the Fed won't simply adjust policy by a predetermined amount on the day that U/E hits the target. They've clarified this well since the statement. However, we can at least be sure that such economic metrics serve as loose guideposts as to the discontinuation of easing. So surprisingly strong employment data is an unsurprisingly big concern for bond markets. Same exact story, different week.
MBS Pricing Snapshot
Pricing shown below is delayed, please note the timestamp at the bottom. Real time pricing
is available via MBS Live.
Pricing as of 11:06 AM EST
Morning Reprice Alerts and Updates
Below is a recap of instant Reprice Alerts
and updates issued via email and text alert to MBS Live subscribers
Treading Water At Technically Precarious Levels
Both MBS and Treasuries moved to weaker territory with the stock market open. Volume has been big as longs have been liquidated in the Treasury complex. 10yr yields are currently testing a breakout of their intermediate term downtrend which runs through the mid 1.86's today. MBS are hovering around a key longer-term support level at 104-02 (update: breaking to 104-00 as I write!).
Most of the incremental weakness had already arrived before lenders released rate sheets, but the environment remains skewed toward weakness. Any additional weakness could begin forming snowballs of more serious sizes for bond markets. We'd stay more defensive than usual when it comes to number of ticks lost between now and rate sheet print times. Trends are ugly.
Bond Markets Unwind Overnight Gains After Bullish Econ Data
Overnight Treasuries were choppy in Asian hours, getting an initial boost from the negative reaction to Apple's earnings after the bell, but yields never topped 1.84. As European trading got underway, German Bunds shot a quick 5.3 bps lower at the open, pulling Treasury yields reluctantly lower by the time the domestic session rolled around. Treasuries were a mere shadow of the move in bunds, covering only about half the distance in terms of bps (3 bps rally for 10yr Treasuries vs 5.3 bps in Bunds).
But then there's the domestic economic data... US Initial Jobless Claims have surprised to the downside for the second week in a row. There was no revision to last week's bullish number, and this week's claims were even lower (330k vs 335k last week and 355k forecasts). On a side-note, it's interesting that Claims are in focus after their release, and were also the focus of this morning's commentary
Despite getting sucker-punched by Claims for the 2nd straight week, bond markets managed to keep losses fairly well contained. That has held mostly true for the past hour, but the 8:58am release of Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index added a bit of insult to injury, showing marked improvements in orders, output, and employment.
That's it as far as scheduled economic data is concerned this morning though there's another round of Fed QE4 buying in Treasuries from 10:15-11:00, and a TIPS Auction in the afternoon (these have been hit and miss as far as market moving potential, so we'd stay aware of the 1pm auction time even if we won't necessarily see any sort of reaction).
Other than that, earnings season continues to provide a good "show" for bond markets--generally lacking in new, informative, data--to observe and occasionally to follow. The "following" occurs primarily between bond markets and equities markets rather than directly linked to earnings strength/weakness. In that regard, US equities are ringing the opening bell presently, and could suggest the next move higher or lower from the impressively supportive perch achieved in MBS and Treasuries despite the bullish data (Fannie 3.0s have held only 3 ticks weaker at 104-08 and 10 yr yields held under 1.845. Sadly, it looks like this figures may look very "dated" very quickly).
ECON: Market Purchasing Managers Index Stronger Than Expected
- PMI 56.1 vs 53.0 Consensus
- Output 57.2 vs 54.5 in Dec
- New Orders 57.7 vs 54.7 in Dec
- PMI highest since March 2011
- New Orders Highest Since May 2010
- PMI signals strong improvement in manufacturing
business conditions during January
- Fastest rise in new orders in 32 months
- Employment growth strengthens further
- Input price inflation slows, but remains marked
The expansion of the U.S. manufacturing sector
gained further momentum at the start of 2013, with
the Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing
Managers’ Index rising to 56.1 in
January. Up from 54.0 in December, the ‘flash’ PMI
reading, which is based on around 85% of usual
monthly replies, signalled the strongest rate of
growth since March 2011.
ECON: Jobless Claims Report Posts Another Unexpected Drop
- Claims Fell to 330k from 335k, Consensus 355k
- Previous Week UNREVISED (uncommon)
- 4 Week Average 351.75k vs 360k last week
- Continued Claims 3.157 mln vs 3.2 mln Consensus
- Market Reaction: Big volume pop, but a surprisingly contained move back to unchanged levels after morning strength. This could be temporary, however... Some traders need a few moments to pick themselves up off the floor before selling more MBS and Treasuries.
In the week ending January 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 330,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's unrevised figure of 335,000. The 4-week moving average was 351,750, a decrease of 8,250 from the previous week's revised average of 360,000.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5 percent for the week ending January 12, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending January 12 was 3,157,000, a decrease of 71,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,228,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,197,500, a decrease of 12,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,209,750.
Live Chat Featured Comments
Mike Drews : "S&P above 1500 for the first time since 2007"
Scott Rieke : "Getting worried about next NFP - low print from people falling of reports leads to lower rate, leads to fear of end of QE. It's illogical, but that's the mkt"
Matthew Graham : "In thinking about bouncing at below 1.87, here's an updated version of this AM's TSY chart. the downtrend's upper limits are passing through the mid 1.86's today. http://tinyurl.com/a4892jn
Mike Drews : "hopefully we bounce off of 1.87"
Christopher Stevens : "MBS seems ti be in a street fight to remain above yesterdays lows"
Matthew Graham : "this just adds fuel to the fire."
Matthew Graham : "RTRS - MARKIT U.S. MANUFACTURING SECTOR FLASH PMI OUTPUT INDEX FOR JANUARY AT 57.2 VS FINAL 54.5 IN DECEMBER "
Matthew Graham : "RTRS- MARKIT U.S. MANUFACTURING SECTOR FLASH PMI FOR JANUARY AT 56.1 (CONSENSUS 53.0) VS FINAL 54.0 IN DECEMBER "
Victor Burek : "not rumors..olive garden and red lobster have already been in the news about that"
Jeff Anderson : "I had heard rumors a lot of restaurants will be moving employees to part time or just hiring part time. Curious how that plays out."
Christopher Stevens : "well Lowes is going to hire 45,000 seasonal workers to help out. http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/22/3195389/lowes-to-hire-45000-seasonal-workers.html"
Jeff Anderson : "If consumer spending does NOT slow down as the tax increases and Obummercare premiums go up, then I'd say rates go up. Not sold on it yet. Still a false start circa 2011 & 2012 IMO."
Victor Burek : "bloomberg saying a lot of seasonal factors happening right now with claims"
Matthew Graham : "RTRS- US JOBLESS CLAIMS LOWEST SINCE JAN 2008; 4-WK AVERAGE LOWEST SINCE MARCH 2008; CONTINUED CLAIMS LOWEST SINCE JULY 2008 "
Matt Hodges : "well, economy certainly has solved it woes... so much for low rates."
Matthew Graham : "RTRS - US CONTINUED CLAIMS FELL TO 3.157 MLN (CONS. 3.200 MLN) JAN 12 WEEK FROM 3.228 MLN PRIOR WEEK (PREV 3.214 MLN) "
Matthew Graham : "RTRS- US JOBLESS CLAIMS 4-WK AVG FELL TO 351,750 JAN 19 WEEK FROM 360,000 PRIOR WEEK (PREVIOUS 359,250) "
Matthew Graham : "RTRS - US JOBLESS CLAIMS FELL TO 330,000 JAN 19 WEEK (CONSENSUS 355,000) FROM 335,000 PRIOR WEEK (PREVIOUS 335,000) "