Both MBS and Treasuries continue to trade at their best levels since last Tuesday but remain blocked by technical resistance for now. The combination of events leading to today's strength may begin with yesterday's FOMC Minutes, but only inasmuch as they failed to cause further weakness (they obviously weren't a source of strength for bond markets and to think of this morning's strength purely as an extension of the post-FOMC trade is probably oversimplifying the situation). Organic weakness in EU markets overnight certainly helps the cause, and that looks to be more a factor of Italian election uncertainty than anything. More appropriately, we'll know more about whether or not Italian elections are the dark horse in a race to move markets by Monday. For now, the 3 percent drop in Italy's MIB stock index seems to be leading the charge lower for core debt yields such as German Bunds. This creates a broader "risk-off" move that extends to US Treasuries, Stocks, and MBS, with the relatively bond-market-friendly economic data this morning simply acting as fuel to an already smoldering fire. Super long term technical resistance continues to frustrate 10yr yields at 1.963, and a break below that would then encounter something in the neighborhood of 1.950. For now, 10's have held off legitimately challenging either (after an earlier bounce at 1.963) and have been quite sideways in the mid-to-low 1.97's. MBS have done a similar dance with 103-00 in Fannie 3.0s. They made it as high as 103-02 briefly, but in general, continue to struggle with a convicted break above this important intermediate-term resistance level.
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
ECON: Existing Home Sales In Line With Expectations
- Sales at 4.92 mln annual rate vs 4.90mln consensus
- Inventory at 1.74 mln units, lowest since 1999
- 4.2 months of inventory at current pace, lowest since 4/2005
- 23 pct of existing home sales were distressed
Existing-home sales edged up in January, while a seller's market is developing and home prices continue to rise steadily above year-ago levels, according to the National Association of Realtors . Sales rose in every region but the West, which is the region most constrained by limited inventory.
Total existing-home sales , which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million in January from a downwardly revised 4.90 million in December, and are 9.1 percent above the 4.51 million-unit pace in January 2012.
Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist, said tight inventory is a major factor in the market. "Buyer traffic is continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady," he said. "In fact, buyer traffic is 40 percent above a year ago, so there is plenty of demand but insufficient inventory to improve sales more strongly. We've transitioned into a seller's market in much of the country."
ECON: Philly Fed Index Falls Sharply. Most Metrics At 7-Month Lows
- Business Conditions -12.5 vs +1.0 consensus
- New Orders -7.8 vs -4.3 consensus
- Employment 0.9 vs -5.2 previously
- Biz conditions, New Orders, Prices Paid, all lowest since June
Manufacturers responding to the February Business Outlook Survey reported declines in activity this month. Following reported growth in late 2012, indicators for general activity and new orders have now registered negative readings for the past two months. However, indicators for shipments and employment were slightly positive this month. The survey’s broad indicators of future activity edged higher this month.
Stronger Overnight, Adding Slightly To Gains After Data
After rallying back from yesterday's FOMC Minutes whipsaw, bond markets improved gradually at the start of the overnight session as Asian stocks sank. The "risk-off" tone continued into European hours with slightly weaker PMI data and major tradeflow considerations giving German Bunds a big boost around 3:30am NY time.
US 10's followed that more abrupt EU market movement by breaking through the recently insidious resistance at 1.9979 (uncontested since 2/13). Stronger Spanish debt auctions later in the morning helped turn the rally away in core debt markets with the onus left to domestic data for the next guidance.
After crossing 8am just a few ticks better than yesterday's latest levels MBS and Treasuries have both improved following weaker-than-expected Jobless Claims data. It's also worth noting that the gains make for a fairly linear rally from yesterday's overnight levels, so the 'extension of strength' explanation can fit here as well.
But to consider such an 'extension,' is to acknowledge the role played by "trends" in the current environment. That conversation wouldn't be complete without mentioning a few other trends. The most ancient among these is the uptrend in yields going back to mid-July which suggests firm resistance at 1.963 (or at least a high level of significance if 1.963 is broken). On the horizontal front, 1.95 is the center of a messier range of yields that have provided resistance and support in the recent past (as long as you give it about half a bp in either direction).
For MBS, 103-00 is the clear overhead pivot. With that in mind, we're currently coming off our 11th or 12th bounce at 102-31+ since 8:30am. Most of the data has printed for the morning, but Existing Home Sales and Philly Fed both arrive at 10am, and are essentially the last scheduled reports of the week.
ECON: Markit PMI Slightly Lower Than Expected, Output Higher
- Manufacturing PMI at 55.2 vs 55.5 Consensus
- Output at 58.1 vs 56.8 Consensus
- Strongest rise in output since March 2011
- New order growth remains strong, but slower
- Job creation at three-month low
- Input price inflation slows, but remains strong
- Data collected 12–20 February.
The Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index
expansion of the U.S. manufacturing sector in
February, although the rate of growth slowed
slightly on January’s nine
-month peak. At 55.2,
down from 55.8, the ‘flash’ PMI reading, which is
based on around 85% of usual monthly replies,
continued to suggest a strong improvement in
overall manufacturing business conditions.
ECON: Consumer Prices Slightly Higher Than Expected
- CPI +0.0264 vs +0.1 consensus, Core +0.2514 vs +0.02 Consensus
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was
unchanged in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all
items index increased 1.6 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent in
January. This increase offset another decline in the gasoline index
and resulted in the seasonally adjusted all items index being
unchanged, as it was last month. Increases in the indexes for shelter
and apparel accounted for much of the increase in the index for all
items less food and energy, with advances in the indexes for
recreation, medical care, and airline fares also contributing.
ECON: Jobless Claims Slightly Higher Than Expected
- Claims up to 362k vs 355k consensus, 342k previous
- Constinued Claim
In the week ending February 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 362,000, an increase of 20,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 342,000. The 4-week moving average was 360,750, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week's revised average of 352,750.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4 percent for the week ending February 9, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending February 9 was 3,148,000, an increase of 11,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,137,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,186,250, a decrease of 6,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,193,000.
Live Chat Featured Comments
Matthew Graham : "Eurozone was 47.9 vs 48.5, for what it's worth"
Matthew Graham : "That rounds out a day of Markit PMIs that were all very close to expectations. No big shake up from manufacturing data around the world."
Matthew Graham : "RTRS - MARKIT U.S. MANUFACTURING SECTOR FLASH PMI OUTPUT INDEX AT HIGHEST SINCE MARCH 2011 "
Matthew Graham : "RTRS- MARKIT U.S. MANUFACTURING SECTOR FLASH PMI OUTPUT INDEX FOR FEB AT 58.1 VS FINAL 56.8 IN JAN "
Matthew Graham : "RTRS- MARKIT U.S. MANUFACTURING SECTOR FLASH PMI FOR FEBRUARY AT 55.2 (CONSENSUS 55.5) VS FINAL 55.8 IN JANUARY "
Matthew Graham : "pivot, yeah. "
John Tassios : "MG / What is resistance level for MBS? Is it 103.00 ?"
Nate Miller : "Nice coloration this a.m.!...hope it holds at least a few more hours when all our rates are posted so I can lock up a few I need a little juice on...sometimes waiting until 8:30-9am pst is rough."
Craig LaBruno : "I second that notion. I'll take whatever we can get. Looks good thus far though."
Matthew Graham : "yeah, I'm happy now too, but maybe 'thrilled' under 1.95 (and shocked)"
Jude Bridwell : "Thrilled just to be where we're at now"
philip mancuso : "Frankly I'd be happy with 1.95 today."
Matthew Graham : "i'll be shocked--shocked I say--if 10's manage to rally through 1.95 (happy, but did I also mention shocked?)."
Matthew Graham : "yeah, for anyone looking to sell Treasuries or MBS, there are some great entry points now!"
Christopher Stevens : "well this is a good start to the day"
Matthew Graham : "RTRS - U.S. JAN CPI UNCHANGED (+0.0264; CONSENSUS +0.1 PCT); EXFOOD/ENERGY +0.3 PCT, LARGEST RISE SINCE MAY 2011 (+0.2514; CONS +0.2 PCT) "
Matthew Graham : "RTRS - US CONTINUED CLAIMS ROSE TO 3.148 MLN (CON. 3.170 MLN) FEB. 9 WEEK FROM 3.137 MLN PRIOR WEEK (PREV 3.114 MLN) "
John Tassios : "No Data tomorrow, so hopefully we get a 2 day rally here , ahead of the weekend"
Matthew Graham : "RTRS- US JOBLESS CLAIMS ROSE TO 362,000 FEB. 16 WEEK (CONSENSUS 355,000) FROM 342,000 PRIOR WEEK (PREVIOUS 341,000) "