With and without this morning's economic data, bond markets have erred on the side of weakness so far today. The only report significantly out of line with forecasts--a super weak, but possibly weather-related read on Industrial Production--failed to get trading levels back into positive territory despite having a positive effect.
The other data was tepid or otherwise unimportant. Moreover, Industrial Production drew the only noticeable volume-based reaction. Consequently, being in weaker territory speaks to some level of predisposition. Beyond that, bond markets have been fairly well-connected with equities since the cash open at 9:30am.
All that said, the weakness isn't severe. MBS are back at yesterday's lows. Treasuries haven't broken yesterday's high yields, and 10's are just over 1bp higher. There are no other scheduled reports today and most of the meaningful trading has already taken place, both because of the weather in NYC and the 3-day weekend.
Why do 3-day weekends running Sat-Mon affect Friday on Wall Street? The same reason they affect Friday's in any other profession where people have the ability to take days off or leave early. An article in CNBC this morning summed up a reminder I occasionally give on days like today, about traders being real people.
For the record, the typical Wall Street guy is not Jordan Belfort, the "Wolf of Wall Street." The typical Wall Street guy is married with two kids. He coaches his son's Little League team on the weekend and likes to go out once or twice a week with his friends to blow off steam.
To be sure, staffing levels would be affected even without the winter storm. This afternoon is more likely to drift in terms of trading levels. That can be slightly weaker or stronger or sideways, but nothing extreme. The only catch is that MBS are already right on the doorstep of negative reprice risk, so some negative drifting could cause a few more than the one we've already seen.
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