Bond markets are seeing their best day of gains since last Tuesday with 10yr yields down from 2.75 to just over 2.70. Fannie 4.0 MBS are up 10 ticks. Roughly 3/4ths of the improvement came even before the 10am Consumer Confidence data and was potentially helped along by an even stronger move in European bond markets into their close.
Gains extended after the confidence data which, as hoped, made no mention of the weather in relation to the big drop in the 'expectations' component of the report. This report was in a unique position to transcend the weather debate and it did so in an interesting way.
The 'present situation' index is the most direct comment on the month of the report (February in this case). It was stronger than the previous report. Bolstering that argument, the "jobs hard to get" index also improved. That data flies in the face of all the weather-related skepticism, and at the very least, legitimizes the rest of the report as being relatively immune from weather-related distortions.
So, because the most notable change in the data was the drop in the 'expectations' component, and because the other components preclude blaming the weather, we're left with a fairly negative shift in the consumer outlook standing as one of the only recent undistorted pieces of economic data available. That conclusion is in line with the ongoing gains in Treasuries/MBS. It's not the biggest market mover today, but it didn't stand in the way as it might have, had it been stronger.
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