We moved from NFP not mattering (and then causing a surprisingly big intraday stir) to the Fed undergoing quite a similar routine.  Granted, in the bigger picture, neither event will be memorable or have a lasting impact on rate momentum, but they both came as close as they could.

Today's reaction to the Fed was the opposite of the reaction to last week's NFP (a fact that only reinforces NFP "not mattering" since yields have now traded well below pre-NFP levels).  I'd argue that today's reaction to the Fed was also a bigger surprise and based on more interesting underlying details. 

Specifically, Fed Chair Powell's thoughts on inflation were delivered in a slightly newer and more bond-friendly way.  He unequivocally said there wouldn't be any rate hikes unless inflation moved up significantly, and went a step further by saying a number of Fed members think inflation should run hot for as long and by as much as it ran cool in the past decade.  Given that inflation currently isn't running hot and that low Fed rates have had less and less power to stoke inflationary fires over that time, the rate implication is positive to say the least.

All that having been said, there's a way to look at today's action as being much less impressive or surprising (and to give the Fed much less credit for causing the move).  We could easily say that bonds were already planning on rallying today (apparently, based on how the morning was going).  In that light, the Fed reaction merely extended the trend of the rally that was already established in the morning hours. 

20191211 close

Either way, traders are still waiting for the week's biggest potential development: any meaningful update on Sunday's China tariff deadline.


MBS Pricing Snapshot
Pricing shown below is delayed, please note the timestamp at the bottom. Real time pricing is available via MBS Live.
MBS
FNMA 3.0
101-12 : +0-08
Treasuries
10 YR
1.7970 : -0.0340
Pricing as of 12/11/19 4:54PMEST

Today's Reprice Alerts and Updates
A recap of Alerts and Updates provided to MBS Live subscribers.
2:54PM  :  Additional Bond Gains as Powell Speaks
2:05PM  :  Fed Announcement as Underwhelming as Expected
11:01AM  :  Stronger Start For No Particular Reason

MBS Live Chat Highlights
A recap of featured comments from the Live Discussion on the MBS Live Dashboard.
Matthew Graham  :  "POWELL SAYS A NUMBER OF FOMC PARTICIPANTS WROTE DOWN IN FORECASTS AN OVERSHOOT OF INFLATION AS PART OF APPROPRIATE POLICY"
Andy Pada, Jr.  :  "thank you Mr. Powell"
Matthew Graham  :  "POWELL SAYS IN ORDER FOR FED TO MOVE RATES UP, WOULD HAVE TO SEE SIGNIFICANT, PERSISTENT MOVE UP IN INFLATION"
Matthew Graham  :  "U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE'S MEDIAN VIEW OF APPROPRIATE FED FUNDS RATE AT END-2019 1.6% (PREV 1.9%)"
Matthew Graham  :  "FED KEEPS TARGET INTEREST RATE UNCHANGED AT 1.50-1.75%, SEES NO CHANGE IN RATES IN 2020"

Economic Calendar
Time Event Period Actual Forecast Prior
Wednesday, Dec 11
7:00 MBA Purchase Index w/e 268.3 269.4
7:00 Mortgage Refinance Index w/e 2094.1 1925.7
8:30 Core CPI (Annual) (%)* Nov +2.3 2.3 2.3
14:00 FOMC rate decision (%)* N/A 1.50 - 1.75 1.625 1.625
14:31 Powell Press Conference *