No Easy Answers Today; Still Anyone's Game
Bonds were weaker earlier in the trading session but rallied back mid-morning before coasting mostly sideways into the close. Bond bulls were frustrated by the inability to break the floor at 1.27-1.28% in 10yr yields. Bond bears were frustrated by the clear unwillingness to explore new highs compared to yesterday. In other words, it was an "inside day" with lower highs and higher lows, and part of a 2-day consolidation following the highest yields in 11+ months. Such consolidations can be preludes to big bounces OR renewed selling pressure. There weren't any major clues in today's session about which side is going to win.
Fed MBS Buying 10am, 1130am, 1pm
Jobless Claims 861 vs 765 f'cast, 848k prev
Import Prices 1.4 vs 1.0 f'cast, 1.0 prev
Export Prices 2.5 vs 0.7 f'cast 1.3 prev
Housing Starts 1.58m vs 1.658m f'cast, 1.68m prev
Building Permits 1.881m vs 1.687m f'cast, 1.704 prev
Treasuries started stronger in Asia as trading picked back up after Lunar New Year holiday closures. Yields have been rising modestly since then and stocks have been sliding. 8:30am econ data passed without fanfare leaving 10yr yields 1.5bps higher at 1.297 and UMBS 2.0 coupons nearly an eighth lower.
Bouncing back in the other direction now after AM weakness took yields to highs by 10:15am. MBS had been down nearly a quarter of a point, but have bounced back by an eighth (down only an eighth now).
Friendly bounce continued, more so for MBS than Treasuries, but both are near unchanged levels currently. Stocks recovered a bit as well, so we can continue to watch the "accommodation" trade (i.e. stocks and bond yields moving in opposite directions as the market reacts to changes in Fed policy potential. This is far from the only game in town, but it could be a factor).
Slight weakness heading into the after hours close, but not enough to make a case for any new momentum. The takeaway remains equivocal with a clear rejection of the stronger levels, but no threatening move back to the weaker levels.