Rate Snapshot: Interest rates rise, uncertainty looms

by MPA23 Oct 2014

By David Shirmeyer, CEO at Sigma Research

Not a good day for interest rates with the U.S. stock market running higher. The 10-yield jumped to 2.3%, its first significant technical support level, MBS prices followed. So far the good news is the 10-year has held today and MBS prices have declined slightly from their worst prices about 1:00 pm. The last three weeks have been nothing like I have seen before; I was beginning to think I was losing it.
A reprieve for me though; at 3 p.m. Dennis Gartman of the Gartman Letter and a contributor at CNBC was on commenting. He, like me has been a trader for 45 years, he authenticated what I have been thinking. In all of the years we both have experienced he validated what I have been thinking; that I have never seen markets act like these have in the last several weeks.
Huge swings in the stock indexes, the bond market, crude oil and all commodities. Two, 3 and 4% movements back and forth in all of those markets over the last few weeks. In my long experience and apparently Dennis’, I haven’t seen anything like this trading. Why such high levels of volatility? The only thing now that makes sense is that there is an extremely high level of uncertainty about where the US and global economies really are, and no certainty where they are going; traders moving in and out like a revolving door.
The rebound in stocks is too much too soon and the move a little higher in rates does suggest the lows on 10/15 were the lows we will see (1.85%); 2.2% may be it but as I said above, until markets settle down to some historical norms any forecast at the moment is more an educated guess rather than insightful knowledge. Young guns now in control, but human nature does not change. At some point the dust will settle and fundamentals will assert themselves. Not happening now though.
Tomorrow September new home sales are expected to have declined 8.3% to 460,000 annualized units. Next week’s FOMC meeting is feeding into traders and investor thinking now. The Fed is expected to end QE3 at the meeting even with a few Fed regional presidents wanting the small QE to continue.
The bond and MBS markets have to hold here. The 10-year did test and hold its 20-day average at 2.3%. The DJIA jumped 300 points at one time today. There is an unconfirmed report that a doctor in New York has Ebola symptoms; an example of the volatility, the Ebola news dropped the DJIA 80 points from its high. It is a rarity that I don’t have an opinion one way or the other; not so much a rarity that I have been wrong a few times over the years. People in my line of work expect a definitive comment; today I have none. Best to tell it as I see it than to fake it.
Since the uncertainty is dominating, we suggest locking all loans now. It’s too severe a risk to take on
PRICES @ 4:00 PM
10 yr note:                    -17/32 (53 bp) 2.28% +6 bp
5 yr note:                      -10/32 (31 bp) 1.49% +6 bp
2 Yr note:                     -1/32 (3 bp) 0.39% +2 bp
30 yr bond:                   -33/32 (103 bp) 3.05% +6 bp
Libor Rates:                 1 month 0.153%; 3 month 0.230%; 6 month 0.323%; 1 yr 0.541%
30 yr FNMA 3.5 Nov:    103.47 -28 bp (-8 bps from 9:30)
15 yr FNMA 3.0 Nov:    103.85 -20 bp (-10 bp from 9:30)
30 yr GNMA 3.5 Nov:   104.54 -19 bp (-5 bp from 9:30)
Dollar/Yen:                  108.18 +1.04 yen (big monthve)
Dollar/Euro:                $1.2649 unch
Gold:                          $1231.30 -$14.20 (big move)
Crude Oil:                  $82.03 +$1.51 (big move)
DJIA:                          16,677.90 +216.58
NASDAQ:                   4452.79 +69.95
S&P 500:                    1950.82 +23.71



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