Generally quiet start early this morning but no improvement in the MBS or treasury markets even with US stock indexes aiming at a lower opening at 9:30. At 9:00 the 10 yr -2/32 2.41%, 30 yr MBS prices -5 bps frm yesterday’s closes. At 9:30 the DJIA opened -15, NASDAQ -7, S&P -3; 10 yr unchanged at 2.41% while 30 yr MBS prices -6 bps in price.
Mortgage applications increased 1.4% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending August 15, 2014. The Refinance Index increased 3% from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.4% from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 11 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 55% of total applications from 54% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 7.8% of total applications. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 4.29% from 4.35%, with points increasing to 0.26 from 0.22 (including the origination fee) for 80% loans. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) decreased to 4.18% from 4.24%, with points increasing to 0.23 from 0.19 (including the origination fee) for 80% loans. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.99% from 4.04%, while points remained unchanged at 0.03 (including the origination fee) for 80% loans. The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.44% from 3.48%, while points remained unchanged at 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80% loans. The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.10% from 3.24%, with points decreasing to 0.44 from 0.45 (including the origination fee) for 80% loans.
Yesterday and Monday we got better housing data with the NAHB index gaining 2 points and July housing starts and permits twice as strong as forecasts. Starts up 15.7%, permits +8.1%. The better data set off a run of experts declaring the housing market getting back on track with the outlook much better. The MBA data this morning didn’t co-operate with those more positive reports on purchase apps, down 0.4%. The re-finance sector was widely declared as dead by a few housing experts, saying all re-finances have now been achieved; this morning MBA data showed re-finances increased 3.0% frm the previous week.
This afternoon (2:00 pm) the minutes of the 7/30 FOMC meeting will be released. Always something to chew on with more specifics than we get when the meeting concludes with the policy statement. Likely the minutes will get a little ink, but with Yellen speaking Friday at Jackson Hole, the minutes are somewhat dated given the title of her speech is “The Labor Market”, following her remarks Mario Draghi will also speak on the EU economy.
Not likely MBS prices will improve today with treasuries still unwinding huge long positions. No geo-political reasons for short term traders to buy now, the issues are still out there but this week there has been no fearful news from Ukraine, and Putin is scheduled to meet next week with Ukraine leaders and EU countries. Some relaxation occurring now in Ukraine, Israel and Iraq; nothing really has changed, just not worsening. The fear factor into treasuries has ebbed this week. The economy is back in the headlights. As we noted last Friday, the bond market had become overbought basis the near term; since then prices have slipped and interest rates have Increased a little; the 10 yield up 7 bps frm Friday’s close while MBS prices -36 bps since Friday’s close. Trading volume though is the lowest we have seen this year in both stocks and bonds ahead of Jackson Hole on Friday. The wider outlook is still bullish, a close over 2.48% will change the pattern and turn the 10 bearish frm a technical perspective.
WE SUGGEST KEEPING LOCKED THROUGH THE DAY. POTENTIAL FOR VOLATILITY IS HIGH, NOT MUCH ACTUAL TRADING IN STOCKS OR BONDS THIS WEEK.
PRICES @ 10:00 AM
10 yr note:-5/32 (15 bp) 2.42% +1 bp
5 yr note: -2/32 (6 bp) 1.59% +1 bp
2 Yr note: -1/32 (3 bp) 0.44% +1 bp
30 yr bond: -12/32 (37 bp) 3.23% +2 bp
Libor Rates: 1 mo 0.155%; 3 mo 0.234%; 6 mo 0.328%; 1 yr 0.552%
30 yr FNMA 3.5 Sept: @9:30 102.42 -6 bp (-30 bp frm 9:30 yesterday) 4.0 coupon 105.58 -3 bp (-27 bp frm 9:30 yesterday)
15 yr FNMA 3.0: @9:30 103.47 +1 bp (-16 bp frm 9:30 yesterday)
30 yr GNMA 3.5 Sept: @9:30 103.52 -11 bp (-24 bp frm 9:30 yesterday) 4.0 coupon 106.27 -3 bp (-23 bp frm 9:30 yesterday)
Dollar/Yen: 103.33 +0.41 yen
Dollar/Euro: $1.3287 -$0.0033
Gold: $1297.30 +$0.60
Crude Oil: $95.76 +$1.28
DJIA: 16,916.93 -2.66
NASDAQ: 4520.33 -7.18
S&P 500: 1980.58 -1.02