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  • MBS RECAP: Next Week Should be More Interesting Fri, 26 May 2017 19:09:18 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Today was a non-starter, despite the presence of economic data that certainly had the street cred to move markets (if markets were inclined to move). GDP cam in stronger than expected at +1.2 vs +0.9 forecast, as did Durable Goods (-0.7 vs -1.2 forecast). The biggest counterpoint in the data was the weakness in the "Cap-Ex" component of Durable Goods (officially... "Non-defense capital goods orders, excluding aircraft") which came in at 0.0 vs 0.5 forecast. Think of Cap-Ex like the " core " component in the same way "Core CPI" is thought to be more relevant than plain old CPI. Whether the Cap-Ex miss was enough to justify bond market ground-holding is at moot point. Traders didn't trade the data either way. The day ended up being an opportunity for...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Coast Into Extended Weekend Fri, 26 May 2017 18:31:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates didn't move much today. Lenders that made detectable adjustments generally did so in a moderately positive direction. While this isn't remotely enough to make a difference in the actual NOTE rate on a mortgage quote, it could make for microscopically lower upfront costs (thereby affecting the "effective" rate). As far as note rates are concerned, most lenders continue quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates in a range centered on 4.0%. In terms of economic data--something that typically moves bond markets (and thus rates)--there were two key reports this morning. The 1st revision of Q1 GDP was slightly stronger than expected, rising to 1.2% from 0.7% previously. A separate report, Durable Goods Orders, was also stronger than expected, but contained some internal components that...(read more)

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  • Wages and Inflation; The Fed and Mortgage Rates Fri, 26 May 2017 12:54:54 GMT

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    Ready to rush off and join the blockchain rush? Not so fast. The implementation of blockchain technology in the financial-services industry is meeting some resistance, with enthusiasm not equating to industrywide rollout. Like GSE reform, it will take many years and while blockchain's potential for improving efficiency, security, and cost savings has been discussed, the commodity sector has concerns about loss of confidentiality, while other industry participants say formal regulation and oversight of the technology is needed . Capital Markets Tax reform looks increasingly unlikely this year as Republican rhetoric shifts to simple tax cuts, says Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. Both sides of the political aisle contain ample support for tax reform , he says, but the Republican majority has failed to...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Data Casts Vote on Recent Trend Shift Fri, 26 May 2017 12:28:39 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Up until yesterday, the past week and a half of trading ran the risk of taking the shape of an uptrend leading back from the lows that followed last week's political drama. Things have been surprisingly quiet on the headline front when it comes to said drama. Even the rumor mill has been slow to churn. This has facilitated an "openness" on the part of bond markets to put more stock in other events and data. The most obvious turning point over this time was Wednesday's FOMC Minutes (which account for the big bounce in the chart below). Subsequent trading has vetted that bounce and contributed to more of a sideways vibe (as opposed to the uptrend that had been intact--shown in the white lines in the lower pane of the chart). Today's only major data will hit presently in...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds Begin Heading For The Exits, Hoping to Avoid Drama Thu, 25 May 2017 20:54:47 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    After seeing today's trading--especially when we consider it in the context of recent technical levels and yesterday's bounce around 2.25% in 10yr yields--it seems increasingly clear that bonds are doing that thing they sometimes do as the weekend is approaching. Namely, they've entered a narrow, sideways range, and they look none too interested in breaking higher or lower unless given a compelling reason. In the current case, the range is roughly 2.25-2.27 . We spent a few moments trading just slightly lower today, but those were the exceptions to the rule during domestic hours. The morning economic data was irrelevant (no one cares about Jobless Claims any more), and the afternoon's Treasury auction was taken in stride (slightly less than "strong" in terms of the...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Improve as Lenders Catch up With Yesterday's Gains Thu, 25 May 2017 20:08:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates fell today despite relatively uneventful movement in underlying bond markets (which drive day to day changes in rates). The net improvement can be explained by the timing of yesterday's improvement. Simply put, bonds improved late in the day (following the 2pm release of the Fed Minutes). That market improvement was too late in the day for some lenders to reissue rate sheets. Lenders who DID improve yesterday afternoon nonetheless held back just a bit, as it's customary to make sure late day market gains stick around the following morning before fully adjusting rate sheets to reflect the gains. For the average borrower at the average lender, this equates to a modest reduction in the upfront costs associated with the same old rates that have been in play all week. Most lenders...(read more)

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  • Freddie Mac Pulls a 180 in Housing Outlook Thu, 25 May 2017 15:09:37 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Rather than taking a step back this year, home sales now seem ready to best their 2016 numbers. Freddie Mac's economists admit that, up until this month, their expectations were for the former (i.e. a 'step back'), but based on recent data, they now see the U.S. housing market "on track to eclipse last year as the best in over a decade." The company's May Outlook credits housing's strong launch into 2017 in part to the surprising downward drift of interest rates since March. Favorable rates, along with strong job growth, have bolstered housing demand, even as economic growth remains tepid-only 0.7 percent GDP growth in Q1. Still, despite the slow growth, blamed to a large degree on weak consumer demand, the labor market "keeps plugging along" with the lowest unemployment rate since 2001 (4...(read more)

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  • Watt Says FHL Home Bank Activity Tops $1 Trillion Thu, 25 May 2017 15:06:10 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    It often gets lost in the shuffle, but the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is not just the regulator and conservator of the government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it also regulates the Federal Home Loan Banking System (FHLBank). Melvin L. Watt, Director of FHFA spoke to directors of those banks on Tuesday, at their Directors' Conference. Watt said that the System had its most profitable year ever in 2016, with net earnings of $3.4 billion. This, however, was in part due to litigation settlements over private label securities which contributed $952 million of the total. "Earnings, while still strong," Watt said, "would have been more in line with recent annual System earnings, without this non-recurring settlement income." The consistent profitability of the System...(read more)

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  • PHH v. CFPB - Recording of the Arguments, a Webinar About Yesterday's Action, What's Next? Thu, 25 May 2017 13:50:59 GMT

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    Montana may have its issues with politicians vying for the WWE title belt, but the state does seem to steer clear of cyberattacks. At least, it does in this hypnotic hacking attempt map . PHH & CFPB drama continues Yesterday the Court of Appeals rehearing of the CFPB/PHH case took place to determine the constitutionality of CFPB's leadership structure. Remember that in October (time flies) the initial decision by the court determined the CFPB was, in fact, unconstitutional. Yesterday's hearing was an "en banc" review, previously agreed upon in February. Attorney Brian Levy with Katten & Temple, LLP, contributed, "I just finished listening to the entire 90+ minute oral argument in the PHH Case before the entire DC Circuit sitting en banc. Please allow me save you and your readers some...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Auction Cycle Ends; Bonds Still Have a Shot Thu, 25 May 2017 13:14:18 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Tuesday of this week was a bit alarming for bond markets as it introduced the possibility that yields were opting for upward momentum after bottoming out amid last week's political drama. If we'd seen additional weakness yesterday, the case might have been closed on the momentum reversal (i.e. a shift back toward a trend higher in yields). Instead, the combination of a strong 5yr auction and friendly Fed minutes helped bonds find their footing. Whatever happens in the last day and a half of this week is likely of little consequence now that we've seen that bounce. There are two reasons for this. First , any additional weakness would have to carry 10yr yields over 2.305 in order to fundamentally alter the bigger picture--namely that yields have generally broken below 2.305 after...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds Bounce Back After Fed/Auction Combo Wed, 24 May 2017 20:45:57 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Bonds began the day in inconsequentially stronger territory and soon moved to the worst levels in a week leading up to the 5yr Treasury auction. The auction's stats were much stronger compared to recent averages. This would normally bode well for bond markets (and today was no exception), but we might be justified in reading a little bit more positivity into the results considering the auction occurred in the shadow of the Fed Minutes set to hit the wires just 1 hour later. The Fed Minutes turned out to be helpful in their own right. Not only did the Fed express some rate-hike hesitation, but they reinvestment discussion seems to have evolved in a less terrifying way than some bond traders had imagined. Specifically, there was no mention of outright bond sales (a particular concern for...(read more)

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  • Upward Mortgage Rate Momentum Pauses After Fed Wed, 24 May 2017 19:35:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates moved moderately higher this morning, beginning the day at the highest levels in roughly 2 weeks. Afternoon events helped underlying bond markets bounce back, however, resulting in several lenders issuing positive reprices. This means that some lenders are in slightly better shape vs yesterday while others remain in worse shape. All things being equal, any lender who did not adjust rate sheets this afternoon would have incentive to offer bigger improvements tomorrow morning. The key consideration for interest rates was today's release of the Minutes from the most recent Fed meeting. The Minutes provide a more detailed account of the meetings where the Fed officially sets monetary policy. The policy statement is several hundred words while the Minutes are several thousand words...(read more)

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  • Existing Home Sales Decline Slightly; Inventory Issues Persist Wed, 24 May 2017 14:04:00 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Existing homes declined in April, falling back by 2.3 percent in April when compared to March 2017 levels. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said the month's transactions, which include those for single-family houses, townhouses, condos and cooperative apartments, were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million . March sales were revised down from 5.71 to 5.70 million. Despite the decline, April's numbers were still 1.6 percent higher than the previous April and were at the fourth highest rate in the past year. Analysts polled by Econoday were expecting that sales would be lower in the wake of a 4.2 percent month-over-month gain in March. The consensus was for sales of 5.65 million. New homes sales, which were released on Monday, posted an 11.4 percent month-over-month...(read more)

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  • Price Gains Decelerate But Remain Over 6 Percent Annually Wed, 24 May 2017 13:56:42 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is reporting another significantly high set of results for its Housing Price Index (HPI). The current values cover results for the quarter, month, and year. Based on purchase mortgages originated for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FHFA puts the national increase in home prices in the first quarter of this year at 1.4 percent . FHFA Deputy Chief Economist Andrew Leventis said, "The steep, multi-year rise in U.S. home prices continued in the first quarter. Mortgage rates during the quarter remained slightly elevated relative to most of last year, but demand for homes remained very strong. With housing inventories still languishing at extremely low levels, the strong demand led to another exceptionally large quarterly price increase." There was some deceleration...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Apex of Bond Supply and Fed Minutes Wed, 24 May 2017 13:16:14 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Today's main event from a "street cred" standpoint will be the 2pm release of the Minutes from the last Fed meeting . This is a detailed account of the discussion that produced the Fed Announcement at the beginning of May (which contained no significant changes). In some ways, the Minutes from the meetings with no significant changes are potentially much more interesting than the official policy statement. This is especially true when the Fed is actively in the process of adjusting policy. The meetings without policy changes then become the hotbeds of discussion leading up to the material changes at the subsequent meetings. In contrast, the meetings with material changes tend to have less discussion about future changes and more justification for the changes announced at the meeting...(read more)

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