EXISTING HOME SALES SLIP, BUT STILL STRONG

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EXISTING HOME SALES SLIP, BUT STILL STRONG
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Published Date 1/24/2017
Nothing new; yesterday the bond and mortgage markets improved, the 10 yr -6 bps to 2.41%, MBS prices +36 bps. This morning once again no follow-through as has been the case for weeks now. Yesterday the dollar under pressure, stock indexes a little weaker and news that hedge funds were lightening up on the bets f higher rates while money managers were buying 5s to balance their portfolios that are heavy with stocks. Trump backed away from the TPP trade pact and met with business and union leaders; this morning he is meeting auto executives he wants autos sold in the US to be made in the US. A very high hurdle but you can’t get anything unless you ask. Also, today Trump intends to sign two executive actions that would advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. He wants more oil companies to have more freedom to expand infrastructure and transportation efficiency.

In the UK its Supreme Court ruled that the government must bring the Brexit to a vote in parliament before it can trigger Article 50 of the EU charter. Theresa May though said she will go forward to trigger the exit in March sticking with her plan. Ministers could bring forward an Article 50 bill as early as Wednesday, with an accelerated passage through both houses of parliament in a bid to meet the prime minister’s deadline for initiating the Brexit process. The consensus is that parliament will vote to continue the process.

At 9:45 AM EST this morning the FLASH PMI manufacturing index; 55.1 from 54.2. The Philly Fed was very strong and so is the manufacturing PMI at 55.1 for the flash January score, up 8 tenths from final December (up 9 tenths from the December flash) and the strongest reading since March 2015. Production is also as strong as it’s been since March 2015 while growth in new orders is the best since November 2014.

At 10:00 Dec existing home sales were thought to be down 2.3% to 5.538M. Sales were down 2.8% to 5.49M, Nov sales were revised better to 5.65M from 5.61M. Yr/yr sales up 0.7% after increasing 15.4% yr/yr based on Nov data. Median sales price $232,200 up 4.0% yr/yr. Prices over the last five years up 41%, inventories in Dec the lowest since 1999.

This afternoon Treasury will auction $26B of 2 yr notes at 1:00 pm.

Nothing else scheduled today, news from the White House and more confirmation hearings in the Senate. Trump intends to keep FBI Director James Comey in his post, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, as the bureau continues its investigation into potential ties between Trump aides and the Russian government.

The stock market a little better in early trade but looks heavy so far. The dollar better today after weakness yesterday. Two elements that are presently leaning against the interest rate markets. Interest rates remain in a tight range with an overlay of bearishness on the continuing belief the Fed will hold to its three rate hikes this year. Last week Yellen said the increases would be “gradual”; gradual does suggest a hike in March if the Fed does move three times this year. The FOMC meets about every six weeks so if it going to be gradual it must start soon or getting three in before year end would imply quick moves later this year. All that said, the Fed talks the talk but for three years hasn’t been able to walk the walk.

At 10:00 MBS prices lower by 6 bps from 9:30. Technicals (market action) still neutral. The outlook now is for higher rates but it isn’t happening yet. Mortgage rates in a narrow range, the treasury complex also chopping with no immediate trend. Stock markets and currency markets will dictate where rate markets trade today. Three weeks of no significant change in mortgage rates or the bellwether 10 yr note.

Source: TBWS