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MBS RECAP: Bond Markets Try to Hold Gains After Ukraine-Inspired Rally

Posted To: MBS Commentary

For all the possibilities, today ended up being both surprising and straightforward for bond markets. The surprise was that Ukraine headlines turned out to be the biggest market mover as they introduced a new level of physical violence and heightened risk of civil war. In quintessential "flight-to-safety" fashion, stock prices and bond yields fell in almost perfect unison. All told, it was enough to bring bond markets into positive territory after starting the day in the red. As the headlines stopped coming, and after the European session closed, domestic markets turned around and unwound a good amount of the "risk-off" movement. Stocks ended up making it all the way back to morning highs while bond markets only gave up about half their gains. Heading into the end of the...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Hold Ground After Ukraine Headlines

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates started the day in weaker territory, continuing higher for a second straight morning. Just after 10am, headlines regarding violence in Ukraine sent stocks lower and provided demand for fixed-income. The move out of stocks and into bonds is a common reaction to disconcerting headlines, and it's also common for Treasuries to soak up more of the benefit compared to MBS, the 'mortgage-backed-securities' that most directly influence mortgage rates. Increasing demand leads prices higher in bond markets, which translates to lower rates . As such, improvements in MBS into the afternoon led many lenders to issue positively-revised rate sheets . For all intents and purposes, these rate sheets brought the average rate back in line with yesterday's latest levels. That means the most prevalently...(read more)

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MBS MID-DAY: Bond Markets in Rally Mode After Visit From Old Friend

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Geopolitical risk is an old friend to bond markets. When prospects for awful things flare up at home and abroad, money tends to flow out of stocks and into bonds. That's been the case so far today as Treasury yields and stock prices have plunged in unison after a series of headlines out of Ukraine suggesting some semblance of civil war. Before that, bonds, including MBS, started out in weaker territory, but did a decent job of holding their ground . Weaker-than-expected manufacturing data from the NY Fed may have helped to some extent as prices generally rose from there on out. At present, bond markets continue delving into positive territory. Treasuries are already well past yesterday's best levels and MBS are close to matching theirs. There is no other significant scheduled data on...(read more)

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No Spring Breakout as Builder Confidence Stalls

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) rose to 47 this month, indicating a slight improvement in the confidence of home builders in the market for new single family homes. At the same time the March HMI was revised down to 46 from 47 . NAHB constructs the HMI from results of a survey it conducts monthly among its homebuilder-members. Respondents are asked to give their perceptions of current single-family home sales and expectations for those sales over the next six months as "good," "fair" or "poor." The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as "high to very high," "average" or "low to very low." Each set of responses as well as the composite are used to calculate seasonally adjusted indices where any number over 50...(read more)

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New Home Applications Up in March

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) estimated today that there was a 15 percent increase in applications for new home purchases in March compared to February even as the annual pace of new home sales eased. MBA's Builder Application Survey (BAS) which tracks mortgage application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders, indicated that sales of new single-family homes were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 479,000 units in March, a decrease of 10.1 percent from the February estimate of 533,000 units. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis MBA estimates sales for the month at 46,000 units. This is an increase of 7.0 percent from the estimated 43,000 sales reported in February. Conventional loans made up 68.3 percent of new home purchase applications and FHA-backed mortgages...(read more)

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Consumer Expectations Rise Slightly Along with Inflation Fears

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Another survey has found a slight overall improvement in consumer attitudes toward the economy. The New York Federal Reserve Bank said that its monthly Survey of Consumer Expectations (SEC) for March showed increasingly positive attitudes toward income growth, employment, and access to credit. At the same time consumers appear more wary about the possibility of inflation and have moderated their outlook toward the growth of home prices. Consumers' expectations about median earnings growth over the next six months had remained flat from the survey's inception in June 2013 but began to climb at the beginning of this year and rose to 2.4 percent in March, the survey's highest point, from 2.26 percent in February. The Fed said the expectation of higher wages increased among consumers everywhere...(read more)

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Mortgage and Bank M&A; Ellie's Announcement; United Wholesale Rolls Out Non-QM

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Don't forget: the bond markets close early on Thursday , and are closed entirely Friday. LOs know that any lender taking locks will price conservatively. But today it is business as usual, although being April 15 th retailers are "giving away" deals. Arby's is offer snack-size curly fries - you must print the coupon from its website. McDonald's will give away free small coffees - breakfast hours only. California Tortilla will give away free chips and queso - you must say the secret password though "taxes schmaxes". Hard Rock Cafe will give free dinners away - You must sing a song in front of everyone. BLT Restaurant and Bar locations will have half-off alcohol drinks. Sonic will also offer half-price slushes and soft drinks. Bruegger's Bagels will offer 13 bagels and two tubs of cream cheese...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: 2nd Chance to Fight Off Weakness; Economic Data Continues

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Financial securities have a tendency to alternate between periods of movement and consolidation. Obviously, if something isn't moving higher or lower, then it's sideways. What isn't always obvious (in many cases, not until hindsight comes into focus) is whether the sideways consolidation is a pause before continuing in the same direction, or a pause for consideration before reversing. The current risk for bond markets is that yesterday's weakness following 7 days of strength is the first step in such a reversal, but we'd have to see more weakness in order to confirm that. In fact, the levels at which markets chose to find their footing yesterday (or '' to meet resistance' in the case of stocks) definitely leave open the possibility that the counter-trend moves...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Moderate but Persistent Weakness After Retail Sales

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Nothing has changed from the Mid-Day Commentary , as MBS continue bouncing along the same lows that offered support earlier this morning. Treasuries have also been contained by their weakest levels of the day. Neither has sold off in any extreme way--indeed MBS are only down 4/32nds --but the losses could still end up being important. Reason being: today's weakness potentially markets a turning point similar to several other examples in 2014 where rates have traversed their narrow range, bounced, and headed back in the other direction. We'll know more about whether or not that bounce is materializing tomorrow, but for today, we have extended runs in one direction coming to an end in both stocks and bonds. MBS Pricing Snapshot Pricing shown below is delayed, please note the timestamp...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Snap 7 Day Winning Streak

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates finally ended a move lower that began 7 business days earlier on April 3rd. The biggest movement during that time was the Employment Situation data on April 4th. While those jobs numbers were actually decent and while rates tend to benefit the most from more downbeat data, markets were positioned for surprise improvement. When they didn't get it, some of that defensiveness abated, and rates went back to their lowest levels in a month. Stock market losses and other movement away from risk in global financial markets helped drive demand for US Treasuries and MBS (The "Mortgage-Backed-Securities" that most directly affect mortgage rates). Greater demand for MBS translates to lower rates. It won't always be the case that stock prices and interest rates move in the same direction...(read more)

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