Daily Market Update

Daily Market Commentary Today's Commentary
Updated on August 18, 2022 10:09:25 AM EDT Thursday’s bond market has opened in positive territory following mostly favorable economic news. Stocks are in negative ground with the Dow down 103 points and the Nasdaq down 35 points. The bond market is currently up 16/32 (2.84%), but some weakness yesterday is going to keep rates at Wednesday’s morning levels. If you saw an intraday increase yesterday, you should see that revision reversed in this morning’s pricing.

Yesterday’s 20-year Treasury Bond auction drew a pretty weak demand from investors. The benchmarks showed a below average interest in the securities compared to other recent sales. As expected, bonds extended their losses when the results were announced at 1:00 PM ET. Fortunately, it did not lead to widespread intraday revisions to mortgage pricing.

The minutes from last month’s FOMC meeting were also posted late yesterday. They didn’t reveal any significant surprises. One relevant point worth noting is the minutes indicated the Fed is likely to stay aggressive with key short-term interest rate hikes in the immediate future, but many members expect a pause in the campaign soon so they can see the impact previous hikes are having. Those comments helped bonds to improve when the minutes were posted. It was not enough of a move to reverse the day’s losses though.

Last week’s unemployment update was the first of today’s three economic releases. The figures showed that 250,000 new claims for benefits were filed last week, down slightly from the previous week’s revised 252,000 initial filings. A downward revision to the previous week’s number has last week’s claims lower than expected. However, the week over week change was in line with forecasts. Since this is just a weekly snapshot and the variance was minor, the report had little impact on this morning’s bond trading and mortgage pricing.

July's Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) was posted at 10:00 AM ET, revealing a decline of 0.4% that was just short of the 0.5% that was predicted. These indicators attempt to predict economic activity over the next several months. The decline points to a slowing economy late summer and fall, allow us to label the report slightly favorable for rates.

The National Association of Realtors gave us their Existing Home Sales report to close out today’s batch of economic data. They announced a 5.9% decline in home resales, signaling the housing sector continues to soften following a spike in mortgage rates and strong inflation. This was a little larger decline than expected, hinting the housing sector is in worse shape than thought. We can consider that good news for rates because it is a sign of economic weakness that makes bonds more attractive to investors.

Tomorrow doesn’t have anything scheduled that we need to be concerned with. That is not to mean that we won’t see some movement in bonds or mortgage rates. The markets are highly active these days, so it is still possible to see a noticeable increase or improvement in rates as traders close out positions before the weekend.


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