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MBS RECAP: Fed Says Nothing New. Bonds Sell-Off Anyway

November 8, 2018
by admin

It’s hard not to give the Fed a wide berth as the biggest potential market mover on any given Fed day. Today was a Fed day! We talked about the outside possibility of the Fed statement having an impact on markets. Markets indeed made SOME movement, but looked at under anything less powerful than a microscope, today’s moves were fairly small. Still, it did seem that bonds were leveling off before the Fed only to move higher in yield afterward. So, did the Fed matter after all?

Some traders took the absenceof change in the statement to mean the Fed isn’t worried about recent stock market weakness or trade-related uncertainty. The supposed implication is that the Fed was unfriendly to rates today because they didn’t say anything new and rate-friendly, but that’s a big stretch.

More likely than not, markets are simply circling the wagons ahead of a 3-day weekend for Veterans Day. By that, I mean that traders are squaring up positions (closing bets/cashing-in chips) or simply putting on new, defensive positions in bonds (making new bets on higher rates)–both the sorts of things you might do when yields are pushing up against an 8-year ceiling (and shorter-dated yields are at a decades-long ceiling!).

There is a smattering of 2nd tier econ data tomorrow, but the bigger focus is shifting to next Wednesday’s Consumer Price Index.

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