WE thought people only listen when E.F. Hutton speaks. Not true! Looks like Janet Yellen, the new Fed Chair can move markets too. According to the Washington Post yesterday, her optimistic assessment of the nation’s economic prospects, despite recent poor job growth, rallied the stock market. And thus, pulled money from treasuries and mortgage backed securities (MBS) causing rates to go up a bit. We will stay tuned!
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The market has opened this morning right where it left off last week. It continues to deteriorate. But, first let’s recap what happened last week. Looking at the graph to your right, the last 5 out of 6 trading days got worse for mortgage rates – note the “red escalator” on the far right of the chart. In addition, last week wasn’t kind to stock market investors as well.
Here is a review of the major events of the week: Continue reading
FOMC Minutes Suggest QE Tapering by Year-End
Ben Bernanke, Fed Chairman, blew up the bond and mortgage markets a month ago with his comments that the Fed is preparing to begin reducing the monthly purchases of treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. Rates spiked, and left folks shopping for mortgages, shaking their heads. The minutes for June’s meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) suggest that committee members are mostly in agreement that the current quantitative easing program (QE) should begin winding down by year-end, but the committee minutes are very clear about the committee’s intention to monitor inflation and ongoing economic and financial developments before taking action to reduce the current rate of QE. Continue reading
Have you ever been on a roller coaster? Not the little one that comes to your state fair every year, but the big one that you spend days preparing yourself for that inevitable ride of your life. Well, comments by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke after last week’s FOMC meeting caused quite the upheaval in financial markets, and put investors on the proverbial roller coaster, as they anticipated the potential effects of any rollback of the Fed’s policy of quantitative easing (QE). Chairman Bernanke said that the Fed may begin reducing its $85 billion monthly purchase of Treasury securities and MBS toward the end of this year. Continue reading
The unrelenting selling in the MBS markets has gotten a bit out of hand, and has a panicked feel. This may have something to do with the Fed, who suggests that the present quantitative easing (QE) program may be modified in the near future. This is not a surprise as Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said, at some point the Fed would begin exiting, likely inch by inch but obviously not in one fell swoop as the market decline over past few weeks seems to imply (see chart).
The current QE program involves the Fed purchasing $85 billion per month in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and Treasury bonds. The Fed’s goal with QE is keeping long-term interest rates, including mortgage rates, low. Continue reading