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  • MBS RECAP: Resounding Rally for Bonds to Begin October

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    There's little else today's recap can offer that hasn't already been covered in the mid-day commentary. Check that out here: Strong Bond Market Rally Has Nothing to do with Data . From there, the trend simply continued into the afternoon as lower yields forced those who'd been betting against bonds to cover those bets by becoming buyers (short-covering). The snowball rally made for a whopping 10bp drop in 10yr yields today, taking them all the way to 2.389. Fannie 3.5s gained 18 ticks to end at 102-28. The question at this point isn't whether or not the tradeflow hand-off from September to October will be positive enough to prolong the downtrend in rates, but whether it's already reaching technical resistance levels. That question will likely get a good bit of information...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Begin October With Strong Move to 1-Month Lows

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates moved definitively lower today , restoring almost all of the ground lost during September's weakness. This has been a gradual process of improvement that began roughly 2 weeks ago, but today was the biggest victory by far. The most prevalently-quoted conforming 30yr fixed rate is now safely 4.125% again for top tier borrowers. It spent most of the last 2 weeks at 4.25%. Whereas big market movements can often result from surprising news headlines or exceptionally strong/weak economic data, today's gains come courtesy of investors shifting their trading preferences from the 3rd to 4th quarter. Some market participants are forced to hold on to certain trading positions through the end of a quarter/month. We often see the release of a bit of pent-up demand (or lack thereof) at the...(read more)

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  • Little Change in Construction Spending as Summer Ends

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Total construction spending in the U.S. in August was estimated by the Census Bureau today to be at the seasonally adjusted annual rate of $961.0 billion, down 0.8 percent from spending in July and 5.0 percent higher than the $915.3 in construction outlays in August 2013. Total spending in June was revised up from the original estimate of $963.7 billion to $968.8 billion. Construction spending in August was estimated at $89.3 billion on a non-annualized basis compared to $87.6 billion in July. Year-to-date spending this year is estimated at $623.1 billion compared to $583.2 billion at the same point in 2013. Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $685.0 billion, also 0.8 percent below the revised July figure (from $701.7 billion) of $690.3 billion and a...(read more)

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  • MBS MID-DAY: Strong Bond Market Rally Has Nothing to do with Data

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    It's asking quite a lot to believe that the single most consistent source of guidance and inspiration for trading levels--economic data--is pretty much irrelevant at the moment, but it's true. ADP Employment came out this morning at 8:15am. In the past, any big reaction to ADP data begins PROMPTLY at 8:15:001. We got nothing today. 8:20am, however, was a different story. This told us oh so much about the nature of the rally right out of the gate this morning. 8:20 is the time of day where bond markets officially "switch on" for the day due to the participation of certain classes of traders that begin their day with the opening bell of the bond pit at the CME. This doesn't mean that floor traders waving their arms behind Rick Santelli are making a huge difference for Treasuries...(read more)

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  • Judge Cites Unequivocal Language in Dismissing Fannie/Freddie Lawsuit

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    A lawsuit challenging the manner in which profits from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) have been allocated to the U.S. Treasury was dismissed on Tuesday by a U.S. District Court judge. The suit, brought by institutional investors Perry Capital, LLC, Fairholme Funds, Inc. and Arrowood Indemnity Company, contested a change in the Senior Preferred Stock Agreement negotiated between the GSEs and the Treasury Department in August 2008 when the GSEs were placed in government conservatorship. The three companies originally filed separate lawsuits in July 2013 but it appears that they may have been combined by the courts into a single action. The investors maintained that the 2012 changes violated the original terms of the government's 2008 bailout agreement and that they unlawfully impair shareholder...(read more)

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  • Stonegate's New Channel; CFPB's Consent Order Against a Title Insurer

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    When I was young, my parents taught me that my income was my own business, and talking about wages and bonuses with others never did anyone any good. But per the Small Business Administration, that has all changed, at least for anyone dealing with the Federal Government. "On September 17, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) of the Department of Labor released a proposed rule that would prohibit federal contractors from maintainin g pay secrecy policies . The rule, which implements Executive Order 13655, would require most contractors and subcontractors to change the nondiscrimination provisions in their contracts to state that they will not discharge or discriminate against their employees and job applicants for disclosing or inquiring about their pay. Contractors would...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Application Volume Continues to Slide

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Last week was another down week for mortgage applications according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey data for the week ended September 26 showed a 0.2 percent decrease in applications as reflected in its seasonally adjusted Market Composite Index. Compared with the previous week the decline in the unadjusted index was twice as large. MBA's Refinance Index was down 0.3 percent from the week ended September 19 and applications for refinancing comprised 56 percent of total loan applications. That share was unchanged from the previous week. Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed Applications for home purchases were unchanged from the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis but were down 1 percent on an unadjusted basis. The unadjusted Purchase Index...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Rates Head For Conflict Resolution As Data Heats Up

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Today is the first day of a new month and new quarter, and Octobers have historically been active for bond markets. That leaves us to wonder whether the activity will push back against the mostly negative September. There are excellent cases to be made for avoiding any major push higher in rates until the struggling masses below the line of accelerating net worth can afford to buy anything or borrow any money. Heck, it'd go a long way if we could even have something other than lower real wages for 80% of Americans from 2007 to present ( seriously... ). While such thoughts are probably good enough to prevent any abrupt runs over 3% in 10yr yields or 5% in 30yr fixed rates, there can still be plenty of volatility down in these historically low rates. Most of the trading we've seen since...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Bond Markets Weather Month-End Storm With Minimal Losses

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Month/Quarter-end trading dynamics made for a volatile day in the context of the recent range. It wasn't so much that the moves were big, just that they seemingly came out of left field and ran their course quite quickly. There were two distinct examples of such movement. The first came at the 9:30am stock market open with yields and stock prices dropping aggressively until 10am. From there, as if to emphasize the point that economic data just couldn't matter any less , an exceptionally weak Consumer Confidence report marked the end of the rally for bond markets and the end of the sell-off for stocks. The mid-morning to early afternoon hours were completely uneventful with both MBS and treasuries trading narrow ranges. 2:45pm brought the next bout of volatility as a last-minute quarter...(read more)

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  • CFPB Targets Title Company Over MSAs

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a Consent Order on Tuesday against Lighthouse Title, a title insurer based in Holland, Michigan. The order was, the Bureau said, sending "a clear and simple message" that it intends to pursue legal action against financial institutions that pay in any manner for referrals. The administrative proceeding carried a civil money penalty of $200,000. The Bureau said that Lighthouse Title had violated the Section 8(a) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, (RESPA) and its implementing regulation, Regulation X. The relevant section of RESPA states, "No person shall give and no person shall accept any fee, kickback, or thing of value pursuant to any agreement or understanding, oral or otherwise, that business incident to or a part of a real...(read more)

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