Taken in and of itself, today’s Fed statement was “net-hawkish.” That means, relative to the last announcement, the verbiage took small but noticeable steps toward setting up an eventual rate hike.
Normally a net-hawkish Fed announcement would be a bad thing for bond markets. (And to be fair, bonds did end the day slightly weaker vs pre-Fed trading levels.) But this time around, the Fed wasn’t nearly as bold as they were last October, when they almost promised a rate hike in at the next meeting (by actually saying “In determining whether it will be appropriate to raise the target range at its next meeting”–something they’d never done before).
As such, the Fed was able to get away with upgrading their assessment of inflation and the overall economy without doing major damage to bond markets. Even then, bonds seem much more focused on the presidential election, with most of today’s strength coming courtesy of yesterday’s political headlines.
Treasuries ended the day 2.6bps lower, right on the important 1.80% technical level. Fannie 3.0 MBS were up 2 ticks at 103-00 even.