MBS RECAP: Bonds Looking Reluctant to Make Bigger Moves Without Data


Today would have been Retail Sales day were it not for the government shutdown.  This also prevented Business Inventories from reporting (not an insignificant piece of data even if not on par with Retail Sales).  Tomorrow will see the New Residential Construction numbers (housing starts and building permits) stay silent due to the shutdown.  

This isn’t an environment where bond traders are eager to make big bets.  That much is evident in the general sideways grind of the past week and a half.  Some of the only times that we see “big bets” are in response to trading levels being coaxed out of the prevailing range by other factors. 

That was the case today as 10yr Treasury yields approached their highest levels of the year.  Before the ceiling could be challenged, a big trade came through the Treasury futures block trade screen showing a boatload of 2yr Treasuries being sold and a slightly smaller boatload of 10yr Treasuries being bought.  That trade set the tone for the rest of the day, and it helped bonds hold their ground even though stocks moved to their highest levels in more than a month.  Pressure from corporate bond issuance also made today’s resilience notable.

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