After flirting with a break of the lower end of 2017’s sideways range yesterday, bond traders clearly decided “now’s not the time.” There’s precious little to hang one’s hat on when it comes to justifying overnight weakness any other way. That wasn’t too big a deal as it left 10yr yields to start the domestic session around 2.36+.
Despite a modest amount of weakness after this morning’s first round of economic data, yields continued to hold WELL within the recent range–never even breaking into the 2.38’s. It wasn’t until the afternoon hours that bonds began to slide in a slightly more disconcerting way. EVEN THEN, we were still able to say the range remained and that traders were likely just making some defensive bets ahead of Yellen’s 3pm speech.
By the time Yellen’s speech hit the wires, bonds were at the weakest levels of the day, and up against the first of several technical ceilings at 2.40%. Markets deemed Yellen hawkish enough to break that ceiling and push all the way to 2.437. While this is technically still in 2017’s range, it’s right on the upper edge. It also happened to result in the worst sell-off since late November.
In separate news, rumors are swirling (to put it mildly) that Trump is all but certain to announce a repeal of the recent FHA MIP cut, among other executive order tit for tat after his inauguration.