MBS RECAP: It Could Have Been a Lot Worse

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If we went back to Monday morning and learned that today’s NFP number would come in at 224k, any sane person would have guessed yields would be much higher than they are this afternoon.  At the time, 10s were just over 2.02%, and we ended today at just under 2.04%.  That’s a huge victory in more ways than one.

Yes yes yes… the losses were pretty big today (8.6bps in 10yr yields and 3/8ths of a point in MBS), but everything’s relative.  Keep in mind that markets were positioned for a disappointing NFP based on the balance of data in the rest of the week.  So we had to sell-off, not only in response to the strength of NFP, but also in response the absence of NFP weakness (i.e. there was extra strength on Wednesday that bonds didn’t truly “earn”).   That’s why I bring up the “Monday morning” point, because it emphasizes the true size of today’s weakness.

In addition, today is a victory on an outright basis and in a technical sense.  The top of the recent range (post-June 19th Fed Day) has been 2.06+, and that’s precisely where we bounced today.  

All of the above having been said, there is still a risk that today serves as a the scene of a bounce.  We’ve been on the lookout for a technical correction for several weeks without any threatening examples taking shape.  Powell has his semi-annual congressional testimony next week and if this jobs report seems to carry much weight with him, it could add to rising rate risks.  But the biggest contributor would be additional economic data that supports the same economically friendly conclusion.

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