MBS RECAP: Markets Consolidate Ahead of Elections

Today had the look and feel of a summertime Monday–the first we’ve seen since–well…summertime!  Volume was much lighter than it has been in weeks, and volatility was fairly nonexistent.  If we consider that Friday’s sell-off may have had a bit of extra urgency behind it due to the impending weekend, then today was essentially a 3rd day of the weekend.

Does that mean we’ll see more activity tomorrow?  Not necessarily!  If there’s a calendar event that’s keeping trading ranges and volumes contained, it’s probably the mid-term election results.  Those probably won’t be fully in play until Wednesday.  That said, it’s all too common to see a big move arrive the day before everyone expects it, so anything is possible.

As to whether or not the elections merit a big response in markets, that remains to be seen.  Aggregate polls suggest  a close call in the House with a slight edge to Democrats (but not enough of an edge for assumptions).  My sense has been and continues to be that democratic control of the House would be a net-positive for rates as it would make it harder for the government to spend money (something that’s hurt rates perhaps more than anything over the past year) and create some general political uncertainty (also generally good for rates).  

Note: the previous paragraph is what I would come up with if forced to comment on ifs and thens.  It’s possible that we see no significant reaction whatsoever.  Still, today’s consolidation and absence of volatility suggest traders are also waiting to see if other traders care about the results.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/mortgage_rates/blog/883295.aspx

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