MBS RECAP: Straightforward Sell-Off, Even if From an Unexpected Source

Bond markets ended the day in moderately weaker territory today, despite starting out in the Green.  What happened?

Today was refreshingly straightforward when it comes to attributing market movement to overt, logical sources.  Today’s source was the Markit Manufacturing PMI.  If you’re wondering exactly what that is, you’re not alone.

First of all, a PMI (or Purchasing Managers Index) is one of the best economic metrics for a broad categories such as “manufacturing” or “everything besides manufacturing.”  The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) puts out both versions of PMI, and they’re the first runners up behind nonfarm payrolls (aka “NFP” or simply “the jobs report”) for the title of biggest market mover.

Had ISM released its manufacturing index today, big moves would be expected, but all we got was the Markit version (a competing, but similar measurement of manufacturing activity).  While Markit’s PMIs are highly regarded around the world, they’ve never unseated ISM when it comes to market movers in the US.  The only time we see a response to Markit PMIs is when they fall far enough from the forecast to cause traders to reevaluate their expectations for the ISM data.

Today’s Markit PMI did just that–coming in at the best levels since October 2015 and significantly beating forecasts.  The 9:45am data served as a singular focal point for a majority of the day’s negative bond market momentum.  After the initial wave of selling, bonds leveled-off and stayed flat for the rest of the day.  Unfortunately, the bounce happened right as 10yr yields were trading below 1.73%, thus adding even more weight to that important resistance level.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/mortgage_rates/blog/672785.aspx

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