Stocks are higher this morning after oil rebounds overnight. Bonds and MBS are down.
Mortgage Applications fell 2.6% last week as purchases fell 7% and refis rose 0.3%.
The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index fell to 53.5 from 55.8 in January
The ADP Employment Change report came in at 205k. The Street is forecasting 190k in Friday’s jobs report.
Bill Gross’s latest Investment Outlook takes some shots at central bankers, and asks why we think negative interest rates are going to generate growth. As he says “How’s that working for you?” While the consumer has deleveraged over the past 10 years, corporate america has not. That said, corporate america has taken advantage of record-low interest rates to refinance and extend high coupon debt with lower coupon debt. When people are willing to lend you money at 2% for 20 years, why not take it?
Speaking of negative interest rates, it seems the only nation anymore that isn’t playing the beggar thy neighbor devaulation game is the US. Exports are falling, while imports are rising. This is the reason why we are seeing everyone – from Republicans to Democrats – willing to take potshots at free trade. Of course foreigners can accept one of two things in payment for their imports: goods and services from the US or IOUs (Treasuries). So far, they seem to want the IOUs. Which means interest rates are lower than they ultimately would be. Still manufacturing job losses are easy to point to versus interest rates and the benefits of cheaper imports.
Another day, another settlement with the banks: Wells is paying FHA $1.2 billion over “failure to properly review early payment defaults in 2010-2012.” And the government is scratching its head wondering why banks like JP Morgan are reducing / exiting FHA lending… At what point do these constant suits and settlements become simply a surtax on banking?
Filed under: Morning Report |