Morning Report: FOMC week 4/25/16

Stocks are down this morning on lower commodity prices. Bonds and MBS are flat.

We have a lot of data this week, with new home sales, Case-Shiller, and GDP. The FOMC will meet Tuesday and Wednesday, although the market is predicting that the Fed won’t hike rates. Given the posture of traders, the risk is probably on the hawkish side. Here is an analysis of what the markets will be looking for.

New home sales fell to an annualized pace of 511k in March.

Why did interest rates rise so suddenly and dramatically last week? Many market participants were scratching their heads wondering what was going on. One theory: The European Central Bank’s decision to adopt a “wait and see” attitude towards future stimulus gives the Fed the opportunity to raise rates at the June FOMC meeting.

Republicans John Kasich and Ted Cruz came to an agreement to split their delegates in order to deny Donald Trump the 1,237 delegates he needs to claim the nomination. Bernie Sanders is pretty much down to his last 48 hours or so and should exit this week sometime. In other news, Charles Koch (who took the Darth Vader of the left mantle from Dick Cheney) said he could vote for Hillary over the Republican nominees. Does that mean he will give money to her campaign? Probably not, however he will probably put money to work down-ticket.

Former Fed Head Narayana Kocherlakota says the Fed must be more aggressive in combating deflationary expectations.

The bond market is as dangerous as it has ever been, according to many bond managers. A small uptick in rates can wipe out a year’s worth of return. The flip side: borrowing is as attractive as it has ever been. The trade is to get out of ARMs, which will have their rates determined by LIBOR and into a 30 year fixed.

Freddie Mac makes some predictions for 2016: Mortgage origination will be $1.7 trillion (an increase of $50 billion from their last estimate), Q1 GDP of 1.1%, and an average fixed rate mortgage of 4% for 2016.

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