Morning Report: FOMC week 9/18/17

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2501.0 3.8
Eurostoxx Index 381.9 1.2
Oil (WTI) 49.6 -0.3
US dollar index 85.2 0.1
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.22%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103.33
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 104.21
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 3.83

Stocks are higher this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are down small.

The big event this week will be the FOMC meeting, which starts tomorrow. No changes in interest rates are expected, although the markets expect the Fed to announce their plan to gradually unwind their balance sheet. The market is anticipating a “baby steps” move where they reinvest less than 100% of bonds that are maturing. While it certainly won’t help MBS spreads, it probably won’t have much of an effect on mortgage rates given that QE itself didn’t have a huge impact to begin with.

Homebuilder sentiment slipped in August as the NAHB Housing Market Index fell from 67 to 64. An active hurricane season, along with labor shortages isn’t helping things. Rising costs of building materials is an issue as well.

Trump’s deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to keep the government open may have increased the chances for tax reform. While the Democrat’s red lines pretty much foreclose anything aside from making the tax code more progressive on the individual side, we might see something on the corporate side. Perhaps the Trump reflation trade isn’t dead yet, but getting to agreement on tax reform will be hard since Democrats and Republicans want fundamentally different things. Here is a good discussion of what could be happening.

The MBA released a white paper on the CFPB, urging them to provide more detailed guidance to the industry as opposed to “regulation by enforcement action.” CFPB Director Richard Cordray has resisted providing guidance to the industry, believing that bright lines merely makes it easier for companies to approach, but not cross the line. The industry argues that the CFPB should provide more guidance as to how it thinks, warn the industry when it is changing rules, abide by its own guidance, and allow due process for the accused.

Here is some background on the Equifax hack. Can Equifax’s data breach affect your ability to buy a home? It probably cannot in the end, if you were a victim of identity theft. Ultimately it will be time consuming and a nuisance, however it can be overcome. Loan Officers should be aware that there could be an uptick in mortgage fraud, so be careful in the near term.

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