Morning Report: First estimate of Q4 GDP disappoints. 1/26/18

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2850.8 9.5
Eurostoxx Index 400.8 2.2
Oil (WTI) 66.5 0.0
US dollar index 83.1 -0.3
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.63%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103.591
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 103.688
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 4.17

Stocks are higher this morning as Trump speaks in Davos. Bonds and MBS are up small.

The first estimate for 4th quarter GDP came in at 2.6%, a touch below the 2.9% Street estimate. THis was a drop from the 3.2% growth rate in the third quarter. A larger-than-expected trade deficit, along with some inventory adjustments accounted for the miss. It will be revised twice more in the next month or so. The GDP price deflator (a measure of inflation) was 2.4% and consumer spending was a robust 3.8%.

Housing increased 6.8% and accounted for about .84% percentage points of the growth. Housing construction will be the engine that will pull the economy going forward. We have tremendous demand for new housing and tight labor markets. Getting back to normalcy (1.5 million units a year) in housing starts will make a big difference. If we get to what is typically observed coming out of a recession (2 MM +) we will be looking the best economy since the 90s.

The Fed Funds futures didn’t really react much to the reading, and are currently handicapping a 71% chance of a 25 basis point hike at the March meeting. Next week’s meeting is expected to maintain the current Fed Funds rate.

Durable Goods orders increased 2.9% last month, which was better than expectations. Ex-transportation they rose 0.6%. Capital Goods orders fell 0.3%. On a YOY basis, all numbers were up smartly: Durable goods up 8.2%, DGXT up 7%, Cap goods up 8.1%. More evidence of a strong economy.

Donald Trump spoke at Davos. He stressed that America is open for business and that he is willing to negotiate multilateral trade agreements (think TPP). He mentioned tax reform and that America is open for business.

A non-profit in New Mexico has come up with a concept to help get homeowners in their first home without much of a downpayment and without MI. They issue 2 mortgages, one for 80% of the loan, which is sold on the secondary market without MI, and then a second loan for 18%, which they hold. Supposedly the performance metrics for these loans are better than the control group.

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