Morning Report: Rates steady

Vital Statistics:


Last Change
S&P futures 3239 12.25
Oil (WTI) 51.46 0.19
10 year government bond yield 1.37%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.55%


Stocks are higher this morning as coronavirus fears ease. Bonds and MBS are flat.


The 10 year bond yield traded briefly yesterday below the 2016 closing low of 1.37%. So far, that level seems to be holding. The trader in me thinks that any sort of good news on the coronavirus front will send rates back up 10 – 20 basis points. Big moves generally have decent retracements, and the 1.37% seems to be providing technical support. Note that the German Bund is not at record lows and any bounce up in rates there will be felt in the US. While it feels like the path of least resistance is down in rates over the long term, that might not be the case over the next few weeks. Lock accordingly.


Home prices rose 0.4% MOM and 2.9% YOY according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Separately, the FHFA House Price Index rose 0.6% MOM and 5.1% YOY. The FHFA index only looks at homes with conforming mortgages, so it excludes jumbos and distressed.


It looks like economic growth improved in January, according to the Chicago Fed National Activity Index. Note that Goldman and others are taking down Q1 GDP growth estimates based on Coronavirus.


Intuit is buying Credit Karma, which will help the company create a “personalized financial assistant” to help people manage their money. Credit Karma bought Approved, a digital mortgage platform in 2018, and this will be part of the strategy. “We wake up every day trying to help consumers make ends meet. By joining forces with Credit Karma, we can create a personalized financial assistant that will help consumers find the right financial products, put more money in their pockets and provide insights and advice, enabling them to buy the home they’ve always dreamed about, pay for education and take the vacation they’ve always wanted.”


Joe Biden has a housing plan, which includes returning to the Obama-era CFPB practices (presumably regulation by enforcement action), spending $100 billion on affordable housing, and a tax credit of up to $15,000 for first time homebuyers. The plan also includes aid for low-income renters and a task force to combat homelessness.

18 Responses

  1. I thought this was from the Onion. It’s not. Someone in his campaign needs to intervene:

    “Biden accidentally tells South Carolina crowd he’s a Dem candidate ‘for the United States Senate

    “You’re the ones who sent Barack Obama the presidency. And I have a simple proposition here: I’m here to ask you for your help,” Biden pleaded to Democratic voters. “Where I come from, you don’t go very far unless you ask. My name’s Joe Biden. I’m a Democratic candidate for the United State’s Senate. Look me over. If you like what you see, help out. If not, vote for the other Biden. Give me a look though, okay?”‘”


    • I think this is even more notable:

      However, Biden also raised eyebrows this week when he shared an unverified claim on the campaign trail that he was arrested in South Africa trying to free Nelson Mandela from prison, something he had never previously shared before.

      Really? That seems like something a real journalist would be interested in looking into.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Washington Post Fact checked it:

        “Biden’s ridiculous claim he was arrested trying to see Mandela
        By Glenn Kessler
        Feb. 25, 2020 at 3:00 a.m. EST”

        I suspect he was taking sniper fire the whole time too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Biden has always had something of a problem with exaggeration and . . . well, just making shit up. Not as bad as Trump’s, but ultimately they are both tremendous narcissists (as are most politicians, and pretty much everyone who runs for president) and often narcissists feel zero compunction about lying to (or so they believe) appear as awesome as they think they are, don’t believe others are entitled to disbelieve them and may even believe their own fiction themselves–because they are super-awesome, so anything awesome they did must be true.

          And it’s probably the kind of lies he’s told to the yes-people around him for years and years, and so he’s become quite accustomed to it (much like Trump). So he doesn’t perceive that there will be any problem doing it in much more public ways while running for president.

          Unfortunately, most people don’t have quite the teflon coating that Trump does for this kind of stuff.


    • Oh my gosh, dementia seems to be setting in. I thought he looked a bit confused at last week’s debate. I kind of feel sorry for him.


      • He’s an older fella. And campaigning is hard work. There is a lot of talking involved, and just like running mile after mile, you can’t just keeping doing it at the same level without getting tired and maybe stumbling.


    • If not, vote for the other Biden.

      That’s great. Vote for the other Biden. Damn, that should be his campaign slogan! If you like what you see, help out. If not, vote for the other Biden.

      Paid for by Vote for the Other Biden 2020


  2. The fear mongering on the progressive side over Cornonavirus vs the downplaying of ebola is very telling.

    PL and Vox are advocating for full on panic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • it’s all bullshit. the left senses an opportunity to beat trump over the head. they are going to do it regardless of whether the criticisms are valid or not.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Which is why he shouldn’t play into their hands with a fight over $37 million in heating assistance offsets.

        Liked by 1 person

        • agree it was a needless fight, but this is all symbolic. this is all inside-baseball

          Liked by 1 person

        • $37 million in heating assistance offsets.

          That doesn’t make much sense on the surface. I’m wondering if there’s something else going on there (sabotage, personal vendetta, turf war).

          Or it maybe they know something?

          Interestingly, the LIHEAP budget in $3.09 billion. Trump admin wants $37 million, which is a little more than 1% of the overall budget, or less than many budgets can fall or rise in a given year. It’s been a warmish winter and will probably continue to be so. And LIHEAP got by on $2 billion most years until 2009.

          Although it was getting upwards of $5 billion for some of that time so I guess part of the issue is the money for LIHEAP has been going down since Trump won.

          Trump really doesn’t seem to like LIHEAP, I’ll say that much.


    • Bah! They’ve almost got that stuff cured down in Austin. Gonna keep my hands washed but I’m not too worried.

      Caution is a good thing. While coronavirus presently appears to be a big deal–and will probably turn out to be bigger than SARS and MERS and maybe H1N1–we’ve demonstrated repeatedly we’re pretty good at responding to these sorts of things. They are working out treatments that will be going to human trial by the end of the month and no doubt a vaccination is on the way–although it might be six months or a year away (or more–you never know for sure until you have it), which won’t make anybody happy at the moment.

      Putting it in perspective at National Geographic, but I don’t think they make it clear that the number of coronavirus cases are distinct from all the comparison numbers because the WHO is counting coronavirus cases by symptom exhibition, not blood test confirmation, which is a change. A wise change in the case of a fast spreading virus, but it means the comparison of numbers is wayyyy off. There may be fewer real cases of coronavirus than counted, but more importantly, there may be many more cases of SARS or H1N1 than counted. It’s less likely the numbers are that bad for Ebola, but for infections with flu like symptoms there will be a large number of cases that were just never diagnosed (possibly not even informally).

      So a little panic isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Projecting that panic out into the future isn’t rational, however.

      But WaPo and Vox and other anti-Trump outlets, especially with a big megaphone (like WaPo, and wouldn’t be surprised if the NYT isn’t following suit) see an opportunity to both drive down the stock market and depress economic activity. That’s a great opportunity for them ahead of an election.

      Boy will be they be upset if someone announces a vaccine is going to trial next month.


    • The left is praying for Coronavirus to be Trump’s Katrina.

      And the MSM is going to push that story hard…


  3. This is truly stunning:

    Seattle Public School’s K-12 Math Ethnic Studies Framework:

    A small taste:

    SWBAT analyze the ways in which ancient mathematical knowledge has been appropriated by Western culture.

    SWBAT identify how the development of mathematics has been erased from learning in school.

    SWBAT identify how math has been and continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and Communities of color.

    Not clear whether this is the product of the Onion or the Babylon Bee, or if it is real. But it seems to be real.


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