Morning Report: Markets now predicting a March rate cut

Vital Statistics:

 

Last Change
S&P futures 3070 -39.25
Oil (WTI) 46.77 -1.79
10 year government bond yield 1.28%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.54%

 

Stocks are lower this morning on overseas weakness and Coronavirus fears. Bonds and MBS are up again.

 

The 10 year is trading at 1.28%, but MBS are lagging the move. Be patient with rates, as it will take MBS and rate sheets a few days to catch up. The Fed Funds futures are now handicapping a 58% chance of a March rate cut. A week ago it was 9%. What a difference 250 S&P handles makes…

 

New home sales rose 7.9% MOM in January, and is up 18.6% on a YOY basis. This is the highest level in 12 years. Mild weather and lower interest rates may have been a driver.  Speaking of new home sales, Toll Brothers reported lower than expected earnings, and blamed it on Coronavirus and CA sales.

 

new home sales

 

The second estimate for fourth quarter GDP came in at 2.1%, in line with the advance estimate a month ago. Consumption was a touch below expectations at 1.7%, as was inflation at 1.3%. In other economic data, durable goods orders fell 0.2% which was better than expectations. Ex-transportation, they rose 0.9% and capital goods orders (which are a proxy for capital expenditures) rose 1.1%. Finally, initial jobless claims rose to 219,000 last week.

 

Interesting on the flight to safety trade – gold is up. bitcoin is not.

 

 

45 Responses

  1. So, basically give it a week or so to see if I should relock my 5/1 ARM?
    It’s at 2.85% through April 2021. but for $300, I can relock it for another 5 years at the current rates. I just called and could relock for 5 years at 3.08%.

    it’s a 15 year, so I’m 4 years in. but having it at 3 or below for 9 years is appealing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BTW, if anyone is interested CA is definitely making a huge issue of the one case of the Coronavirus we have here…………..Panic mode! Give me a break! The news is in panic mode!

    Like

    • “Panic mode! Give me a break! The news is in panic mode!”

      If you said this on Plum Line, you would be accused of being a Trump supporter and/or a Russian.

      Like

      • LOL, I’m sure I would. The news all afternoon here was “OMG, we’re doomed to die from the flu”. Sooooooo, silly. We turned Law and Order on and called it a night!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The left and the media have the script all written and ready to deploy: This is Trump’s Hurricane Katrina.

        Like

        • You might be right Brent, in that they’re hoping it will be his Katrina………….but I doubt it will materialize. Flu season should be over soon unless I’m an idiot………….LOL

          I hope they come up with a vaccine at some point, but honestly my daughter and grandson had Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease last fall and it was way worse. Apparently there is a new “Super Strain” and while it’s not life threatening she’s been losing her fingernails for a couple of months.

          Someone needs to kick HFMD to the curb!

          Like

        • Damn, that’s awful! Is there a treatment for her?

          Like

        • I feel like they are going to need to pick something else later on. This is likely to have blown over by November, and if nothing else like it happens the stock market will probably be moving upwards in maybe a slower rebound.

          If it hasn’t… well good luck to blaming the anti-immigration president who’s tough on China. For a virus that started in China.

          Like

        • If I was a Democrat I’d be nervous about an illegal crossing the southern border who has Corona virus.

          Like

      • BTW, JNC, you may not remember but I wasn’t all that liberal at the PL…………..I remember defending both you and NoVA!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I think sometimes in the heat of things people can get caught up and confused. Right now it seems like there’s a lot of Coronavirus infections globally—or in China, mainly—and that it’s contagious and that there’s a case of someone getting reinfected (which is bad) and if it is potentially hard to vaccinate for and reasonably contagious some overreaction is actually a positive, but it’s hard to know how bad it really is and how much we overreacted until it’s all over.

      But people worry about stuff like this and so go a little crazy. Which is not the worst thing in the world—although I think at the end this will be much better than being predicted right now but possibly worse than we’d ideally prefer (I mean, for a viral outbreak). Wash your hands!

      Like

    • Do we think Bezos is backing Bloomberg?

      Like

    • Norway has an epic real estate bubble. Denmark has an overvalued real estate market as well. Oh, Denmark also offers mortgages with negative interest rates. You pay back less than you borrowed.

      I stand behind my observation that behind every country that has appeared to have “cracked the code” to everlasting prosperity lurks a real estate bubble.

      Like

    • Norway has an epic real estate bubble. Denmark has an overvalued real estate market as well. Oh, Denmark also offers mortgages with negative interest rates. You pay back less than you borrowed.

      I stand behind my observation that behind every country that has appeared to have “cracked the code” to everlasting prosperity lurks a real estate bubble.

      Liked by 1 person

    • JNC, that was an interesting piece from Vox. I agree that trust is broken, especially political trust. If he’s right it really spells doom for the Democratic Party. Now I’m depressed! I guess if the Republicans and Trump go too far people will finally get the message, but electing Bernie won’t speed that along. I’d be stupid not to vote for him or whomever wins the Dem nomination though.

      Like

      • I think the best way to improve social trust is to do what Benjamin Disraeli is supposed to have said about his government (he was prime minister of Great Britain twice), namely that his plan was to do very little but do it well.

        There’s no appetite for government to take on more tasks like universal health care until they can execute what they are already tasked with more effectively and efficiently.

        This is my benchmark:

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2014/03/22/sinkhole-of-bureaucracy/

        When they fix that, then we can talk.

        Like

      • lms:

        I’d be stupid not to vote for him or whomever wins the Dem nomination though.

        I genuinely don’t understand why you think this, or why you are fretting so much over whether to vote for Bernie should he get the nomination. The situation is literally no different than it was in 2016. You know exactly how California is going to vote. You can quite easily express your objection to the D nominee by voting for a 3rd party candidate (or write-in), and it won’t threaten victory (in CA) by the R candidate. It is, again, exactly the same situation that you faced in 2016, even to the point of one of the objectionable candidates being the same candidate. You have even said that it is your general voting pattern not to vote for either of the 2 major party candidates, and that your vote for Obama was an aberration.

        If you truly think Bernie is so bad/dangerous (and you should!), why not just do exactly what you usually do?

        Like

        • As bad as Obama was, and he was Woodrow Wilson and LBJ combined bad, I was not bothered at all not voting for Romney and writing in Palin. HRC is arguably worse than Obama and I still didn’t give a shit about voting for an unsatisfactory candidate and voted for Palin again. If you’re worried about ObamaCare, don’t, it will never be repealed. Unfortunately.

          Like

        • Scott,

          I don’t know why either. I think I feel as though I’m making more of a statement against Trump by voting for the Dem. Silly, but true. I sincerely never thought Trump would win last time and this time I’m more than a little afraid he will. Maybe adding to the popular vote, though it doesn’t count for much, will make me feel I’ve done my job better. To be perfectly honest though, I’m still waiting to see how things shake out after the primaries and convention to write in blood what I’m willing to do. 😉

          As you can see Scott, I haven’t really changed much since I was here originally………….still not very logical.

          Like

        • lms:

          I don’t know why either.

          Perhaps you subconsciously love socialism. 🙂

          Like

        • McWing, you’re such a rebel. That’s generally the way I feel as well. I’ve written my father’s name in several times and none of the above several times as well. I voted and campaigned for Anderson (I), Perot (I) and Obama and then voted for but didn’t campaign for various 3rd party candidates.

          BTW, regarding that HFMD virus that my daughter and grandson contracted last November, there is no treatment and it’s very debilitating and contagious. Like I said it’s not life-threatening and goes through the day care system in the winter.

          My daughter had it so bad that it hurt her throat just to breathe, could only consume liquids, lost sleep and overall just miserable feeling. Also she was down for about 10 days and she still has scars on her face and hands from it as well as losing almost all of her fingernails.

          I guess it’s been around for years although even though I’d heard of it I’ve never known anyone who had it. It may be related loosely to chicken pox and the pediatrician even told my daughter that she wouldn’t get it because she had chicken pox as a child. Apparently they don’t know much about it! I guess there was a particularly virulent strain this year.

          Like

        • Scott,

          Perhaps you subconsciously love socialism. 🙂

          Oh God, I hope not. You guys would really overwhelm me here if that was the case. 🙂 I’m an issue voter, as you know, but I’m still a capitalist as well.

          Like

      • Democrats win in 2024. I’m calling it now.

        Like

    • JNC, the other piece is interesting as well. I originally was a Warren supporter until she started sounding like she wanted to throw the baby out with the bathwater. At that point she became too similar to Sanders to me. I think her campaign has made a huge mistake.

      Like

      • I supported the Warren who was interviewed here, but she doesn’t appear to be around any more:

        “WARREN: They’re saying, “You might cut us off from our taxpayer subsidies.” And, you know, that just breaks my heart.

        HINOJOSA: Okay. But—but if they’re saying, “Look this is capitalism.”

        WARREN: No, this is not capitalism. That’s the whole point. This is socialism. This is the part where they’re using taxpayer guarantees and taxpayer support in order to eek out some kind of private gain. And this is just wrong.

        HINOJOSA: So, it’s—it’s socialism for—socialism for rich people?

        WARREN: For rich people. And, you know, I just gotta say I’m tired of that one.”

        https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/elizabeth-warren-on-socialism-for-rich-people/

        I could never imagine her bad mouthing socialism that way now.

        Like

        • I don’t know which one is the real one any longer but she seems less dangerous to me than Bernie and if she’s truly after structural changes and rule of law then she would get my vote over any of the others.

          Like

    • Also, JNC, I sent both of those to my daughter for she, her husband and friends to read before they vote on Tuesday. She and I both lost faith in Warren but these might change her mind.

      Like

  3. NoVA, Slate has figured out how our young minds were corrupted into libertarianism:

    “How Choose Your Own Adventure Books Indoctrinated Kids With Cutthroat Capitalist Values

    “Oh My God, It’s Milton Friedman for Kids”

    A historian of capitalism exposes how Choose Your Own Adventure books indoctrinated ‘80s children with the idea that success is simply the result of individual “good choices.”

    By Rebecca Onion
    Feb 27, 20205:27 PM”

    https://slate.com/human-interest/2020/02/choose-your-own-adventure-books-conservative-neoliberal-ideology-capitalism.html

    I wonder how well it will work out if progressives are successful at pushing their ideology to it’s logical conclusion and everyone concludes that individual effort is irrelevant, they are all victims, and it’s not up to them to do anything to make their own lives better.

    Like

    • Rebecca’s piece belongs in the Onion..

      Like

    • Rebecca’s piece belongs in the Onion.

      It does. But I think it’s more pernicious than that because it’s representative of something many people have been doing (or allowing their writers to do), especially when struggling for an audience–clickbait.

      It’s one of the many cultural downsides of the Internet.

      It’s not just clickfarms and Russian bots pushing clickbait. It’s semi-legitimate and popular “news” sources. Much worse than any Choose Your Own Adventure book, we’ve got these sites (and sometimes actual, physical print media and network television) validating ideas that should be considered lunacy, or at least vacuous and insipid.

      Fortunately, these folks can get challenged, sometimes brutally, in the comments sections.

      But I’m seeing more and more of what I’d call clickbait from slate, Vox, WaPo, NYT, Fox, CNN, MSNBC and just about everywhere. And arguably, it’s the source of the story or the object being covered or interviewed that’s the real clickbait. So we have people writing books or producing documentaries intentionally designed to be clickbait controversial and potentially go viral.

      But the fact is, thousands or millions of people will share an article like this because the assertion is so absurd or obnoxious. And as long as people think that’s a good thing for them in terms of views or sales, we’ll keep getting this crap.

      Liked by 1 person

    • damn! they figured it out.

      how well it will work out? for progressivs? great. they’ll have the serfs they always wanted.

      Liked by 1 person

      • i think the meta-argument of progressives right now (and the reason for the whole privilege argument) is that success in life is random, and if success is random then wealth should be distributed equally.

        That is why they detest the message of choices so vehemently.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Brent:

          That is why they detest the message of choices so vehemently.

          To be fair, there is one “choice” that they worship.

          Liked by 1 person

        • That’s exactly it and they compare their discovery of it to a religious experience.

          https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/8/21/17687402/kylie-jenner-luck-human-life-moral-privilege

          Like

        • Because it is only in a society which values equality of actual outcomes, one that promotes the commonweal and social solidarity, that equal opportunity and earned mobility can flourish.

          That seems cognitively dissonant to me. Also, the writer just spent several paragraphs on how human being naturally feel entitled and have delusional narratives and their own success or failure, and then starts basically advocating for communism.

          Which would—as the Soviet Union was—be run by entitled human beings with the same delusional ways of thinking.

          I don’t feel like making everybody unlucky but equal is a desirable outcome.

          Like

  4. And this is why we need federalism:

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/02/27/new-california-bill-requires-retailers-create-gender-neutral-aisles-for-children/

    A new bill introduced in the California Assembly would require retailers to create “gender-neutral” floor-spaces for children’s merchandise, with the goal of banning sex-specific labeling labeling such as “girls aisles” and “boys aisles.”

    The bill proposed by Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low, requires all retail department stores with 500 employees or more to comply with the newfound gender standards of the Left.

    Even beyond the absurdity of this kind of authoritarianism, I still shake my head at these arbitrary head count exemptions, which are a blatant violation of the equal protection clause.

    Like

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