Morning Report: Stock market sell-off continues

Vital Statistics:

S&P futures3,880-40.25
Oil (WTI)105.98-3.69
10 year government bond yield 2.78%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 5.51%

Stocks are lower this morning, continuing off of yesterday’s bloodbath. Bonds and MBS are up.

The sell-off in the stock market has been pretty brutal. The VIX, which is an indicator of market pain is spiking, but is not overly elevated. The bottom of a sell-0ff is usually indicated with a dramatic spike. The chart below shows the VIX going back to 2000. You can see that the bursting of the tech bubble in 2000 didn’t really cause much of a spike, but the big spikes around 9/11, the 2008 financial crisis, Brexit, and COVID stand out. At least according to this indicator, we aren’t at maximum fear yet.

Despite the market sell-off, the index of leading economic indicators is still pretty strong. “The US LEI declined in April largely due to weak consumer expectations and a drop in residential building permits,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. “Overall, the US LEI was essentially flat in recent months which is in line with a moderate growth outlook in the near-term. A range of downside risks—including inflation, rising interest rates, supply chain disruptions, and pandemic-related shutdowns, particularly in China—continue to weigh on the outlook. Nevertheless, we project the US economy should resume expanding in Q2 following Q1’s contraction in real GDP. Despite downgrades to previous forecasts, The Conference Board still projects 2.3 percent year-over-year US GDP growth in 2022.”

Existing Home sales fell 2.4% in April, according to NAR. The median home price rose 14.8% to $391,200. It looks like home price appreciation is moderating a little. “Higher home prices and sharply higher mortgage rates have reduced buyer activity,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “It looks like more declines are imminent in the upcoming months, and we’ll likely return to the pre-pandemic home sales activity after the remarkable surge over the past two years.” Inventory is still extremely low, but is up marginally from a few months ago.

Mortgage applications fell 11% last week as purchases fell 12% and refinances fell 10%. Refinances are 76% lower than this time last year. “Mortgage rates – despite declining last week – remained over two percentage points higher than a year ago and close to the highest levels since 2009,” said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “For borrowers looking to refinance, the current level of rates continues to be a significant disincentive. Furthermore, general uncertainty about the near-term economic outlook, as well as recent stock market volatility, may be causing some households to delay their home search,” he said. These results were consistent with MBA’s May forecast released earlier this week, which now calls for fewer home sales and mortgage originations in 2022 compared to a year ago.”

Mortgage builder applications fell 14% in March, according to the MBA. “The spike in mortgage rates cooled demand and homebuilders continued to grapple with rising costs, supply-chain issues and extended completion timelines,” said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “With the supply of existing homes on the market still at extremely low levels, the new home market is an important source of housing supply. However, the pace of construction has slowed in recent months.”

11 Responses

  1. This is hilarious:

    “We checked in with senior House Democrats late last night who told us after several days, they finally have the votes to pass a bill today to punish oil companies for price gouging.

    Remember, this is a messaging bill designed to help the most vulnerable House Democrats in their campaigns. It’s not going anywhere in the Senate. Yet it took all week just to get the Democratic Caucus on board. That’s how it’s going for House Democrats right now.

    → While Democratic leaders worked late into Wednesday evening to shore up support for the price-gouging bill, all anyone could talk about on the floor was the New York congressional map. New York Democrats continue to clash with one another over what seats they’ll run for this November, and it’s gotten ugly very quickly.

    First-term Rep. Ritchie Torres suggested that allies of DCCC Chair Sean Patrick Maloney were engaged in “thinly veiled racism” when they urged Rep. Mondaire Jones to run in a different district than the one he currently represents. Maloney plans to run in what is Jones’ current district, NY-17, because he lives there under the new map. Maloney received support from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats in doing so. Never mind that Jones currently represents three-quarters of the district. Pelosi’s support means Maloney is safe in his DCCC post, despite the uproar.

    Yet Maloney’s decision could force two Black lawmakers – Jones and Rep. Jamaal Bowman – to face off in a primary in NY-16. Thus, a Black Democrat would lose his seat – New York’s delegation is shrinking by one seat following redistricting – and the DCCC chair doesn’t want to run in an open seat where a majority of his current constituents reside. It’s an unprecedented situation, as far as we can tell.”


  2. Still say it’s because of his Fuck You money.


    • I am so happy someone with some visibility is calling out ESG for what it is. It is a way to force Corporate America using 401k money (without disclosure / consent) to push the leftist ball downfield.


  3. This is perfect:

    “But during his 10-minute speech, Bush also made a verbal faux pas while referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Bush noted has brutally stifled popular dissent and had political opponents imprisoned.

    “The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq,” Bush said, before wincing and correcting himself. “I mean, of Ukraine.””


  4. Can’t be undone so there really is no solution but to brace for the inevitable impact. I’m 56, I hope the corpse is big enough so that I can feed off it until I’m gone.


    • Undone, no. Better in new ways maybe. After hard times make better men. One hopes.


      • Public belief in government competence was hanging by a thread before this whole thing even began. Add to it the fact that half the country believes the deep state works for one party and I think the Progressive vision is going to be out of style for some time. Especially if the Fed can’t stick the landing.


  5. Opps:

    “An Obamacare fiasco could blow up on Democrats right before the midterms
    It could all come down to … Joe Manchin.

    By Adam Cancryn and Megan Messerly

    05/20/2022 04:30 AM EDT

    A little over a year ago, President Joe Biden signed into law a massive expansion of financial aid designed to bolster the Affordable Care Act and make health insurance more affordable for millions.

    But that early triumph is now looking more like a political time bomb.

    Just six months out from the midterms, Democrats increasingly fear they’ll fail to renew those generous subsidies, which expire at the end of the year, triggering sudden spikes in insurance premiums and wiping out one of Biden’s signature health care accomplishments.

    The price hikes would hit an estimated 13 million people across the country, potentially adding hundreds of dollars to families’ monthly expenses. And in a painful twist for a White House already struggling to contain anger over rising household costs, voters would begin receiving notices about their premium increases in October — around the same time they’re starting to cast their midterm ballots.”

    That’s an impressive level of incompetence, even for Democrats.


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