|10 year government bond yield||0.71%|
|30 year fixed rate mortgage||3.36%|
Stocks are higher this morning as investors look forward to re-opening the economy. Bonds and MBS are lower as Treasury announced its quarterly refunding for next week.
The economy lost over 20 million jobs in April according to the ADP Employment report. The Street is looking for a -21.2 million print in this Friday’s jobs report.
Mortgage applications were flattish last week as purchases rose 6% and refis fell 2%. “Mortgage application volume was unchanged last week, even as the 30-year fixed rate mortgage declined to 3.40 percent – a new record in MBA’s survey,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Despite lower rates, refinance applications dropped, as many lenders are offering higher rates for refinances than for purchase loans, and others are suspending the availability of cash-out refinance loans because of their inability to sell them to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”
Fannie Mae is extending reps and warrants relief through June.
The Fed is set to start buying corporate bonds, targeting “fallen angels” – in other words bonds from corporations who were downgraded due to COVID-19 issues – names like Macy’s and Occidental Petroleum. We are seeing investors begin to snap up these bonds, although many are trading above their recovery value in a bankruptcy, which means it all reality, it is just a greater fool trade. It seems to me if the Fed can fund a facility to buy department store debt they could set up a facility to fund mortgage advances.
Fed Head Richard Clarida thinks the economy will return to positive growth in the third quarter, although further help from the Fed may be necessary.
“Our policies we think will be very important in making sure that the rebound will be as robust as possible. We’re in a period of some very, very, very hard and difficult data that we’ve just not seen for the economy in our lifetimes, that’s for sure. But a third-quarter rebound “is one possibility. That is personally my baseline forecast,” he added. Realistically, it’s going to take some time for the labor market to recover from this shock. I do think the recovery can commence in the second half of the year”
Meanwhile, here is a tracker of how the different states are re-opening.