The rocket launches

Vital Statistics:

 

Last Change
S&P futures 3331 -13.6
Oil (WTI) 41.63 -0.52
10 year government bond yield 0.53%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 2.85%

 

Stocks are lower this morning after the jobs report. Bonds and MBS are flat.

 

Jobs report data dump:

  • Nonfarm payrolls up 1.7 million
  • Unemployment rate 10.2%
  • Average hourly earnings up 0.2% MOM / 4.8% YOY

Overall, it shows the job market is on the mend, although it is probably taking longer than people would like. At this point, smaller businesses (especially restaurants and retail) are folding.

 

Rocket Mortgage priced its IPO yesterday after it was downsized by 43%. The stock performed reasonably well, popping 20% on the day. With the stock trading here, Quicken is valued at $43 billion, with a P/E of 47 and a price to book of almost 12. I guess the question here is how much you are willing to pay for the steak and how much for the sizzle. Last year Quicken originated $145 billion in loans, while PennyMac Financial originated. $118 billion. Quicken earned 62 basis points on that origination to PennyMac’s 33 bps. Yet Quicken’s market cap is almost 11 times PennyMac’s. There are some companies that trade at huge premiums to their competitors: Tesla versus Ford, Amazon.com versus Barnes and Noble back in the day. A huge multiple doesn’t necessarily imply a lousy investment. But you are paying up for the sizzle here. When the Fed starts hiking rates, Quicken will suffer a drop in volume just like everyone else will.

 

Intercontinental Exchange (the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange) just bought Ellie Mae from private equity firm Thomas Brave for $11 billion. ICE also owns MERS and Simplifile, so this continues the company’s expansion into the mortgage space.

Twenty years after we founded Intercontinental Exchange to provide a transparent trading platform for the energy industry, and following two decades of providing continued innovation to help customers navigate global markets, we are pleased to announce the acquisition of Ellie Mae, which will help us similarly transform the mortgage marketplace,” said Jeffrey C. Sprecher, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange. “Our planned acquisition represents a one-of-a-kind opportunity to add an extraordinary enterprise with great leadership to our family. It will also enhance ICE’s growth strategy in mortgage technology, with complementary products and a wide array of customers and stakeholders who will benefit from our core and proven expertise in operating networks and marketplaces.

 

PennyMac Financial reported second quarter earnings yesterday, with production increasing to $37.6 billion. Earnings per share increased from $0.92 in the second quarter of 2019 to $4.39 a share. The company also hiked its dividend by 25%.

 

While forbearances in general are falling, Ginnie Mae forbearances are still rising.

Morning Report: Construction hiring surges

Vital Statistics:

 

Last Change
S&P futures 3140 3.1
Oil (WTI) 40.54 -0.21
10 year government bond yield 0.66%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.12%

 

Stocks are flattish this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are flat as well.

 

The “reopening trade” which lifted shares of banks, airlines, and leisure / hospitality companies has faltered a little on fears of a COVID resurgence. This has been pushing bond yields lower. The bank sector continues to struggle.

 

The MBA reported that the number of loans in forbearance decreased by 8 basis points to 8.39% as of June 28. “We learned last week that the job market improved more than expected in June,” said MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni. “With that as background, it is not surprising that the forbearance numbers continue to improve as more people go back to their jobs. The improvement in the forbearance data was broad-based, with declines for both GSE and Ginnie Mae loans. The decrease in new forbearance requests indicates that further declines are likely in the weeks ahead.”

 

Mortgage applications increased 2.2% last week as purchases increased 5% and refis rose 0.4%. Note the week had an adjustment for the July 4 holiday. “Mortgage rates declined to another record low as renewed fears of a coronavirus resurgence offset the impacts from a week of mostly positive economic data, such as June factory orders and payroll employment,” said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Borrowers acted in response to these lower rates, after accounting for the July 4th holiday. Purchase applications continued their recovery, increasing 5 percent to the highest level in almost a month and 33 percent from a year ago. The average purchase loan size increased to $365,700 – also another high – as borrowers contend with limited supply and higher home prices.”

 

Job openings increased to 5.4 million in May, according to the JOLTS job report. Hires rose to 6.5 million, a series high. Construction hiring saw a huge jump with 673k new hires, although leisure and hospitality was the biggest jump with over a 1.3 million.

 

Quicken filed its IPO paperwork under the name Rocket Companies. The company originated $51.7 billion in loans in the first quarter of 2020. As you would expect, there are 4 classes of stock, and Dan Gilbert will hold the ones with 10 votes per share (the other class has 1 vote per share). For all intents and purposes, the new shareholders will have zero say in how the company is run. One number jumped out at me: Rocket is valuing its servicing at 2.2x, which is a pretty conservative number.

 

 

Morning Report: 10 year pushing towards 3%

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P futures 2675 3.9
Eurostoxx index 381.41 0
Oil (WTI) 67.33 -1.07
10 Year Government Bond Yield 2.97%
30 Year fixed rate mortgage 4.51%

Stocks are higher this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are down.

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin signaled that the US is ready to discuss a truce in the trade war with China. He characterized his mood as “cautiously optimistic” and said he won’t make a commitment on timing. Beijing welcomed the announcement. Separately, Mnuchin also discussed easing sanctions on Rusal which sent aluminum prices back down.

Existing home sales rose on a month-over-month basis in March, but are down on an annual basis according to NAR. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says closings in March eked forward despite challenging market conditions in most of the country. “Robust gains last month in the Northeast and Midwest – a reversal from the weather-impacted declines seen in February – helped overall sales activity rise to its strongest pace since last November at 5.72 million,” said Yun. “The unwelcoming news is that while the healthy economy is generating sustained interest in buying a home this spring, sales are lagging year ago levels because supply is woefully low and home prices keep climbing above what some would-be buyers can afford.”

The median home price was $250,400, up 5.8% YOY. Inventory is down over 7% YOY to 1.67 million units, which represents a 3.6 month supply at current sales levels. A historically balanced market would be 6.5 month’s worth. Properties stayed on market for an average of 30 days, which is down almost a week YOY. The first time homebuyer accounted for 30% of sales, and all-cash sales were 20% of transactions.

Commodity price inflation has pushed the 10 year yield to 3%. Many technical analysts consider that to be confirmation that the 3 decade bull run in bonds is over. The one caveat is that the sell-off is being driven by rising commodity prices which tends to be temporary, especially if it doesn’t translate into wage growth. You can see the pop in yields post-election below. Hard to believe we were sub 1.8% in late October 2016.

This week will have some important data to the bond market, with GDP and the employment cost index on Friday. We will also get a slew of housing data with existing home sales, new home sales, and Case-Shiller.

The Street estimate for Q1 GDP is 2%. Generally speaking, the estimates from the banks are lower than the estimates from the regional Federal Reserve banks.

Economic activity moderated in March, according to the Chicago Fed National Activity Index. Production and employment indicators fell. February’s reading was unusually strong, however. The CFNAI is a meta-index of 85 different economic indices, and can be volatile. It isn’t a market-mover.

A paper suggests that the ratings agencies largely got it right with the bubble-era RMBS. The AAA tranches (even subprime) were largely money good, and the study pours cold water on the popular narrative that inflated ratings on RMBS caused the financial crisis.

The big banks are rushing to launch websites and apps for mortgages as volume contracts. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan have either launched or plan to launch mortgage banking tech products in response to Rocket Mortgage from Quicken. The company claims that 98% of its customers in the first quarter (some $20 billion in origination) accessed Rocket at some point in the application process. That is an astounding number, though I wonder if that includes push notifications that the borrower didn’t necessarily respond to or interact with.

Speaking of tech, HUD is looking into allegations of housing discrimination by Facebook. Facebook uses big data to allow advertisers to slice and dice the demographics any way they want to target their specific market. What if advertisers decide to target some demographics and not others? That is considered non-problematic for things like consumer products, but housing could be a different story.