MBS Day Ahead: Presidential Debate Could Offer Hints at Bonds’ Election Game Plan

The absence of volatility in the bond market cannot be overemphasized at the moment, or during most any moment since mid August.  Rather than drift toward a more committed stance–as they often do when a sideways trend drags on for too long–bonds have instead doubled down on the paralysis in each of the past 3 weeks.  In other words, the range has grown narrower and narrower with this week being contained by less than 3bps in 10yr yields (.648% -.674%).  That increasing level of consolidation is coming to a head today or tomorrow.  In other words, yields will no longer be able to remain inside the yellow lines in the following chart.

20200929 open3.png

It remains to be seen whether a breakout of this mini-consolidation will mean anything other than a simple return to the previous (and still excruciatingly narrow) sideways range between .63 and .73.  If those range boundaries are challenged before the end of the day tomorrow, it would be hard to dismiss tonight’s presidential debate as a catalyst.  

While the debate may or may not actually bear fruit for markets, it’s one of the first legitimate chances for the type of “cause and effect” that bond traders are used to.  Reason being: the election itself is one of two key events acting to constrain bond trading volatility (the other being the broad topic of the pandemic, case counts, vaccines, etc).  

What’s the conclusion for today’s trading session?  If the debate clearly favors one candidate over another, it would make sense to see a bigger move in bonds than we’ve seen recently.  That also means bonds are unlikely to find significant motivation in the rest of the trading day.  The only hope for such things would be a truly staggering move in stocks or an unexpected surge in month-end trading.

MBS Pricing Snapshot

Pricing shown below is delayed, please note the timestamp at the bottom. Real time pricing is available via MBS Live.


UMBS 2.0

103-13 : +0-02


10 YR

0.6512 : -0.0118

Pricing as of 9/29/20 9:35AMEST

Tomorrow’s Economic Calendar

Time Event Period Forecast Prior
Tuesday, Sep 29
9:00 CaseShiller 20 yy (% ) Jul 3.8 3.5
9:00 CaseShiller 20 mm SA (%) Jul 0.3 0.0
10:00 Consumer confidence * Sep 89.5 84.8

By Matthew Graham , dated 2020-09-29 09:37:31

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Courtesy of Mortgage News Daily

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