May 12th, 2011 8:10 AM by Lehel S.
Three data points at 8:30 this morning; weekly jobless claims were expected to have declined 50K last week, as reported claims were down 44K after increasing 43K the previous week. Continuing claims 3.756 mil frm 3.751; the 4 wk average of claims 436K from 432K the previous week. April retail sales were reported up 0.5% overall, when auto ales are taken out sales were up 0.6%; about in line with estimates. April producer price index hit a little hot, up 0.8% overall, excluding food and energy up 0.3%; both were a little higher than forecasts. Yr/yr overall PPI +6.8%, ex food and energy +2.1%.
The 8:30 data taken well by all markets initially; the bond and mortgage markets were fractionally better prior to 8:30 and showed no movement on the data but we are somewhat concerned about how the bond market will take the increases in the PPI data. The increase, although minor, won't likely sit well for rate markets. With interest rates at these low levels any sniff that inflation may increase, whether real or imagined, will hinder bond markets.
The stock market supporting rate markets this morning with the indexes trading weaker prior to the 9:30 open. At 9:00 the DJIA -42, the 10 yr note about unchanged from yesterday's auction when a new 10 yr note was issued. Mortgage prices at 9:00 +.03 bp. At 9:30 the DJIA opened -23, the 10 yr note rate at 3.19% up frm 3.16% on the old 10 yr yesterday but -2 bp frm the auction yesterday; mortgage prices -.06 bp.
At 10:00 March business inventories expected up 0.9%, were up 1.0%, sales up 2.2%, Feb revised from +0.2% to +0.5%. The inventory to sales ratio a record low at 1.23 months from 1.24 months in Feb. No reaction.
Crude oil and gold, along with most other commodities continue to fall as the commodity trade that pushed most every commodity higher and to excess is ending with huge declines. Crude oil on Monday climbed back up to $103.50, at 9:00 this morning trading at $97.00. Yesterday gasoline futures came under heavy selling pressure pushing prices to limit down in the futures markets.
The Senate Banking Committee is starting hearings today on the Dodd Frank bill that in our view was Congress running amok. Bernanke along with FDIC Chair Sheila Bair, SEC Chair Mary Schapiro, CFTC Chair Gary Gensler, and Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin. There had to be some legislation to rein in the large banks that clearly demonstrated they have little self control and really demonstrated in the sub prime catastrophe that management of these huge banks didn't have a clue about what was happening in their banks. Most of the other stuff in the Dodd Frank bill was mostly unnecessary in its detail and complexity. Bernanke is expected to support the bill, many Republicans want the bill tossed into the trash.
At 1:00 Treasury will auction $16B of 30 yr bonds, it will be a new issue of 30s. Yesterday the 10 yr auction met with good demand; today's auction will also likely see firm demand according to traders we talk with. If however the 30 doesn't meet expectations rates will likely come under additional pressure. The 10 yr note still cannot clear 3.14%, the yield level achieved in early March before running up to 3.60%. Technically the bond and mortgage markets are still in overbought conditions; as noted yesterday, the longer the 10 yr fails to break resistance the more likelihood rates will notch up a little. Logic being, why continue to hold the 10 yr if this is the best the market can do; there is always hot money in the bond markets (trading on short term outlooks), that money moves quickly when the markets seems to run out of momentum.