June 28th, 2011 6:43 AM by Lehel S.
Treasuries and mortgages opened flat this morning with the stock indexes also about unchanged. At 8:30 May personal income and spending; income up 0.3% and spending unchanged. The core PCE up a little, +0.3%; May personal savings rate +5.0% up frm +4.9% in April. Consumers still saving, a good thing overall but further indication that consumer spending isn't going to be the driver of any potential economic recovery. Historically personal spending accounted for 70% of GDP, now any improvement in the economy has to come from exports and in our view that is a huge hill to climb. The weak spending added a little support to the bond and mortgage markets and pushed stock indexes into the red.
This afternoon Treasury will auction $35B of 2 yr notes, the first of three auctions this week to borrow a total of $99B and the last of Treasury auctions before the end of QE 2 on Thursday. The question now is, with QE ending will interest rates remain at these low levels as the Fed exits? For the last six months the Fed has purchased the equivalent of about 60% of all Treasury borrowing in the period.
Greece begins three days of debate in its parliament to approve spending cuts of $111B to trigger the IMF and EU package approved last week and keep Greece from defaulting. Greek, Portuguese and Irish 10-year bonds declined, driving up the extra yield investors demand to hold the securities instead of benchmark German bunds. The debt crisis that is spread all over Europe's second tier countries and is one key driver keeping US interest rates low and the US stock market sliding.
This Week's Economic Calendar:
8:30 May personal income and spending (as reported +0.3% on income , spending unchanged)
1:00 pm $35B 2 yr note auction
9:00 am Case/Shiller Apr 20 city home prices (-3.9%)
10:00 am June consumer confidence index (60.7 frm 60.8)
1:00 pm $35B 5 yr note auction
7:00 am weekly MBA mortgage applications
10:00 am NAR May pending home sales (+0.7%)
1:00 pm $29B 7 yr note auction
8:30 am weekly jobless claims (-8K to 421K; con't claims 3.70 mil frm 3.697 mil)
9:45 am June Chicago purchasing mgrs index (53.8 frm 56.6)
9:55 am U. of Michigan final June consumer sentiment index (71.8 unch)
10:00 am June ISM Nat'l manufacturing index (51.3 frm 53.5---under 50 is considered contraction)
3:00 pm June auto and truck sales
Crude oil continuing its decline this morning on increasing belief the US economy is going to slip more and in China its economy also slowing. The IEA and the Obama Administration released 60 mil barrels of oil from the strategic reserves last week (30 mil from the US reserves); the IEA saying it will release more if necessary. Meanwhile gasoline prices continue to fall. It is a moving target the amount of declines in given areas of the country; here in Indianapolis gas has fallen from $4.22/gal a few weeks ago to $3.30 yesterday. Will the decline increase consumer discretionary spending?
The DJIA opened +20 at 9:30, the 10 yr note +2/32 and mortgage prices at 9:30 unch.
Slowly interest rates continue to decline, likely more this week with no firm resolution on Greek debt plans until Thursday. Demonstrations will go on all week in Athens as politicians debate spending cuts that have citizens revolting and protesting. It is likely the government will meet the demands of the IMF and EU with spending cuts, but until the ink is dry on the legislation the uncertainty will be a continuing positive for US bond markets.