Monday Market Commentary: Rates on the Jump

by Alex Stenback on July 21, 2008

Last Week:
As we mentioned, rates jumped by .375% or so as the mortgage bond market sold off on inflationary news and renewed fears over mortgage related write downs, defaults, and balance sheet concerns at Fannie and Freddie. 

This Week:
Spreads – a key measure of percieved risk -  between safe haven Treasuries and Mortgage bonds are nearly as wide now as they were just prior to the Bear Stearns Debacle in March.  Even the Prime Book of high quality mortgages is starting to labor under the strains of the housing downturn and credit crunch.

Taken together with the ongoing concerns about inflation, the above factors do not create an environment that will foster lower mortgage rates.  Ominous signs, if they persist.

The economic calendar also holds some potential market-moving excitement this week. Home sales (existing and new) print on Thursday and Friday respectively.  Durable goods orders are also worth watching.


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