Fed Day, But Does it Matter?

by Alex Stenback on March 16, 2010

The Federal Open Market Committee, otherwise known as The Fed, meets today and will make a rate decision and policy announcement this afternoon.

What we know is that the Federal Funds Rate won’t change.  The Fed is on record that rates will remain low for an “extended period” and it’s not like they can move them lower than zero.

What we don’t know is what the Fed will say, in their accompanying policy statement, and how mortgage rates might react. 

Any surprises, or hints from the Fed on when tightening could start, or further disent within the Fed over current policy stance (last meeting, there was one “dissenting” vote.  Will there be more?)  could send markets on a romp. 

With the Fed’s mortgage Backed Securities program coming to an March 31st (and 98% tapped out) and “spreads” between 10 year treasuries and mortgage rates at all time lows, this market is wound very, very tightly and it may not take much to release the tension and send mortgage rates zipping higher.

A good day to be cautious if you have not locked in a mortgage rate.

Fed’s Words to be Scrutinized… [WSJ]

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