Bonds Look to Data and Month-End For Breakout Potential

Whereas the previous week was generally devoid of significant economic data or market moving events, the current week is more of a contender.  On the data front, there are relatively important reports throughout the week including a key inflation report on Friday (PCE).  Given the extent to which Fed speakers have increased their focus on inflation specifically (as opposed to “inflation + _____, where the other considerations include job growth, financial conditions, and geopolitical risks), traders will be increasingly focused on inflation data.  Friday’s PCE is one of the Fed’s favorites.

Speaking of Fed speakers, there are several on tap again this week, with Yellen herself taking questions at a conference in London tomorrow afternoon just after 1pm ET.  Markets are hoping she’ll shed some light on how the committee might reconcile an apparently growing debate between hiking rates and reducing the Fed’s bond market reinvestments (not to mention what sort of inflation data might be required to slow/stop one of both of those components).

Beyond the aforementioned scheduled events, there’s also the general phenomenon of “month-end” (which also included “quarter-end” this time around).  This refers to traders needing to buy/sell a certain combination of securities in order to meet one of several potential requirements for the end of period. When it comes to bond markets, the biggest month-end consideration is typically money managers who have to match the “duration” (average maturity) of all of their bond holdings to a published index (here’s the primer on month-end bond buying).  There’s no consistent implication for positive vs negative momentum–simply for increased motivation to trade.  This can create seemingly random tradeflows that can mysteriously augment or counteract the effects of any organic reaction we’re seeing to the data and scheduled events.
In terms of technical levels, the hope is that some combination of the above will be enough to motivate a breakof one of the trends seen in the chart below.  The past several trading sessions have been quite noncommittal in terms of approaching either trend (the horizontal lines are simply set by June 14th’s range and the yellow lines are the core downtrend that’s connected most of the intraday highs/lows).

MBS Pricing Snapshot

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

FNMA 3.5
103-10 : +0-02
10 YR
2.1283 : -0.0157
Pricing as of 6/26/17 9:34AMEST
Tomorrow’s Economic Calendar
Time Event Period Forecast Prior
Monday, Jun 26
8:30 Nondefense ex-air (%)* May 0.3 0.1
8:30 Durable goods (%)* May -0.6 -0.8
13:00 2-Yr Note Auction (bl)   26  
Tuesday, Jun 27
9:00 CaseShiller 20 mm nsa (%) Apr 0.9 1.0
9:00 CaseShiller 20 yy (% ) Apr 5.9 5.9
10:00 Consumer confidence * Jun 116.0 117.9
13:00 5-Yr Note Auction (bl)*   34  
Wednesday, Jun 28
7:00 Mortgage Market Index w/e   445.2
10:00 Pending sales change mm (%)* May 0.8 -1.3
10:00 Pending homes index * May   109.8
10:30 Crude Oil Inventory (ml) w/e   -2.451
13:00 7-Yr Note Auction (bl)*   28  
Thursday, Jun 29
8:30 GDP Final (%) Q1 1.2 1.2
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims (k) w/e 240 241
Friday, Jun 30
8:30 Consumption, adjusted mm (%)* May 0.1 0.4
8:30 Personal income mm (%) May 0.3 0.4
8:30 Core PCE price index yy (%) May   1.5
9:45 Chicago PMI * Jun 58.0 59.4
10:00 U Mich Sentiment Final (ip) Jun 94.5 94.5