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Bart Castelli

Mortgage Rates Continues Same Path

Thursday, August 18, 2016 - Article by: Bart Castelli - Homestar Financial Corporation NMLS #70864 - Message

Mortgage Rates continued along the same path - like a rattle snake in the desert, coiling before it strikes. The bond and stock markets are wound tight in narrow ranges, especially in the bond market. No movement for five weeks and likely not going to move much now until next Friday when Yellen finally speaks. We have not heard from her in weeks. Meanwhile Fed officials are all over with conflicting comments clearly showing how unsettled the Fed is now on when to increase rates. Dudley from NY, Williams from SF both with different views - Dudley hawkish, Williams more sanguine. St. Louis Fed's Bullard out saying no rate increases until 2018. What a mixed bag.Hedge funds overall have been losing recently and comments that some are closing or cutting back is a clear sign that long-time big money managers are finding the present environment difficult to assess and managers. Investors according to what I read are exiting hedge funds, the instruments that had made big investors very wealth over the years. Today Paul Singer, a long time fund manager going back to the 70s added his warning. Singer's Elliott Management warns that the bond market is "broken" and that when the central bank actions of recent years no longer ward off a market downturn, the subsequent loss of confidence could be severe.The point I want to make here is, as I have noted many times, there is trouble ahead for markets - both stocks and bonds. When is very hard to guess, and it would be a guess. These conditions can last a lot longer than anyone believes. Usually I would not hear these kinds of comments (and there are many more than and the list is growing quickly); almost a sin to wave red flags but the list is increasing yesterday another long time trader and fund manager going back to the 70s, Paul Tudor Jones said he is done with hedge fund management. In summary, nothing much is happening with the mortgage rates. Yesterday, bonds did post moderate gains today, moving back towards the middle of our recent rate range. Keep in mind these daily moves have been minor, perhaps 10-20BPS, which typically translates into increased lender credits, NOT lower rates. Our big news for the week (FOMC Minutes) has already been digested. It is likely rates will stay stable, at least until next week's annual economic summit at Jackson Hole. Float/lock? Limited risk/limited reward at this point.

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