Happy Friday to everyone. Its amazing how the surge in oil and food prices can affect the Fed ability to cut rates. From Bloomberg:
"Futures contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade show there's a 32 percent chance the Fed will keep its target rate for overnight lending between banks at 2.25 percent on April 30, up from 2 percent odds a week ago. The balance of the bets is for a quarter-percentage point reduction."
So what has this done to Treasuries in the bond market? Same article:
"April 25 (Bloomberg) -- Treasuries fell, with two-year notes headed for the biggest two-week decline since November 2001, as traders increased bets the Federal Reserve will stop cutting interest rates at its policy meeting next week.
The two-year Treasury note yield rose 5 basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 2.45 percent as of 8:38 a.m. in New York.
Ten-year yields rose 3 basis points to 3.86 percent, climbing for a fifth week."
Many mortgages are done based off the 10 year rate and its up for the fifth consecutive week. This will not be good for mortgage rates. Interest rate increases will not be good for stocks because it will put more pressure on the banks and kill lending. This will be another blow for the housing market.
There may be a short term disconnect between the market and housing. Stocks seem to want to push higher now that the financial world did not come to an end due to the Bear Stearns blowup. I expect this rally to be on its final legs simply because there is no catalyst to take stocks higher long term. This is a relief rally and nothing more as we head into a recession.
Merill Lynch's famed US economist David Rosenberg came out with a research report yesterday(same article)
The U.S. economy will shrink 2.3 percent in the second quarter, which means investors should stick with bonds, David Rosenberg, Merrill Lynch's North American economist in New York, wrote in a research report yesterday. It's ``still too early to move away from bonds and toward stocks,'' the report said."
Well I think David's comments says it all. A 2.3% drop tells you we are in recession. Anyone buying into this rally is going to get burnt. One of the best is telling you its too early to jump into stocks.
Stocks don't generally rise for good until you are about half way through a recession. Right now the end of this recession is nowhere in sight.
The bulls will try to spin the possible end of the Fed rate cutting as a positive because it will strengthen the dollar. The reality is its going to raise rates which will put more pressure on housing due to higher costs of borrowing.
The fact that the Fed is tapping on the brakes is going to hurt and have negative repercussions. Like Mr. Rosenberg said "its still too early".