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A Ceiling That Actually Matters

The debt ceiling debate is all over the news, but it’s a different ceiling is commanding more of the bond market’s attention.  Still, we wouldn’t say the debt ceiling is irrelevant, so let’s take a brief moment to address its implications for the housing and mortgage markets. The most direct effect of the debt ceiling debate is a general ebb and flow of risk sentiment in the market.  If it’s resolved without issue, investors may be slightly more interested in buying stocks and selling bonds.  The latter puts upward pressure on interest rates and it was the general theme this week. The 10yr Treasury yield is a good benchmark for rate momentum.  Some of this week’s upward momentum may be attributed to potential progress on the debt ceiling, but we really didn’t see any compelling evidence that traders were on the edge of their seats over political drama.  It would take a true “default” on US debt to roil markets, and that’s tremendously unlikely. Markets found the Fed and the economic outlook to be much more worthy of attention this week.  Retail Sales data on Tuesday morning set the tone for the week.  Traders were more receptive to the slew of Fed speakers who echoed the same general sentiment: the fight against inflation is far from over and the data will determine when the Fed is done hiking rates. At the start of the month, just after the last Fed meeting, market participants had almost fully priced out  additional rate hikes.  By the end of this week, we’re back up to nearly a 50% chance of another hike in June (rate outlook of 5.0% moved up to 5.11%, which is about half of a 0.25% rate hike).
Source: mortgagenewsdaily.comNew feed

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