Weekly Unemployment Claims hit the tape plus 13K this morning while Continuing Claims jumped 43K to 4.62 million. The rise canceled out last week’s drop and brings the 4 week moving average to 466K. Not the type of print that notates a recovery in jobs. Pending Home Sales didn’t do us any favors, falling 30%. This level was last visited in May of 2009 and in our opinion, represents much more than losing the 8K tax credit program. Construction Spending completed the bearish economic trifecta, falling .2% as private spending did the damage, down .5% month on month.
In the glass half full category, Ford, Chrysler, and GM all posted sales gains as that sector starts to stabilize. Currently, stocks are off 61 points on the big board, 10 year note is plus 8/32’s, and mortgage backs are off 2 to 5/32’s, depending on the interest rate. As I have talked about in the past, money flows are coming out of foreign sovereign debt and into treasuries. Trouble is, that’s as far as the money goes. Risk/reward is moving more and more towards risk in MBS, corporate paper, and anything other than an instrument backed by the full faith of Uncle Sam. With stocks trading firmly below 1040 on the S&P chart, investors are net bearish, looking for a pull back to 940/970. That would clip the Dow for 1 large. Add to it the uncertainty of tomorrow’s Employment Report and all you see is traders with a fist full of scared money.
Speaking of the jobs number, the call is for job losses of 100K. We’ll preview the report later today. Given what we know, we see the pull back in mortgage paper (higher Austin mortgage rates, lower pricing) as nothing more than consolidation, expecting that it will not become a major reversal. However, we are seeing a divergence set up on the daily chart, telling you that a least a pause is in order until tomorrow’s fireworks begin (7:30 am cst).
With risk reward not in your favor, Austin borrowers are advised to lock in their Austin mortgage interest rates and step aside as we’re not sure whether the light in the tunnel is the end or a train.