While Goldman Sachs is getting grilled on the hill, stocks and bonds are putting on a show of their own. Earlier today, the Case Shiller Home Price Index rose .6% for the first time since December 2006. The number was however less than economists had expected (plus 1.2%) and reflect that the pace of decline is less severe than a year ago. That point is confirmed as 11 of the 20 cities showed year over year declines but 18 of 20 cities show yearly improvement when matched again January of last year. Las Vegas and Tampa are still taking it on the chin while San Francisco led the field with a 12% increase.
In other news, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index jumped 5.6 points to 57.9. Both current and future expectations rose with the only drawback being concerns about income remaining weak. The FOMC (Fed Open Market Committee) started their two day meeting today with little expected, except for some possible minor policy tweaking. Results and/or changes are due out tomorrow at 1:15 pm cst. The Fed is in the market today, peddling 44 billion of 2 year notes. Results will be out at high noon cst today.
With all that’s going on, the stage stealer seems to be Greece and their two year note going over 15% and now a down grade to Portugal’s debt. S & P has cut Greek bond rating to junk, equivalent to subprime paper. Flight to quality buying in treasuries has goosed the market high while punishing stocks in its wake. Mortgage backs are along for the ride, up 14/32’s as we speak. Stocks are in sea of red, down 140 something on the big board. Technically, the stealth rally has taken us to major resistance, right at the low yield mark of 3.67%. A break and close below 3.67% is needed to confirm the upside move and project that further gains (lower yields better mortgage pricing) is in the cards. With most oscillators now neutral to bullish, the only fly in the ointment is growing overbought conditions on the chart.
Seems like a good day to take advantage of the best Austin mortgage pricing in quite some time. More in a few.