Bears are back on the prowl, eating their way into gains of late on both the Dow and the Naz.  Pessimism about weak 1st quarter earnings and undisclosed toxic assets on stateside bank balance sheets are mostly to blame.  Profit taking, after a 25% rally from the March bottom is also in play. 

With the Dow down 170 points, the 10 year note and mortgage backed securities have come back to life.  Currently, the 10 year note is up 11/32’s (yield 2.90%), mortgage backs (lower note rates) are plus 8/32’s, and the 30 year bond is up 23/32’s.  Hourly note charts are rising from oversold conditions, another sign that the selling of late is on hold for now.  Given the earnings season for stocks has just begun, the next 3 weeks should provide a more supportive period for mortgage rates and pricing.  There will be surprises and volatility so use these rallies wisely.  Overall, we like the neutral bias with steady to slightly improving mortgage pricing.