Updated on November 27, 2020 10:06:26 AM EST
Wednesday afternoon’s release of the minutes from the Nov 4-5 FOMC meeting didn’t give us any significant surprises but did bring a couple bits of important information. One was the fact they will hold their current monthly bond buying program at $120 billion per month, helping to keep the mortgage market liquid. Secondly, they discussed options on how to improve guidance to the markets about future bond buying plans. This would help remove surprise changes in their purchases at the time they are bought. The result would be less volatility in bonds that is caused by unannounced changes in the Fed purchases.
They also signaled the Fed will likely taper and possibly end bond purchases altogether before they start raising key short-term interest rates, which is expected to take place near the end of 2023. Overall, there were no major surprises but enough information to draw attention of bond traders. Bonds did move in the wrong direction after the minutes were posted at 2:00 PM ET. However, they had already weakened from morning levels before they were posted, and it was not enough of a move to fuel widespread intraday rate changes.
We have no relevant economic data scheduled for release today. If there is an intraday revision to mortgage pricing, it likely will be due to a sizable move in stocks- especially since many firms are on skeleton staff today. That creates thin or light trading that causes a stronger reaction to any headlines than they may usually have.
The markets will close early today with stocks closing at 1:00 PM ET and the bond session ending at 2:00 PM ET. All markets will reopen for regular trading hours Monday morning.
Next week does not have a large number of economic reports scheduled for release, but most of what is set to be posted is considered to be important. They will begin late Tuesday morning with November’s ISM manufacturing index and end with the almighty monthly Employment report for November early Friday morning. Look for details on all of next week’s activities in Sunday evening’s weekly preview.
©Mortgage Commentary 2020