Mortgage backed securities (FNMA 3.000 MBS) gained +29 basis points (BPS) from last Friday's close which caused fixed mortgage rates to move lower compared to the prior week.
Overview: The economic back drop was quite robust with real strength in the labor and services sectors. But concerns over sever supply chain disruptions due to the CoronaVirus caused fear and panic purchasing of long bonds and that spike in demand caused mortgage backed securities to reach historic highs which also means that fixed mortgage rates hit historic lows.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: Big Jobs Friday, You can read the official BLS release here.
Here is the Tale of the Tape:
February Non Farm Payrolls (NFP) increased by 273K vs est of 175K
January NFP revised upward from 225K to 273K
December NFP revised upward from 147K to 184K
This makes the closely watched 3 month rolling average 245K job gains each month!
The national Average Hourly rate rose 9 cents to $28.52
The Average Hourly Earnings MOM rose by 0.3% vs est of 0.3%
The Average Hourly Earnings YOY rose by 3.0% vs est of 3.0%
The Unemployment Rate dropped from 3.6% down to 3.5%
The Participation Rate remained at 63.4%
The U6 Employment Rate rose from 6.9% to 7.0%
The Talking Fed: We got the Fed's Beige Book at 2:00. You can read the official release here.
Some key points:
Tariff fears which had been persistent for over a year have abated and replaced with Coronavirus fears and election uncertainty.
Economic activity expanded at a modest to moderate rate over the past several weeks, according to the majority of Federal Reserve Districts. The St. Louis and Kansas City Districts, however, reported no change during this period.
Employment increased at a slight to moderate pace, overall, with hiring constrained by a tight labor market, and "insufficient labor lowered growth for many firms and led to delays in construction projects." Several employers changed from temporary to permanent workers in order to attract talent, and firms made efforts to retain workers such as keeping seasonal workers on staff in the off-season.
ISM: The February ISM Non Manufacturing (2/3 of our economy) was much stronger than expected (57.3 vs est of 54.9), New Orders skyrocketed to 63.1 vs est of 56.3 and the Employment Index was 55.6 vs est of 54.The February ISM Manufacturing Index continues to show expansion in the Manufacturing Sector, just breaking above the 50.0 mark with at 50.1 reading vs est of 50.5
Central Bank Palooza: The Bank of Canada lowered their key interest rate to 1.25% from 1.75%, which matches Tuesday's Fed Reserve cut of 50 BPS.The Reserve Bank of Australia lowered their key interest rate from 0.75% down to 0.5%, this was NOT expected. The Federal Reserve cut their key interest rate by -50 BPS, it was an unanimous decision." data-show-count="false" target="twitter">