Phil Grossfield's Blog


Tag Archives: Janet Yellen

Santa Quest

macysholidaySanta Quest.  I was so excited!  Every year when I was little my mom took me and my sister downtown Minneapolis to the Dayton’s (now Macy’s) Holiday Display.  I didn’t get much up-close interaction with this kind of stuff back then.  I even got to meet Santa!  I remember the feeling of confusion, like when Santa asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said, “I’m Jewish…I don’t get anything.”  Despite the confusion, I loved the whole thing.

This year over the Thanksgiving break we went to Minneapolis to visit family.  My wife’s sister and her family live there and my entire family is there as well.  On a Saturday we decided to go downtown to the holiday display so our kids could experience it.  What fun!  And they were far less confused about things then I was at their age.  And on top of everything, we took a group picture with Santa.  Unfortunately I don’t have the evidence to support it, but this was the first time in my Dad’s 82 years he’s posed with Santa. 🙂

My Market Update 12/18/2014 AM

The 30-year Fannie Mae bond is trading up +14bps since yesterday’s close.  Generally a lender’s pricing improves when the bond is being bought.

YellenJanet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, made some interesting statements at her press conference earlier in the week.  If you recall, I focused on her position with respect to the likelihood of interest rate hikes in 2015. Many factors will be taken into consideration with that day comes, including inflation, unemployment, etc.  Yellen’s position on inflation is interesting in itself.  She is regarded as one of the few economists willing to risk higher inflation as a strategy to battle unemployment.  Remember, bonds hate inflation and since the trading of bonds is directly affected by it, well, I think we should be paying attention to Yellen’s opinion on the subject.

Bloomberg Article: Yellen’s Inflation Lessons: Targets Matter, Oil Shocks Dissipate

Next week could prove to be a tough one for bonds and therefore our rates/prices.  I’ve been on the phone a lot lately and most Brokers/LOs are saying they’re busy now with closing deals but not particularly busy bringing new loans in with the holidays and all.  But if you have a loan that you’re considering whether to lock or float, I would advise you consider locking.

My Disclaimer

Tree Quest

search_xmas_treeTree Quest.  I never had the pleasure of searching for a Christmas tree as a child.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful childhood as a Jew…my mom made Hanukkah so much fun.  But unlike most kids, searching for a Christmas tree was obviously never part of my life.  I’ve had a lot of people over the years ask me if I ever got a Hanukkah bush…uh, no…nobody does that.

My wife is not Jewish and so, beginning with the holiday season 15-years ago when we met, the quest for a Christmas tree became an annual adventure.  And now, at 47-years old with a 9-year old and a 6-year old, the hunt for a Christmas tree has become a tradition…and I look forward to sharing it with my family every year.  But alas, not this year.  Hobbling around with a severely sprained ankle is not congenial with a tree crusade.  I had to bow out this year relying on my wife and kids to venture on their own in search of the perfect tree.

My family celebrates Hanukkah too.  My wife, without me ever asking, took it upon herself to ensure the tradition of lighting the menorah lives strongly in our home.  She buys the Hanukkah candles each year and sets the menorah up prominently.  How lucky am I?  I get to celebrate both holiday traditions with my kids and my wife, of which I am ever so grateful to share. 

My Market Update   12/18/2014 AM

The 30-year Fannie Mae bond is trading down -17bps since yesterday’s close.  Generally a lender’s pricing worsens when the bond is being sold off.

Our rates are directly related to the how well the bond market is trading…when bonds are being bought rates/pricing improve and when bonds are selling off rates/pricing worsen.  It’s as simple as that.  The complicated part is determining which factors will influence traders to buy or sell bonds.  One factor is the stock market.  Most of the time (but not always) there is an inverse relationship between stocks and bonds.  That is, when traders feel the stock market is too risky, they will invest in safer bonds instead. Inversely, when traders are bully on the stock market, they’ll sell off bonds to free up capital to invest in stocks.  This morning the stock market has been doing well and guess what is happening to the bond market.

JanetYellenThe reason traders are investing in stocks this morning is Janet Yellen’s statement yesterday about the likelihood of an interest rate hike.  Soon that will happen, but according to Yellen, not for a few more months.  That news gave traders enough reason to invest in stocks and the bond market is taking the hit.

Pricing is worse than yesterday morning…hopefully the bond market will stabilize and stop the southbound trend.  If you intended to lock today, you might want to watch the bond market carefully for signs of recovery of further selling.  I’ll do my best to keep on watch.  Let me know if you’d like to discuss…

My Disclaimer

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