As anticipated, this week has turned out to be an exciting one in the markets! Yesterday, the Fed announced another $10 Billion taper. In turn, mortgage bonds got a big boost higher and the stock market took another hit. Then today, GDP for the 4th quarter of 2013 came in at 3.2%, which was higher than the 3% anticipated but a big drop from the previous quarter’s 4.1%. In addition, weekly jobless claims came in at 348k, which was an increase of 19k from last week’s figure of 329k. Although a bit higher than expected the past few weeks, the trend line is still heading lower as the job market continues to show overall improvement.
Pending home sales were reported to be down 8.7% for December, with a year over year decline of 8.8%. We expected a slowdown in this figure. However, the pace of slowdown is greater than what we had anticipated. This is again supporting our concerns that the housing market is cooling. On a positive note, we don’t feel there is a significant need to be alarmed. A slower pace of growth is healthy long term, not to mention that growth is still growth….
Mortgage bonds are currently above the 200 day moving average. We are approaching risky levels, and I am now feeling a bit concerned that we may see a pull back. The safe play is to lock while pricing is near the best levels seen in months. For those wanting to see if the 200 DMA holds; I suggest watching closely and have your hand on the trigger for locking should this level be breached.