Ben Bernanke surprised the markets with the announcement of tapering $10 billion a month, starting in January. Markets responded with the Dow moving higher by almost 300 points, and bonds moving lower, but not in a panic selloff. Overall, the taper came off more as symbolic based on the accompanying comments from the Fed chief, as he indicated that the Fed was willing to be flexible based on future results. Today’s reports included Initial jobless claims coming in higher at 379,000, existing home sales lower than expected by 4.3% from the previous month, and the Philly fed manufacturing index beating expectations. These reports appear to have little affect on the markets for now, as investors seem to be breathing a sigh of relief just to have gotten through yesterday. mortgage bonds are lower, but are sitting at a level of support. After yesterday’s recommendation to lock, we will start today with a floating bias.