Which Side Is Gas Tank?, What’s Moving Rates This Week?

In the past, every time I filled up my tank with gasoline, I would wonder, “Why isn’t the gas cap in the same place on every car?” It turns out that automakers are influenced by many factors. BMW, for example, is very concerned about balance so they typically put the tank in the right rear to counter the driver’s weight in the left front. Others put the tank in the front of the car to counter the engine being in the rear of the car. Still others adhere to traditions about the gas tank always being on one side or another. Regardless, a good, unintended consequence of this is that gas station pumps have roughly an equal number of vehicles using the right and left side of the pumps. (Don’t say you never learn anything from this commentary!)

Wanna be a loan broker?
Then you better check this out.

Bank Of America Jumbos
As most know, Bank of America retail is pushing jumbo mortgage rates in their branches. How about everyone else?

Stricter Pull-Through Requirements Means Less Consumer Shopping
Mortgage banks have only a few primary sources of revenue: gain on sale of mortgages, warehouse spread, and fee income. Franklin American, with an eye on both cutting costs and increasing fee revenue, has given their clients an imaged file delivery option. After June 1 if they transmit closed loan files for review and purchase by FAMC via hard copy paper files, FAMC will charge an additional $25. Loans submitted via imaged delivery will remain at current funding fees. FAMC is also increasing their conventional loan prior-approval underwriting fee on May 1st by $50 per file.

What’s Moving Rates This Week?
On a trading desk, whenever a client would ask, “Why did rates go up?” or “Why did rates go down?” there are several acceptable canned answers even when there was no apparent reason why rates moved. “An overseas buyer/seller,” was always a good one, as was, “There was a rumor about…” which usually turned out to be untrue. On Friday, the unemployment numbers came out about as expected, but rates went up anyway. The reason? “Treasuries fell as traders focused on the record amount of government debt slated to be sold this year,” was the answer – in spite of everyone already knowing the enormous amount of debt that is going to be hitting the markets. Since early January the 10-year yield has ranged from 2.14% to 3.05% – far below the 4.25% average over the last few years. (The recent low was 2.04% in mid-December.) This morning, for example, the 10-yr is at 2.86% and mortgage prices are “roughly-unchanged-to-a-tad-worse”. (That’s a technical term…)

Preview For Week
What’s going on with the markets this week? Today – not much. Tomorrow – not much. On Wednesday the 8th the FOMC minutes will be released, which may give us insight into the Fed’s current thought process and individual Fed member opinions, although I think that they’re pretty well known. The Treasury auctions are scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday (3-yr), and Thursday. There is a 10-year Treasury Inflation Protected Security (TIPS) sale tomorrow and a 10-year Note sale Thursday. On Thursday we also have Jobless Claims and February’s Goods and Service Trade Balance report – not a big mover of mortgage rates.

In addition, the bond market will close early Thursday and remain closed Friday for the Good Friday holiday. This could lead to some additional volatility as traders look to protect themselves over the long weekend – and if I had to lock in a loan, I’d certainly not wait until Friday when the markets were closed.

Daily Humor
(Warning: PG-rated.)
The Irish daughter had not been to the house for over five years. Upon her return, her father cussed her; “Where have you been all this time, you ingrate! Why didn’t you write us; not even a line to let us know how you were doing? Why didn’t you call? You little tramp! Don’t you know what you put your Mum through?”

The girl, crying, replied, “Sniff, sniff… Dad… I became a prostitute…”

“WHAT!!? Out of here, you shameless harlot! Sinner! You’re a disgrace to this family – I don’t ever want to see you again!”

“OK, Dad – as you wish. I just came back to give Mum this fur coat, plus a savings account certificate for $50,000. Daddy, the spanking new convertible that’s parked outside, plus a lifetime membership to the Country Club is for you. (takes a breath) … and I wanted to invite all of you to spend Easter at my new house…”

“Now, what was it you said you had become?” the father interrupted.

Girl, crying again, “Sniff, sniff … A prostitute, Dad…Sniff, sniff.”

“Oh! Be Jesus! You scared me half to death, girl! I thought you said “a Protestant”. Come here and give your old man a hug!”