Interest Rate Roundup

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sorry for the lack of posting today...

Been trying to catch up on some other duties, appointments, and all that good stuff. Anyway, here are two quick hit comments:

* Housing starts bounced. But building permit issuance fell ... again ... to the lowest level since December 1997. Gotta love that "bottom" in housing.

* Producer prices jumped 2% -- the single biggest monthly gain since 1974. Bonds said: "What me, worry?" and finished the day roughly unchanged.

Seriously, though, this PPI number (and the past few ones) have been distorted by weird car and light truck price changes. So I understand why the market is taking the big increase with a grain of salt.

But the fact of the matter is, longer-term Treasury notes and bonds have virtually ignored any and all signs of inflation for the past three years. Whether it's foreign inflows into our bond market that are keeping long-term yields low, or whether the bond vigilantes are all off somewhere getting intoxicated, I don't know. But it is what it is. Funny, though, that interest-sensitive stocks took a bit of a licking today despite the strong overall stock market.


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