Interest Rate Roundup

Friday, October 06, 2006

Jobs report roiling bonds

A bunch of Fed heads came out this week and basically told bond traders: "Not so fast!" The bond "Anti-vigilantes," as I've coined them, had driven rates way, way down and prices way, way up on the hope there would be an imminent rate cut. Who knows if the Fed already had an advance heads up on today's jobs numbers when they made their comments. But the latest jobs figures seem to put to rest the idea that a cut is right around the corner. The details:

* Overall jobs creation was weaker than expected in September (just 51,000). But August's number was revised up big (+60,000 from original estimates).

* Plus, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6% from 4.7%. And wage pressures (up 4% YOY) remain at a five year high.

In other words, it looks like bond traders got a bit carried away. We'll have to see how this all settles out longer-term. But in early trading, December Long Bond futures have swung from a 15/32 gain in price right after the report came out to a 19/32 loss. Rates are up across the board.


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