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The week in financial markets: Decoding the winds of change

01/13/2018

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Change is in the winds of markets now, and as we move from the extended recovery from the Great Recession to something else, it is hell to sort through new data and opinion. The web has made infinite the supply of commentary, and one effect is the need for commenters to attract attention. In financial markets, click bait comes in two forms often simultaneously: sales pitches, and/or exaggeration of commonplace or random events into asteroids about to wipe out whole continents. So, one asteroid at a time: Interest rates are rising. The increase matters only if it is big, or catches a lot of people leaning the wrong way. The yield on the 10-year T-note has broken out of a comfortably narrow 2017 range, with four days out of five last year hovering between 2.25 percent and 2.40 percent. Mortgages spent the year within one-eighth of one percent above or below 4.00 percent. 10s have now broken above 2.50 percent and there is no “support” whatever above 2.60 percent. If 10s …

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