Markets Await Powell’s Presser

Today looks to be central-bank-centric as investors around the world wait to hear what Chairman Powell and the FOMC will tell us about what they think and what they think they’re going to do. Nothing is impossible, one supposes, but the likelihood of any cessation in relief and stimulative efforts is certainly very remote. More likely, listeners will hear about possible, subtle changes to forward guidance, the use of inflation measurements to trigger policy adaptations, and maybe more about using bond purchases to manipulate the Treasury yield curve. But, the yield curve seems to be behaving pretty much like the Committee wants it to without further central bank intervention. If there is any change to the degree of accommodation, it will be more of it not less of it.

In the meantime, the parade of data marches on and someone at the Mortgage Bankers Association got up really early in order to tell us that, for the week ending July 24th, new Mortgage Applications fell 0.8%. That’s a little disappointing given that the last two weeks have seen rises of 5.1% and 4.1%. Purchase apps fell 1.5% after being up 1.8% the week before while refi apps fell 0.4% following the prior week’s gain of 5.3%.

In other news, Wholesale Inventories fell 2% last month with Retail Inventories declining 2.6%. Both numbers were greater declines than were forecast.

Bonds look to be treading water with little in the way of price movement. At last look, the Ten Year was hovering around 57 basis points. Crude oil is up slightly to $41.40 while gold has slipped a few dollars to $1,955.