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Today's Rates with Goverment Shutdown.

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Wednesday’s bond market has opened flat with nothing of significance being released today. The stock markets are showing relatively minor losses with the Dow down 7 points and the Nasdaq down 22 points. The bond market is currently down 3/32, which will likely keep this morning’s mortgage rates close to yesterday’s pricing.

There is not much new to report regarding the government shutdown or the likelihood of a resolution anytime soon other than the chorus of outrage is rising louder. We did get a bit of important news last night, but it really was not a surprise to many people. President Obama officially announced his nomination to take over as Fed Chairman when current chairman Bernanke’s term ends early next year. His nomination of Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen was widely expected ever since Lawrence Summers removed himself from consideration last month. There appeared to be no other likely candidate, so this announcement was more of a formality than anything else. The markets responded positively to the news when Mr. Summers made his announcement last month, therefore, we are not seeing much of a reaction in today’s trading. It is believed that Ms. Yellen’s beliefs are much more "bond market friendly" than Mr. Summers’, which is why we saw a positive reaction last month.

We do have two things taking place today that have the potential to affect bond trading and mortgage rates. The first of this week’s two important Treasury auctions is today. 10-year Notes are being sold today while 30-year Bonds will be sold tomorrow. If the sales are met with a lackluster interest from investors- particularly international buyers, the bond market may move lower after the results are posted and mortgage rates may move higher. It is difficult to believe that there will be a strong demand for these securities with the current situation in Washington D.C. The results will be announced at 1:00 PM each sale day, so any reaction will come during afternoon trading.

The minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting will also be posted this afternoon. These may be a major mover of the markets or could be a non-factor, depending on what they say. However, with little else being posted this week they will likely be more influential than usual. The keys will be concerns over the economy, inflation and the Fed's next monetary policy move. If Fed members were concerned about the economy continuing to grow, we may see the bond market move higher and mortgage rates lower during afternoon trading. It will be interesting to see how much debate and disagreement amongst members took place during the meeting, particularly about tapering QE3.

We do have a piece of economic data to look for tomorrow. Last week’s unemployment figures will be posted at 8:30 AM ET tomorrow. Analysts are expecting to see 318,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, up from the previous week’s 308,000. The larger the number of initial claims, the better the news it is for the bond and mortgage markets because rising claims indicates a softening employment sector and restricts broader economic growth.