Industry NewsMortgage

10-year bond blows past 5% first time in 4 years

Mortgage market commentary

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The 10-year Treasury note blew through 5 percent for the first time in four years this week, and long-term mortgage rates have begun their approach to 6.75 percent. The decisiveness of this week's move was emphasized by an extraordinary departure from trading norm. Funny things happen in thin trading in holiday weeks (the bond market closed at midday Thursday for the Passover-Good-Friday combo); however, ever since Sept. 11, 2001, money has flowed to super-safe Treasury bonds before long weekends to protect investors against terror- or war-related "event risk." This time investors dumped Treasuries -- doubly odd because the week's geo-news was dominated by really ugly events involving Iran and a posse of generals trying to hang Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. If the market feels safer without Treasury bonds than with them, then it is worried about some other event risk, the obvious one being the Federal Reserve. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is still struggling to find a voice, but the ...