In the U.S. this week, bond yields slid as a rise in coronavirus infections picked up. Weekly unemployment claims moved higher which also pushed bond yields down as economists view higher claims as a sign that the economic recovery may be losing stream. Many states shut down certain public-facing businesses in response. Small businesses are already suffering and more stimulus will be needed in order to avoid mass unemployment.
Banks’ earnings, which are being looked at closely as a sign of things to come, were mixed with those banks with substantial institutional trading departments reported strong earnings while more traditional lenders such as Wells Fargo reported poor to negative earnings. All banks are reserving more for loan loss provisions, however, there is no consensus yet as to whether the worst is behind us. A V-shaped recovery seems like a long shot, but equities continue to trade under that assumption for the moment. Bond yields support a more prolonged recovery.
Despite all this sour news, some hopeful green shoots have emerged as consumer spending has picked up and housing starts surged. In another positive sign of an improving residential mortgage market, Insignia Mortgage has been seeing some options return to the jumbo lending marketplace, including non-QM lenders with loan programs such as self-employed bank statements and one-year tax return options.