March 6, 2012

Rate Volatility Ahead. Greece Critical Dates.

March 6, 2012

Rate Volatility Ahead. Greece Critical Dates.

Rates were slightly better today and stocks had their worst day of 2012 as uncertainty about global growth returned despite recent optimism about the U.S. economy. According to Bloomberg:

China cut its economic growth target. Data today showed that Europe’s economy shrank 0.3 percent last quarter and Brazil (BZGDGDP4)’s growth last year had its second-worst performance since 2003.

Plus the Greece debt deal that their bailout is predicated on got bumpy today (WSJ, BI), which added to uncertainty.

That’s why the S&P 500 was down 21 points and the benchmark Fannie 3.5% mortgage bond coupon was up 25 basis points, giving rates a little nudge down.

This week’s heavy jobs data starts tomorrow with ADP’s February jobs report (218k-250k new jobs expected), then weekly jobless claims Thursday (355k expected), then BLS’s February jobs report (220k-275k nonfarm payrolls expected).

And the Greek debt negotiations will continue (timeline below).

So it’s going to be volatile. Will update daily.

Also, here’s a very useful EU CRISIS ROADMAP Friday, which is a market worry list timeline that runs through April 30. Here’s an excerpt of Greek bailout issues leading up to March 20, when they have EUR 14.4b in bonds maturing. Link to full list below.

–Monday, March 5: Euro-zone February services PMI data. ISDA ruling on Greek CDS due by this date.

-Tuesday, March 6: Revised EU fourth-quarter GDP growth data.

-Wednesday, March 7: German bond auction.

-Thursday, March 8: European Central Bank interest rate decision and press conference. German January industrial production data. Last day for banks to sign up in Greek PSI offer.

-Friday, March 9: Euro-zone finance ministers may hold conference call to sign off on Greek bailout.

-Monday, March 12: Euro-zone finance ministers meet. Greece aims to complete PSI by this date.

-Tuesday, March 13: German March ZEW economic sentiment indicator. Italian and Greek T-bill auctions. International Monetary Fund board likely to discuss participation in Greek bailout.

-Wednesday, March 14: Italian bond auction.

-Thursday, March 15: Spanish and French bond auctions.

-Tuesday, March 20: EUR14.4 billion of Greek government bonds mature. Spanish and Greek T-bill auctions. Euro-zone finance ministers expected to hold talks on the region’s bailout funds.