January housing data: Starts and permits and existing home sales are all a little softer than December data, likely in part due to the realization that the SS payroll tax increase hit, although December data was quite good in itself. January inflation data with PPI and CPI are both well within the Fed’s range so not likely to see much reaction. Thursday the February Philadelphia Fed business index is expected to show improvement, and it is February data that will draw attention. Wednesday at 2:00 the minutes from the 1/31 FOMC meeting will be released; recall when the December minutes were released there was talk within the group that the Fed was beginning to discuss possible plans on how to unwind the QEs when the time comes (certainly not likely anytime soon). The minutes will get a lot of attention and debate within markets.
The 10-year note yield is still hugging 2.00% levels while the US stock indexes are presently marking time with not much change last week. Talk still exists that the indexes may run to new all-time highs before any anticipated correction that even the most bullish are expecting. Interest rates are unlikely to decline unless equity markets slip and there is a momentary change in the bullish sentiment that presently dominates the stock market.