Mortgage performance was mixed last week. The sector lagged ahead of new Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's appearance before the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday on concerns of how his remarks could impact interest rates and the shape of the curve. His remarks, however, provided no shocks and buying picked up Wednesday within minutes of his appearance.

Technicals, meanwhile, continue to be a dominant theme in the mortgage arena. Originator selling remains under $1 billion per day on average with supply focused in 5.5s and 6s. There has been fairly steady demand from domestic investors, both real and fast. Overseas, however, has been a disappointment despite the higher yield levels with limited forays since returning from the week-long Chinese New Year holiday in early February.

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