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Fisher hints taper lite; exchanges tepid call to action

Tuesday, 12 Nov 2013 | 10:04 AM ET
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Ten-year Treasury yields are moving toward 2.8 percent this morning, pressuring stocks. Dallas Federal Reserve president Richard Fisher, speaking on our air in Asia, said the Fed's balance sheet had become "bloated" and that bond buying "cannot go on forever."

He was clear, however, that slowing bond purchases down "doesn't mean we'll stop. We'll have less accommodation."

Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota wil speak at 1 PM ET; Ataltnat Fed President Dennis Lockhart will also speak at that time.

1) DR Horton, a home builder most known for first-time buyers., is having the problem several builders are having: they are doing OK on earnings but orders are disappointing.

Earnings are largely in-line, but orders were down 2 percent year over year and well below expectations...5,160 orders vs. consensus estimates of 5,819. That is a big miss. The cancellation rate increased to 31 percent, from 24 percent in the last quarter and 27 percent a year ago. They also appear to be willing to let orders walk away, rather than cut prices or offer more incentives.

2) The major stock exchanges jointly released a statement calling upon the Securities and Exchanges Commission to strengthen market infrastructure in the light of the NASDAQ's August 22nd trading snafu that shut down its market for most of that day.

While the statement says they have reached a "general agreement" on recommendations, the improvements suggested are very modest. They are agreeing to share "best practices" on updating technology procedures, have identified "pathways" to identify backup plans for "critical infrastructure," are reconciling rules on how to break trades that are erroneous.

Yet most disappointing of all, the group has made no progress on implementing a system-wide "kill switch" that would shut down exchanges--in whole or part--in the event of runaway trading programs or other technology glitches.

Mary Jo White is speaking at the SIFMA conference this morning. The SEC has been sitting on a new series of regulations, called Reg SCI, that would codify many procedures for testing and upgrading the exchanges' technology equipment.

The exchanges are opposed to national regulation, which they think are too burdensome, and would prefer to use "best practices" which are more loosely defined standards.

By CNBC's Bob Pisani

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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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