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  • When 8.5% Is Really 15.6%!

    In This Issue..

    * Job Losses Continue To Mount!
    * Currencies rally on the day...
    * Shhhhh! The Gov't wants to keep this quiet....
    * Richard Russell...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! OK, it's Opening Day here in St. Louis, so traditionally I bring this to you on Opening Day... Beat the drum, and hold the phone, the sun came out today, we're born again, there's new grass on the field... A-rounded third, and headed for home, it's a brown eyed handsome man, anyone can understand the way I feel.....

    Yes, baseball freaks like me, believe we're born again every spring on Opening Day, for before that first pitch is thrown, everyone is in first place!...
  • Geithner tanks the dollar, but then pushes it back up...

    In This Issue..

    * Geithner sends the dollar on a thrill ride...
    * A failed UK gilt auction...
    * China set to recover first...
    * AUD and NZD rally again...

    Good day... The currency markets took back what little strength the dollar mustered over the past two days with the Euro moving back above popping back above 1.36 and the Australian dollar moving back up over .70. The cause for this dollar weakness? Data released in the US yesterday was surprisingly strong again, so investors dumped the 'safe haven' holdings of Treasuries and moved money back into higher yielding investments.

    At one point yesterday the dollar index dropped precipitously (more than 1.5% in less than 10 minutes), and then bounced back up within a half hour. Jennifer McLean, who takes care of our currency trading while Chuck is away from the desk, said the sudden moves were due to Treasury Secretary Geithner's comments. Apparently Geithner was asked about China's call for a new international reserve currency yesterday at a NY event. He said that while he hadn't read the proposal, he understood it as a plan 'designed to increase the use of the IMF's special drawing rights. And we're actually quite open to that.' After hearing those words, currency traders immediately starting selling off the dollar. After all, if the Treasury Secretary of the US says the administration is open to a new international reserve currency, why do you want to hold dollars? I guess Geithner got wind of what he had done to the currency markets pretty quickly (the power of Blackberries!) and 15 minutes later he clarified his comments to say the US dollar should remain as the world's reserve currency....
  • A Horrific Jobs Report!

    * 651K jobs lost in Feb... * Dec. and Jan Job losses revised up... * Talking Norway, Canada, Australia... * Brazil stealthlike for 3 months... ** A Horrific Jobs Report! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! A wonderful weekend here in St. Louis, a taste of spring was in the air. I got to spend some time with some of my closest friends on Friday night, a good time was had by all! Well... Our Fantastico Friday was interrupted by that horrific Jobs Jamboree number that printed Friday morning... 651K jobs were lost in February, which let me remind you is a couple of days shorter than other months. So, it could have been worse! Hard to believe that could be the case, but it's true. The unemployment rate rose to 8.1%, from 7.6% in January. The jobless rate is the highest since 1983. The economy has now shed 4.4 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, with almost half of those losses occurring in the last three months alone....
  • Data shows just how bad things are...

    * Data shows just how bad things are... * Trade deficits narrow... * EU confirms they are in a recession... * RBA intervening again... ** Data shows just how bad things are... Good day... Chuck asked me to go ahead and write the Pfennig this morning, but I got a late start, so this one will be short. We finally had some data releases here in the US which look to steer the markets, so I'll just get right to it. The dollar continued to strengthen yesterday after another round of bad weekly employment figures. Initial jobless claims increased to 516k during the first week of November, and last weeks numbers were revised up to 484k. The employment picture continues to darken here in the US, and it doesn't look like it will improve any time soon. This is just what the US consumers don't need right now. Not only are most consumers living paycheck to paycheck, but now many of those paychecks are being ripped out of their hands....
  • The Day After...

    * I want change too! * Euro leads a currency rally! * Factory Orders plunge! * Carry Trades back on the table! ** The Day After... Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! The day after... The day after all the election ads ended... What a beautiful day it is! Well, in January we'll have a new president, one that had a call to "change"... I sure hope we can change... The problem is what I want changed hasn't been on any candidate's agenda... That's because, as the Big Boss Frank Trotter so eloquently said the other day when I complained about the lack of talk on this subject, "They can't get elected if they talk about that"... The "that" is simply the national debt, and how we'll deal with it as the baby boomers begin to draw on their entitlement programs... I think people now like to "live for today, and not worry about tomorrow" and that's a real shame. As I said a month or so ago... I'm going to have to sit down and write a letter to my sweetheart granddaughter, Delaney Grace, and apologize to her for leaving her generation with a debt load that requires a huge tax burden that her grand father didn't have, and a loss of freedoms, and life style, that her grand father had......
  • The Deed Is Done...

    * Adding $700 Billion to our debt... * U.S. loses 159K jobs in September! * Dollar rallies to 13-month high VS euro * Ding Dong the Carry Trade is Dead... ** The Deed Is Done... Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! The deed is done... The House, which had previously voted down the Bailout Package, decided to go ahead and put the country in debt by another $700 Billion... Yes, I know it the payouts will be in installments, but in my mind it was in one swoop that $700 Billion was added to our debt... And guess what? The dollar rallied on the news! More on the Bailout Package in a minute... The other thing happened on Friday was the awful Job Jamboree in which 159K jobs were reported lost by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) during September. The job losses were all over the place led by job losses in Manufacturing. And guess what? The dollar rallied on the news!...
  • What's Up With The Loonie?

    * Euro trading pattern... * Sterling backs off... * Data cupboard gets restocked... * Rupees disappoint... **What's Up With The Loonie? Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! I hit all my traffic lights on green this morning, so it's going to be a "good day"! Funny how little things like that put a smile on my face... OK... Another day of watching the euro rise up to 1.5815 and then see it get sold back below the 1.58 figure when the NY boys arrive at their desks. The pattern for the first two days this week has seen that selling in the morning, and then a slow rise in the afternoon, and then back over 1.58 in the overnight markets. That's where we are again this morning......
  • A Fantastico Friday!

    * Exiting Home Sales... * Chart talks... * A good week for Aussie! * Inflation talk......
  • Aussie Trade Deficit Narrows!

    * More Jobs data and talk... * Currencies see some healing... * RBA leaves rates unchanged... * The cows are out of the barn!...
  • A Jobs Jamboree!

    * More dollar strength... * What's going on here? A strong Aussie Retail Sales... * The Demise of the Dollar II!...
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  • Jobs Fall 80,000!

    * Labor picture looks awful... * Does this look like a recession now? * Aussie Trade Deficit widens... * China about to trade with a 6!...