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  • Another day for the currencies...

    * Disappointing data...
    * Euro held ground...
    * Down under...

    Another day for the currencies...

    Good day...And a Terrific Tuesday to you. Another Monday morning has come and gone but not before confirming the US economy is still heading down the wrong side of the slippery slope. The uneventful trading day from Friday certainly didn't carry over as we saw a sizeable run up in currencies along with equities during the morning session. As the day progressed, the equity markets shed their gains but most of the currencies remained resilient and held on. I guess I'll stop beating around the bush and get right to it...

    It seems that Bernanke's calming approach during his interview with 60 Minutes gave investors the feeling that we are not as bad off saying the risk of a depression has been averted. He went on to say if the government succeeds in calming financial markets, the recession will probably end this year and the economy will expand in 2010....
  • A Eurozone Bond To Compete With Treasuries?

    * The euro gets some wind in its sails... * Citigroup is seeking more bailout funds? * Gold hits $1,000! * The ghost of Humphrey-Hawkins... ** A Eurozone Bond To Compete With Treasuries? Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Sure seems as though I went from Friday to Monday, as I went out of town this past weekend, and before I knew it, I was driving to work this morning! UGH! There was a rumor on Friday that really sent the euro higher, and there was another rumor this past weekend about the Asian currencies... So... Let's look at those two items and more of course, as we begin the last week of February!...
  • Talking Stimulus...

    * A very tight range for currencies... * RBA cuts rates to historic low! * Spending that doesn't create jobs... * Gold see profit taking... ** Talking Stimulus... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! On the road again, I just can't wait to get on the road again... Yes, all my bags are packed and I'm ready to go! Won't be back until late Saturday night, and back in the saddle next Monday. And I'm leaving just in time, as yet another cold front has moved into St. Louis! UGH! Well... Let's see... What to talk about today? I could talk about the Aussie rate cut and stimulus package... I could talk about the "new and improved" stimulus package and all the "non-stimulus spending attached to it... I could talk about how it sure seems as though the euro, and then the other currencies, are taking their cues to rally from equities... Now, this is certainly a short term phenomenon because we all know that currencies have different pricing mechanisms than stocks, and a very low correlation to stocks, which is why they make excellent diversification assets, along with Gold and Silver....
  • The Dollar Swings A Mighty Big Hammer!

    * Another dollar rally.... * Rumors in Ireland... * Trade Deficit narrows... * Retail Sales to disappoint? ** The Dollar Swings A Mighty Hammer! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! I'm writing from home today, as I will not be in the office on this wonderful Wednesday. Writing from home, or the road, always presents problems for me, as I'm so used to being in the "saddle" at my desk, and having information all around me. But, my little work desk at home has some of those amenities... So, what the heck, quit your grumpiness, and get to writing, Chuck! The dollar ripped through the 1.32 handle of the euro yesterday, like a hot knife goes through butter! There was little to no resistance in that 1.32 handle, and before you could tell one of the many people on the desk here that sneeze all day, God Bless you, we were trading with a 1.31 handle in euros. The talk about a European Central Bank (ECB) rate cut has really ramped up this week, and taken its toll on the single unit. No one is mentioning that even if the ECB cuts 75 BPS this week, they'll still have a an interest rate / yield advantage over the U.S! I guess they'll sort that all out somewhere down the line, eh?...
  • Risk Aversion Reigns Supreme!

    * Currencies under dollar pressure * How strong can yen get? * TARP... * ECB rate questions... ** Risk Aversion Reigns Supreme! Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! I'm draggin' the line this morning, but will get through this with my usual you know what and vinegar! The euro is trading at a one month low this morning, and the high yielders are getting stepped on again after enjoying a month a risk taking in the sun. That about explains everything, so I'll go the Big Finish now... Gotcha! Let's see what else is up on this cold and blustery Terrific Tuesday... So... It looks as though Risk Aversion is reigning supreme once again. I just don't buy into the dollar being the "safe haven" with all that's going on here. But, that's the way it is, and I can't change it. On a side bar, I used to have a customer that was convinced that I could move the markets with the Pfennig... I always thanked him for his complimentary remarks, but would hang up and have a chuckle, as IF I could change the way things are with my simple, humble little newsletter!...
  • Fed brings rates down to near zero...

    * The Fed fires its last bullet... * Euro breaks back above $1.40... * AUD and NZD rally... * Happy Birthday Jen... ** Fed brings rates down to near zero... Good day... The 'noise' from the street which I wrote about yesterday turned out to be correct, as the FOMC cut 75 basis points to put the Fed Funds target at .25%. The US now has the lowest interest rates in the industrialized world, even below those in Japan. The dollar lost ground quickly after the announcement and continued to fall overnight to a 13 year low vs the yen and the weakest vs. the Euro in 4 months. With both Chuck and Frank out of the office, I fielded the calls from reporters after the FOMC cut, and the most popular question asked was what the near zero interest rates would mean for the man on the street. Well it was great news for those on Wall Street, but I told the reporters that the rate cut really wouldn't have much of an impact on US consumers. After all, interest rates at 1% weren't stimulating the banks to start lending so why would .25% rates cause any change?...
  • Waiting on the FOMC meeting...

    * FOMC to cut further... * Bernanke turns his back on inflation... * Kiwi and Australia rally... * Gold continues to shine... ** Waiting on the FOMC meeting... Good day...and welcome to another week, hopefully the currency markets can continue their assault on the dollar which began a few weeks ago. The dollar index peaked back on November 21, and with the exception of a few days around the beginning of December, the greenback has consistently fallen vs. most of the major currencies. Friday was no exception, and the dollar continued to give back gains over the weekend with the Euro climbing back over $1.35 for the first time in two months....
  • A HUGE Currency Rally!

    * Another currency rally.... * SNB cuts another 50 BPS! * Budget Deficit continues to widen! * Treasury yields go south for the winter! ** A HUGE Currency Rally! Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It's been quite the rally this week in the currencies led by the euro, which is like old times, eh? The Big Dog on the porch finally gets to stretch its legs and chase the dollar down the street! It's been a long time since we've seen this go on for more than a day. Yes, we've seen one day spikes, and even two day rallies turn into false dawns, but this one has lasted about a week now. Ever since last Friday's awful Jobs Jamboree, the tide has turned, and the Trading Theme that has held the currencies in a full nelson since the end of July, could very well be on the way out the door. I said that about the Trading Theme earlier this week, so I just wanted to repeat that to emphasize the point!...
  • Spending More Money...

    * Turn back the clocks to 1950... * Currencies rally on the day... * Bank of Canada to cut rates today... * Fed Funds to zero? ** Spending More Money... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! It's raining like cats and dogs outside, and that rain is supposed to turn to snow tonight, so we've got that going for us! Always love that rain to snow bit, as it puts a nice layer of ice under the snow! Well... It looks like the new president wants to spend more money... Yes, President-elect Obama, presented his economic plan yesterday, and before doing so, issued a warning that the economy is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. His plan calls for a pledge to spend the most on infrastructure since the 1950's... Now, let me say this... The Big Boss, Frank Trotter, and I talk about this all the time... To spend money on Financial Institutions and things that don't get used more than once like bullets and bombs, isn't our "fave" way to spend money... But building something that could be used over and over again, well, that makes sense... However, this spending could be coming at the absolute most awful timing, as the Deficits are exploding in front of our eyes, and it certainly isn't as appealing as watching the fireworks display in Vancouver!...
  • Citi Gets More "Gov't Money"...

    * Bailout fuels a rally... * How long the rally last? * A slew of data today... * Thoughts from Jim Rogers... ** Citi Gets More "Gov't Money"... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Now that was quite the Investment Conference I just attended and gave two presentations to! Someone sent me a headline that appeared on the internet prior to the Conference that read: Three Kings of the Financial World on Tap to Speak for the Next WMI M2... And guess what? They considered me as one of those in the headline! WOW! OK, no... I'm not getting a big head, I've got my beautiful bride to keep me humble. She responded to hearing about this article with a heaping helping of, "OK King, take out the trash!" HAHAHAHAHAHA! OK... Chris left me some notes about the currency markets yesterday, so let's listen in to what Chris had to say, since he was here, and I was driving an hour to the airport in Fort Meyers, flying, and driving home yesterday. Herrrrreeee's Johnny! I mean Chris!...
  • Obama picks his economic team...

    * Obama picks his economic team... * Nordic currencies rise... * US floods market with dollars... * China looks to keep growth at 8%... ** Obama picks his economic team... Good day... Hope everyone had a great weekend, mine sure was. We had a fun time Friday night bowling and playing pool at our Xmas party. Unfortunately Chuck wasn't able to attend, as he was down in Florida speaking at a Wealth Masters Conference. He will be heading back into St. Louis today, and will be back in the saddle tomorrow morning for what will be a short week. The big news over the weekend was the unveiling of President elect Obama's economic team. Obama has picked Timothy Geithner, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, to be his Treasury secretary, and former Treasury chief Lawrence Summers will be White House economic director. Obama is also likely to nominate New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as Commerce Secretary. Geithner has had a primary role in the Federal Reserve's attempt to steer Wall Street through the current financial tsunami. He also oversees most of the Fed's special lending programs set up this year to channel more than $1 trillion to banks and other financial institutions....
  • TARP Testimony Today...

    * What will Paulson say? * Dollar remains well bid... * How long for Safe Haven buyers? * G-20 Schmee 20! ** TARP Testimony Today... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! I've been away for a few days to deal with something, I want to thank Chris once again for taking the conn on the Pfennig since last Thursday. He'll get it again at the end of this week and the beginning of next week, as I hope to get to Marco Island for the Wealth Masters Conference. Well... Nothing has changed since I left you last Wednesday. The awful economic data just keeps piling on, and the dollar gets bid up on safe haven purchases. We did see the Eurozone and Japan announce that they are in a recession... Chris was kind enough to leave me the following, so here's some more Chris.......
  • The Junk Yard Dog Bites!

    * The dollar rallies big time! * A dollar conspiracy? * Bailing out the automakers? * Weathering the storm in N.Z.? ** The Junk Yard Dog Bites! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, the Junk Yard Dog got a hold of the euro yesterday, and even though the U.S. Banks, thus the majority of currency desks, were observing Veteran's Day, the move down in currencies VS the dollar, led by the euro, was drastic! The Junk Yard Dog I'm talking about is Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the Euro group... I stopped the euro in its tracks from its nascent rise in the past month, by saying the "euro's recent rise was undesirable"... He also deep sixed the euro, and thus all the currencies save yen, by saying he "didn't see any reason there couldn't be more rate cuts by the ECB"... (the ECB is of course the European Central Bank) Well... These two comments tore through any gains the currencies had mounted VS the dollar in recent weeks, like a Junk Yard Dog tears though some raw meat! It was a knife to the euro's heart......
  • Heading Towards Zero...

    * Fed cuts rates 50 BPS! * Currencies rally Big! * 3rd QTR GDP to go negative? * I.O.U.S.A. ** Heading Towards Zero... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It certainly was a Tub Thumpin' Wednesday for the currencies, foreign stocks, commodities, and the Philadelphia Phillies! This by no means that the deep dense fog that has hung over the markets for 3 months has lifted for good... It did, however, lift for one day, and what a day it was! Oh, and the Fed did indeedly do cut their Fed Funds rate to 1%, which works out great since Fed Funds had been trading at 1% anyway! I had a reported from Dow Jones call me a few minutes after the rate cut and ask me my opinion on what the dollar was doing, which at the time was rallying back a bit... I said it looked like a classic case of buy the rumor sell the fact, that enough speculators were pushing the dollar lower ahead of the rate cut in hopes that a larger cut would be made. That, however, was not the case, and the dollar rallied... But only for about 20 minutes, and then it took a rid on the slippery slope, with the euro pushing to the 1.29 handle as I left for the day....
  • Bernanke looks to spend some more of our $...

    * Bernanke asks for more $... * Credit markets start to thaw... * Iceland may get help from the IMF... * Goldman sees value in some currencies... ** Bernanke looks to spend some more of our $... Good day... The dollar moved higher yesterday as Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urged Congress for another stimulus package. Yes, Bernanke wants to spend a few more of our taxpayer dollars to try and keep Wall Street afloat. "With the economy likely to be weak for several quarters, and with some risk of a protracted slowdown, consideration of a fiscal package by the Congress at this juncture seems appropriate," Bernanke told a congressional panel. Others at the Fed echoed Bernanke's gloomy outlook, saying that the global credit crisis will chill US economic growth well into next year. Bernanke is looking to Congress to send out additional stimulus checks in the hope that they will 'prime the pump' and get US consumers spending again. The govt. sent out about $100 billion in tax rebate checks over the summer to consumers, but consumer spending has struggled since then. Retail sales fell for three consecutive months through September. Bernanke says the moves to shore up the global financial systems seem to be working, but we now need to concentrate on getting the US economy growing again. "The stabilization of the financial system, though an essential first step, will not quickly eliminate the challenges still faced by the broader economy," he said. The FOMC which meets next week is expected to lower US interest rates to further stimulate the economy....