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  • Consumer Spending Drives GDP?

    In This Issue..

    * Dollar rebounds after spending fades...
    * Chinese Manufacturing rises...
    * Eurozone Manufacturing rises...
    * Australia as the proxy for global growth...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! And Welcome to November! My least liked month! But that's a story for another time! I hope your Halloween was fun! The rain stopped here, there was a near full moon shining in the sky, and the little kids had a blast! And Hey! The Rams won a football game! WOW!

    OK... Well... Friday was a blur to me, as I went to the doctor's office for a test, and then on my way to work, they called my cell and asked me to turn around and go to a lab for more tests... UGH! So, by the time I got to work, Jennifer had set everything up and begun trading for me... Then it was time to go home! So, I'm sitting here this morning, scratching my bald head trying to recall the currency prices on Friday... And Oh yeah! Now I remember! Do you recall the Thursday action after the GDP report showed such strength (whether you believe it or not) and the dollar got sold like pet rocks?...
  • Risk aversion disappears again...

    In This Issue..

    * Risk aversion has left the building...
    * CIT survives without Fed help...
    * SNB tries to fight the markets...
    * Light week for US data...

    Good day... We had just an amazing weekend of weather here in St. Louis, and this morning is shaping up to be another beautiful day. Friday turned out to be a beautiful day for those who have taken our advice and diversified their holdings out of the dollar. Risk aversion was placed on the back burner again, and investors moved money back out of the dollar into higher yielding currencies. The dollar and yen got sold but all other currencies rallied, and investors also turned back toward gold pushing the metal above $950 for the first time in over a month.

    So what caused all of this confidence? First, the housing data released Friday morning in the US showed a slight pick up in both building permits and housing starts. While the housing markets have a long way to go, the data have given investors an indication that construction may have found a bottom. Not to throw cold water on investors confidence in the building numbers, but while the residential market may be bottoming out, the commercial market continues to tumble. I spoke to a good friend over the weekend who is a commercial real estate developer down in Memphis. He told me that his development pipeline has completely dried up, and even the brokerage side of his business has slowed. The only part of his business which has picked up is the marketing of foreclosed properties. He has shifted his concentration to helping banks and lenders 'work out' of commercial projects which they have taken back onto their books. The economy has kept most companies from opening new stores, and many continue to shut down under performing ones. My good friend tells me most of the people he talks to don't believe the commercial real estate market will turn around until the end of next year. Not good news for the banks who are still reeling from the residential real estate bust....
  • Risk aversion returns…

    In This Issue..

    * Risk Aversion returns...
    * Money Multiplier dampens stimulus effects...
    * TIC flows show concern of foreign investors...
    * China back on growth track...

    Good day... Chuck got an early start on a two week hiatus from the desk, so you will be stuck with me writing the Pfennig for the next two weeks. But don't worry, you will still get a small dose of Chuck over the next week as he typically emails me his thoughts while on the road (I call it Pfennig Pfodder). Risk aversion dominated the currency markets overnight, as terrorists set off two separate explosions in Jakarta and investors moved money back into the 'safe havens' of the US$ and Japanese yen.

    Chuck wrote about this move yesterday, believing the bad news regarding CIT would probably cause a risk reversal. But the US stock market shook off the CIT news and rallied higher after a big earnings report by JP Morgan and a somewhat positive statement by Nouriel Roubini. Roubini, the New York University economist who is credited with predicting the financial crisis, said in a speech yesterday that the US economy might be close to the bottom. The stock jockeys took this statement along with the positive earnings reports and ran stocks up. But Roubini later tried to caution these bulls against reading too much into his statement, and reminded everyone that he has not changed his thoughts on a US recovery: 'I continue to see a shallow, below par and below trend recovery.'...
  • Feds Say NO To CIT...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies have strong day...
    * What are the qualifications?
    * JP Morgan posts 36% increase in earnings...
    * RBA attempts to keep A$'s in check...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! The first day this week that I've gotten up and to work at my normal time. I hit the wall yesterday afternoon, went home, watched about 10 minutes of the Wizard of Oz (my all-time fave movie) with granddaughter Delaney Grace, and then went to sleep! Crazy, I know, but when you hit the wall, you hit the wall!

    Yesterday was a strong day in the currencies. I wrote yesterday about how the euro was inching toward 1.41, but the level had been a tough row to hoe, with the euro giving back ground each time it went higher than 1.41... And... That was the case yesterday! The euro did trade higher than 1.41. It was 1.4120 when I left the office! But, as I turn on the screens this morning, the single unit has fallen below the 1.41 figure......