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  • FOMC keeps rates low...

    In This Issue..

    * FOMC keeps rates low...
    * Carry trade is back on...
    * Senators try to legislate a higher renminbi...
    * An Irish toast...

    Top of the mornin to ye... Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of the Irish readers, and all of those who are Irish for the day! Both Chuck and I have pretty deep Irish roots, and St. Patrick's Day is always one of our favorites. Chuck will be spending the day enjoying baseball in the sunshine of Florida; and I will be heading to Florida myself later today. Speaking of which, I have to catch a plane in a couple of hours, so I better get going on today's Pfennig.

    ...
  • Good news for housing is bad news for the dollar...

    In This Issue..

    * Home sales increase most in eight years...
    * Euro boosted by confidence...
    * Geitner sells the Chinese...
    * Carry trades back in vogue...

    The dollar lost more ground on Monday, but the reasons were different than those that caused last week's slow decline. Currency traders sold the dollar after a report showed sales of new homes rose the most in eight years. New-home sales in the US climbed 11% last month to a 384,000 annual pace. This was substantially higher than economists had forecast, and the most since November. The report also showed the number of houses on the market dropped to the lowest level in more than a decade. The housing numbers seem to confirm that the housing market may be approaching a bottom, but housing prices continue to fall, and more data is needed before I'm convinced the worst is over. Many of these homes have been sold to first time homebuyers taking advantage of government programs; and if unemployment continues to climb, housing sales are not likely to rise quickly....
  • A Lost Decade?

    In This Issue..

    * An Up and Down day for currencies...
    * Jobs Jamboree moves to Thursday today...
    * China to buy more Gold!
    * Sweden cuts rates!

    Good day... And a Thankful Thursday to you! I'm reminded that we all need to be thankful for the patriots that led this country to victory and thus our freedom. The freedom for me to write a letter like this, each day, that allows me to say what I want to say (well, with the governor of the legal beagles of course!). And since this weekend we will celebrate our Independence, I thought this to be a good time to have a Thankful Thursday!

    Patriots... You know, the ending story for those 56 Patriots that signed the Declaration of Independence is not a happy story... So, when we learn of their collective fates, we realize that freedom does not come free......
  • Carry trades unwind...

    In This Issue..

    * Carry trades unwind...
    * Euro zone GDP falls...
    * Will TIC flows be enough??
    * Aussie dollar predicted to outperform...

    Good day...Chuck handed me the Pfennig this morning, as I took an early flight home yesterday and he got back to St. Louis much later than I did. The Las Vegas Money Show went well, as Chuck packed the presentation rooms with investors looking to learn more about investing in Gold and currencies. Attendance seemed like it was down a bit, but we stayed busy at the booth with investors looking for diversification. We also got to see a number of 'old friends' who stopped by the booth to say hi. All in all it was a good three days, but as always, it is good to get home and back into the routine.

    The currency markets fell back into their established routine also, as fear drove investors out of riskier assets and back into the US$. We saw a general reversal of the carry trade, with the Japanese yen the only major currency which appreciated vs. the US$. As Chuck pointed out last week, investors feeling more confident about the global economy, dusted off their carry trades which had made them good money over the past few years. But traders are still a bit skittish, and move back out of these leveraged trades at the first sign of trouble in the global economy....
  • China Announces A Stimulus Plan...

    * China to grow 8%? * An end for Mark-to-markets? * What will the ECB do today? * Gold at a discount.... ** China Announces A Stimulus Plan... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It's a Tub Thumpin' Thursday, because I woke up to see that my beloved Missouri Tigers had beaten #3 ranked Oklahoma last night! YAHOO! I had to hit the sack at half-time, so the outcome was in question when I went to bed. Great stuff! This was HUGE after being not ready for prime-time last Sunday against Kansas... Be gone you demons! You monkeys on our backs too! We just beat OU! Whew! A poet and I didn't know it! Well... We have the Bank of England (BOE) and the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting today. Look for rate cuts from both of them, as recessions are deepening in both camps. The BOE doesn't have many arrows in their quiver, while the ECB has held some in reserve. I doubt the ECB would go for a "huge honkin'" rate cut today, as they are normally more stick in the mud thinking... The BOE will probably move rates nearer to zero......
  • 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!...
  • The Worst Jobs Report Since 1974!

    * Will -533K turn to -600K? * A glimmer of light brings back risk takers... * Another week of data... * Fedspeak today... ** The Worst Jobs Report Since 1974! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! What a Whirlwind Weekend for your truly, as it came and went, I did a ton of stuff, but no rest, and this morning, I was reminded that I had not gotten any rest! UGH! But! It was all fun! A great time in Jacksonville at the Headquarters' version of a Holiday Party... It was great to see the folks there that I know. OK... Did you see the rot on labor's vine Friday? The Jobs Jamboree was very unkind to many, with a 533K jobs lost in November. That number was the worst figure since 1974! The tally of 1.9 million jobs lost this year surpasses the losses of the past two recessions, and according to the Wall Street Journal, signals that the current downturn could be the worst since the years immediately following World War II....
  • Veteran's Day

    * The China good feeling dissipates... * Currencies lose their edge... * Fannie Mae needs more! * Silver manipulation? ** Veteran's Day Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! A Veteran's Day Tuesday! This is a Banking and Federal Holiday today, so the bricks and mortar banks are closed, and there will be no mail delivery, and of course your friendly neighborhood Government worker gets the day off. I'm here, in the saddle, writing the Pfennig like it's a regular work day, and the boys and girls will begin to gather in about 2 1/2 hours from now. We'll get all caught up, return some calls and head home today. Veteran's Day... I thought I would begin today with a snippet of a Veteran's Day poem by Jared Jenkins......
  • Govt to follow Buffet's lead...

    * Govt to follow Buffet's lead... * Aussie $ has biggest gain ever... * Yen reverses on carry trades... * China's currency reserves rise... Good day...And what a day it was! As I stated in yesterday's Pfennig, Columbus day is just sort of a holiday for the markets. These 'semi-holidays' can create some volatile trading, as not all of the markets are open and many desks are short staffed. So with the Federal Reserve and the banking system closed, the equity markets had the largest one day gain in over seven decades. I guess the stock jockeys figured they weren't going to get any bad news out of the credit markets, which were closed, so no news is good news!! The rally was certainly welcomed, and hopefully some of the gains will stick today as we return to a normal trading environment. And I guess some of the credit for the stock rally has to go to finance ministers around the globe who finally agreed on a plan which seems to be able to work. The leaders of a majority of the worlds largest economies borrowed a page from Warren Buffet's playbook and decided to invest directly into some of their largest financial institutions. The Bush administration announced it would invest $125 billion in nine of the biggest US banks. The US move came after France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and Austria committed $1.8 trillion to guarantee interbank loans and take equity stakes in European banks....
  • Paulson and Bernanke ride to the rescue...

    * Paulson and Bernanke ride to the rescue... * More debt for the US taxpayer... * Emerging markets rally... * Congrats to EverBank Soccer Greats... ** Paulson and Bernanke ride to the rescue... Ahoy thar maties.. Yesterday was a very volatile day in what has become an incredibly choppy week. The currency and metals markets began the day rallying vs. the dollar as it seemed yet another huge financial firm was circling the bowl. But late in the afternoon the dollar came charging back, and gold fell back below $850 after surpassing $900, ARRGH! So what caused this quick reversal? Senator Schumer was credited with turning the markets around. He announced, mid afternoon, that the Federal Reserve and Treasury were going to create a new government institution which would purchase all of the toxic debt instruments being held by Wall Street. Wall Street obviously thought this was just a fantastic idea, and the stock market immediately rallied, taking the dollar with it. The details of the plan still aren't available, but the markets have been desperately searching for a hero to come and rescue them, so even the hint of a rescue was enough to shoot stocks back up. The proposal currently being discussed in congress involves moving troubled assets from the balance sheets of American financial companies into a new government backed institution. The SEC also instituted a ban on short selling of financial stocks, copying a similar ban which was instituted yesterday in London. Chuck had a travel day yesterday as the FXU moved from San Diego to Dallas, but he was keeping an eye on the markets and sent me this last night....
  • Another Government Bailout!

    * Fannie & Freddie news... * Jobs Jamboree very disappointing! * Risk Taking back on the board! * Troubles brewing in China? ** Another Government Bailout! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! We had some historic economic news over the weekend as the Gov't has decided to take over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae... When I heard the news, I made sure I would check on the currencies later in the day when the Asian markets opened. At first, it was all dollar negative news, and the euro was flying high to near the 1.44 handle... So... I went to bed thinking that the markets would be a shambles this morning when I got to work, etc. etc. But, that's not the case, as I turned on the currency screens I saw the euro had lost all that ground it had gained and is back to looking sickly around 1.42 again. In fact, I just looked over, and the single unit has given up the 1.42 handle and is trading below... I'm searching and searching for news on this strong dollar move, and can't seem to find anything... So, I'll go on with the normal fun, and see if something pops up later as I go along......
  • Where There's Smoke...

    * Fed Head Yellen comes clean! * $75 Billion in Capital needed? * Another risk even? * Higher inflation for Brazil... ** Where There's Smoke... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! I'm writing from home today as I have to deal with a catalytic converter this morning before heading into work. Writing from home is always a challenge in that I don't have my trading screens going with news scrolling continuously... But... I carry on despite my challenges! The euro recovered a bit yesterday after last Thursday's tailspin... And the recovery was smack dab in the face of some weak economic news from Germany! Here's what got the euro going and moving up once again yesterday......
  • Removing Fed Rate Hike Bets...

    * The euro rallies 1-cent! * U.S Data continues to be a drag... * Canada's Carney underpins the loonie... * RBS issues a warning! **Removing Fed Rate Hike Bets... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! Looks like it could be a Fantastico Friday as traders are Finally coming around to Chuck's way of thinking regarding Fed rate hikes... And as traders remove their bets for aggressive Fed rate hikes, the luster begins to fade on the dollar rally. The meetings are over for this week (they start up again next week!), YAHOO! I get to spend the day on the trading desk... I've missed everyone! OK... Front and Center this morning, we have the euro trading 1-cent higher, knock, knock knocking on Heaven's Door, I mean, the 1.56 handle. As I said in the intro, it appears that traders don't have the stomach to hold on to their bets that the Fed will aggressively raise interest rates this year. Recall, the other day, I told you that the bets were ratcheting up and had reached 75 BPS of rate hikes this year... I doubt we have any... In fact, as I told you the other day too, I believe that when the dust settles on the fact that the Fed isn't going to raise rates, things will have gotten so bad here that the Fed will be entertaining thoughts of cutting rates again!...
  • More Bad Data For The U.S. Economy

    * Softer CPI? * Foreclosures on the rise... * Just wishing on a star... * Jim Rogers on a Wednesday!...
  • Back to the Days of Volcker...

    * Waiting on a 100 bps move... * Fed plays Whack a Mole... * Carry trade reverses... * China raises reserve ratios......