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  • Bad GDP numbers are overshadowed by a jump in housing...

    In This Issue..

    * GDP comes in lower, but is overshadowed by housing numbers...
    * IMF predicts debt problems for advanced economies...
    * French consumer spending falls...
    * Gold is cheap below $1,100...

    Good day...The currency markets were a bit more volatile yesterday, as we got some surprising data releases here in the US. But after the dust settled, the dollar closed out the day pretty much right where it had started vs. most of the major currencies. Gold and silver continued to slide, but the price of oil moved up a bit. Today we will get another big round of economic data, which could cause some more volatility in the markets.

    The driver of the currency markets yesterday was the economic releases here in the US. The morning started off with the Commerce Department's final reading of GDP for the 3rd quarter of 2009. The final figure showed an increase of just 2.2% for the third quarter, well below the consensus estimate of 2.8%. The report illustrates just how optimistic (and some feel unreasonably so) the folks at the Commerce department are. Their first estimate of 3rd quarter GDP was 3.5%, but after further evaluation they lowered that figure to 2.8% for their second estimate. And after a further review of the data, they settled on the 2.2% figure, a full 1.3% lower than their original estimate. This is a downward adjustment of close to 40%! I'm sure there wasn't any pressure on the Commerce dept to inflate the first couple of estimates....
  • UK data boosts the dollar...

    In This Issue..

    * UK data boosts the dollar...
    * US GDP falls further...
    * Norway cuts rates...
    * Big wins by MIZZOU and BLUES...

    Good day... I want to start this mornings Pfennig with a big congratulations to the MIZZOU Tigers who pulled off what most believed was an unlikely win over Memphis last night. What a game! They move on to the Elite Eight to play powerhouse UCONN on Saturday.

    The currency markets weren't as exciting as the basketball games yesterday, as the dollar held in a fairly tight range. The big move came in early morning trading as a report was released in the UK showing their economy's contraction was worse than previously thought. This news was GDP in the UK fell 1.6% in the 4th quarter of 2008 vs. the previous quarter. And the outlook presented by the Bank of England is not rosy. BOE Chief Economist Spencer Dale said this morning that the British economy's short term prospects are 'bleak'. Chuck has brought up the comparison between the UK and US economies several times, as the UK economy looks like mirror image (albeit smaller) of the US. The UK economy has been slightly ahead of the US in the race toward economic meltdown. Unfortunately the US Fed seems to be shadowing every move by the UK, cutting rates to near zero and then using 'quantitative easing' to force them down even further....
  • A New Year’s Jobs Jamboree Friday...

    * Will the ADP report be a good indicator? * China to slow treasury purchases? * Gold as a store of wealth... * Dealing with the devil... ** A Jobs Jamboree Friday... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday, as it is forecast to get to 50 degrees today here in St. Louis. Never mind that tomorrow's high will be 29! It doesn't take away from today! What a trading day in the currencies yesterday... Whew! It's a Jobs Jamboree Friday, so let's not beat around the bush... It's time to Jamboree! Today is the day the Gov't prints the December Jobs Jamboree, and if Wednesday's ADP report did what they said it was going to, and that is change their methodology to mirror the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) then this morning's Jobs Jamboree will be a nightmare. Of course not the kind of nightmare that the over 2.5 million people that lost jobs in 2008 had! I was once in those numbers, as our old Bank, Mark Twain Bank, was bought by a bigger bank, Mercantile Bank, and Mercantile decided after a few months to perform ethnic cleansing of Mark Twain employees... I called it "my retirement" but with a 3 year old at home and on my lap most of the day, "retirement" couldn't last too long! My point is that you don't know the emptiness and failure you feel when they show you the door... So my thoughts are always with those that lose their jobs......
  • Trillion Dollar Deficits For Years To Come...

    * CBO forecasts $1.2 Trillion Budget deficit! * And we can expect more! * ADP shows job losses mounting big time! * Brazil's real reverses course... ** Trillion Dollar Deficits For Years To Come... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! I had not realized it was Thursday until I began writing this morning! I had been buying breakfast sandwiches for the trading desk on Thursdays, and I'm sure a few people will be wondering what happened when there are no sandwiches this morning... I simply lost track of the days! UGH! Well... There are two major things on the docket for the front and center piece today, both tell us a lot, but I think I'm going to go with the announcement of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) yesterday afternoon as the lead story, and the ADP jobs report as the second story... So, let's go to the tape!...
  • Another Jobs Jamboree Friday!

    * A zero rate conspiracy? * Weekly jobless claims head toward 500K... * Turning Japanese... I really think so! * Mr. Yen speaks! ** Jobs Jamboree Friday! Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! I hope it turns into a Fantastico Friday, because it's not starting out that way. Technical difficulties would be the term used to describe my morning so far... I don't know if the Pfennig will go out on time this morning, as those "technical difficulties" have me working offline right now. But we'll see, eh? Well, it's a Jobs Jamboree Friday too! This should be quite the Jobs Jamboree too, as the ADP Employment report suggested the other day that this data could be even worse than the forecast -200K job losses for October. There have been more job losses in 2008, than you can shake a stick at, but yet the beat goes on for the dollar. Coming To America is the theme playing out in the currencies... Of which, I've explained over and over again, until I sound like a broken record....