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  • Big Al Talks Deficit Financing...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies hold gained ground VS dollar...
    * Swiss franc really shines!
    * Japan borrows a line from the U.S....
    * The Labor problem grows...

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday, especially if you are a Los Angeles Lakers fan! Me? I've always been a fan of the Celtics, but since it's a long distance directory assistance relationship, it's not that big of a deal to me that they lost. When I was a kid, the Hawks were in St. Louis, and we won a championship, with Bob Pettit... OK, I was only 3... But my dad loved to talk about it!

    Well... We've had a day where the currencies gained VS the dollar, and then held their ground, for the most part... No profit taking, no debt crisis fears trading, just held their ground VS the dollar... Now, some would say... 'that's a sign that they've hit resistance and can't overtake it, which is not good for a rising asset'... But, me? Well, I would say, and will say... 'I find this to be refreshing. The last thing you want to see is an asset, which in this case is a currency like the euro, run up too much, too fast, for that WILL give the markets reason to sell. I prefer the slow gradual, stealth-like moves in currencies, so that they don't gain any attention, until the rally is well established.'

    ...
  • The Big Dog Gets Off The Porch!

    In This Issue..

    * Good Spanish auction fuels a euro rally...
    * SNB leaves out important words...
    * Deflation disappears in Switzerland...
    * U.S. Housing Starts drop -10%!

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! I was reading my friend David Galland's letter the other day, and learned that he, like me, was dealing with his wife being gone for the week... I think I have an advantage on him though, as he has little ones at home... My little buddy Alex, has been hanging out with his older brother, Andrew, so I've been... All by myself... (what a great song by Nilsson)

    OK... Yesterday, I told you how the currency rally had the brakes applied by a return to the European Debt Crisis focus... Yesterday's trading was different though. It was, as if, traders never heard that the U.S. and the IMF were putting together a line of credit for Spain, for they began marking up the euro, and selling dollars, as if it June of 2009! (you may recall that in June, last year, the dollar was on the slippery slope once again)...
  • Jobs Disappoint Again!

    In This Issue..

    * Euro falls below 1.20...
    * Did we have negative "real" job creation?
    * Canada's labor market is strong...
    * G-20 yields nothing...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! It was a wonderful jam-packed weekend for yours truly, and when the alarm went off this morning, I had a greater appreciation for 3-day weekends!

    Well... Friday, when I was signing off, I said that suddenly the currencies were getting sold... At that time, it looked as if it might be short-lived... But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This was an all-out assault on risk, folks... At when the dust settled in the early afternoon, the euro had fallen below 1.20, for the first time since 2005, and everything other currency was getting whacked too... For the first time all week though, Gold rallied......
  • A Jobs Jamboree Friday – 6/4/2010

    In This Issue..

    * Euro gets beaten down again...
    * Why should we do anything now?
    * Brazil keeping inflation away...
    * ADP says 55,000 jobs created in May...

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! I suspect this will end up being a Fantastico Friday, but right now, not so much... Today is the Big Jobs Jamboree, and the cable news stations are spinning it quite nicely. So nicely put that stock jockeys are believing the spin and running stock futures higher. I've got that to talk about today, and more debt stuff... Believe me dear reader, I wish I didn't have to talk about this debt stuff, but I feel as though me and a few of my friends are the only ones doing so, and I don't want you to become like the rest of the country and become 'comfortably numb' with the deficit figures!...
  • China's GDP Soars 10.7%!

    In This Issue..

    * China has strong 4th QTR growth...
    * Time to let the renminbi gain VS the dollar...
    * Debt Ceiling is getting raised $1.9 Trillion...
    * Russian Central Bank is buying loonies...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Another day of dollar strength, in this switch from risk assets to dollar denominated assets... Again, I question the mental giants behind all this, for the U.S. is what caused this problem... And now traders turn to the U.S.???? Oh well, sure seems like it would be different if I were in charge! Of course, a LOT of things would be different if I were in charge! But that's a discussion for another day!

    Yesterday's Pfennig could set a record for the length, I think! So, I promise I won't go that long today!

    Front and Center this morning, we have the news overnight from China that their 4th QTR GDP accelerated to the fastest level since 2007... Chinese GDP for the 4th QTR was +10.7%!!!!! Talk about 'nailing' that call! The annual figure for China comes in at +8.7%, but in reality, who cares about the 1st QTR, when in the 4th and most recent quarter, growth was kicking tail and taking names later! In addition, China posted a higher consumer inflation figure than expected at +2%... And Retail Sales in China soared 16.9%! WOW!...
  • It's A Risk Off Friday...

    In This Issue..

    * It's a Risk Off day!

    * Commodity Currencies get rocked...

    * Audit the Fed Bill moves along...

    * Just keep spending money we don't have!

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday in my books, as the people at the Retina Institute told me yesterday that the fluid on my eye was drying up, and almost completely gone. I told them I had not noticed any improvement in vision, and they said, 'at least it hasn't gotten worse!' And for that, I am quite thankful! So... With that news, I head into today, and believe it to be a Fantastico Friday!

    Well... In my hours on hours of waiting for the next person to look at my eye yesterday, (I think it was "train the eye doctor day" on Chuck's eye) I kept checking the currencies, and noticed that as the day went on, the non-dollar currencies were stronger, led by the Big Dog, euro... But then late last night, and I mean late last night, I checked them, and those gains had been wiped out...

    ...
  • 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.'...
  • Back To Risk Aversion Again!

    In This Issue..

    * Earnings reports begin this week...
    * Dollar, yen, francs get bought...
    * Medvedev shows off new coin!
    * A busy week!

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! A Home Run Derby Monday to boot! I have no Idea what's going on this morning, as I just woke up, and it's very late in the morning! I was very careful to set my alarm last night, and I've never been one of those people that hit the snooze button when it goes off, but here I am, waking up late... UGH!

    So... I'm writing from home, and then I'll shoot in to work... We're short handed this week, so, I'm sure everyone will be arriving to the office, not see my car, and be a little ticked... So, I've got a surprise for them, something they've never seen... Me come in late!...
  • 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 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!...