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  • House prices move up, but consumers still aren't confident...

    In This Issue..

    * House prices move up...
    * US consumers are worried...
    * Japanese retail sales drag...
    * Australian rates to rise...

    Good day... We finally had a bit of volatility in the currency markets yesterday, as conflicting data released in two separate reports moved the markets in opposite directions. The dollar started off the day drifting lower, as has been the pattern over the past 2 weeks. But during the late morning the dollar started gaining strength, and has barely paused its ascent overnight.

    Many of you probably heard the news reports that home prices finally rose during the month of May, and this is what had the dollar on the ropes yesterday morning. The S&P/CaseShiller Home Price Index reported that home prices in the US rose ever so slightly in May compared to April. But if we look at the annual figures, home prices are still down just over 17% across the country. Media outlets trumpeted this 'feel good' story with many economists declaring that housing has now turned a corner. This is a good sign, as prices have to stabilize before the housing sector can recover, but it is hard to get overly excited about a 17% drop YOY. The monthly figure rose just .5%, reflecting the first monthly gain since July 2006. Another report showed the share of homes sold as foreclosures or otherwise distressed properties fell to about 31% in June, down from a high of 50% seen earlier this year. With unemployment still creeping up, and the US consumer continuing to save instead of spend, I am going to need to see a couple of months of stabilized prices before I am convinced housing is turning the corner here in the US....
  • US leading indicators push higher...

    In This Issue..

    * US leading indicators push higher...
    * Labor department admits errors...
    * Ben Bernanke heads to the hill...
    * PIMCO suggests buying emerging markets...

    Good day... A quiet trading day to start the week off yesterday. As I turn on the computers this morning the dollar index is trading right at the level it was yesterday morning. The currencies were up a bit through most of Monday's trading day, but the dollar came back in Asian trading leaving us right about back where we started.

    The only data released yesterday was the index of US leading indicators which rose slightly in June for a third consecutive month. The numbers gave a bit of hope for all of the bulls, with many exclaiming that the US economy has turned a corner and the recession has ended. I am not so sure, as rising unemployment and continued weakness in the housing market will likely hold any recovery back....
  • Frightened investors move back into US treasuries.....

    In This Issue..

    * Jobs data skewed by 'seasonal adjustments'...
    * BOE surprises the market...
    * Oil falls below $60...
    * China's reserves continue to grow...

    Good day...Chuck has a bevy of doctor's appointments today, so he decided to let me take over the Pfennig. Unfortunately it will go out a little later than usual, as I always struggle to get all of my thoughts together so early in the morning. Its not that I come in late (I was here two hours before everyone else) but it just takes me much longer than Chuck to get it all on paper. But enough of the excuses, I've got to get writing.

    Weekly jobless claims released in the US yesterday morning fell below 600k for the first time since January but the continuing claims continue to rise, hitting another record. The slight improvement in the weekly numbers was distorted by the automotive sector. Car companies typically shut down plants in early July in order to change over to the new model year. Bankruptcy forced many of these plants to shut down much earlier than normal, and some temporarily started up production again during the past few weeks....
  • Desperately Seeking Yield...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rally...
    * More on the BRIC's...
    * New Zealand's GDP contracts..
    * Bernanke gets grilled!

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! The end of what seemed to be a very long week... The last weekend in June, can you believe that? Next week, we'll be getting ready for the 4th of July celebrations! WOW!

    Well... What a volatile week it has been in the currencies! Up, down, all around, and settling back to levels that we saw before the Fed's FOMC meeting earlier this week. Suddenly, investors are looking for yield again... Looks like they are "Desperately Seeking (not Susan) Yield! And why not? The Fed, and the Bank of Canada (BOC) have come out and said that there will be no interest rate hikes until we've turned quite a few pages on the 2010 calendar....
  • The ECB Clash Over Policy Again...

    In This Issue..

    * Initial Jobless Claims rise...
    * PPI does too!
    * Euros get hung out on a line...
    * Gold makes a comeback!

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! It may not be Thunderin' where you are, but apparently it was yesterday in my little river town, as I heard we had some shingles blow off... And... It certainly is Thunderin' over in the Eurozone this morning, I'll tell you why in a minute. So, let's get going don't want to get caught in any of that Thunder!

    I finished the last of my 3 presentations yesterday, and called it quits, as far as walking back and forth to the Conference Center. They'll just have to do without me at the booth! But the presentation was good, I think, and I made some very important points. None of which, were brand new to Pfennig readers!...
  • The waiting game...

    In This Issue..

    * Waiting on G20 and the ECB...
    * US home prices plunge...
    * What will come from G20...
    * ECB to cut rates, but no quantitative easing...

    Good day... The markets will play a waiting game today, and I expect the currencies to trade in a pretty flat range. The focus will be on the G20 which starts tomorrow, and the ECB announcement which will also be released tomorrow. So today I will share my views on both of these topics, but first I will report on what occurred yesterday and overnight in the currency markets.

    The dollar climbed yesterday morning as data released showed US home prices plunged at a record pace and consumer confidence continues to bottom. US home prices fell nearly 19% in January according to the S&P Case Shiller index. This was even worse than economists had predicted, and December's numbers were revised down....
  • Bad news for GM and Chrysler rallies the US$...

    In This Issue..

    * Bad news for car makers rallies the US$...
    * Yen comes back strong...
    * Singapore to devalue?...
    * German Chancellor Merkel gives warning...

    Good day... And good Monday morning to all of you. I can't believe March is nearly over, it seems as though it just started. March will end up being a pretty good month for the currency markets, as investors exited the safety of US treasuries and started moving funds back into higher yielding assets. But the markets continue to be volatile, and news released on Friday and over the weekend has sent these investors rushing back to the safe haven of the US dollar.

    The Japanese Yen and US dollar benefited after a US Government official said Friday that bankruptcy may be the best option for GM and Chrysler. The dollar continued to gain strength this morning after US Treasury Secretary Geithner warned yesterday that some financial institutions will need 'large amounts' of aid. When the Treasury Secretary says large amounts, you know it is going to be billions or trillions! Geithner was making the rounds of Sunday morning talk shows to try and justify the money already spent and prepare the taxpayers for another request of funds....
  • Inauguration Day 2009...

    * Rogers and Roach... * Dollar gaps higher! * Ireland's problems... * Bad data... ** Inauguration Day 2009... Good day... Well... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! I got to enjoy a nice restful 3-day weekend. I realize not everyone got yesterday off, so I won't carry on about it. Can you believe it? The St. Louis Cardinals Football Team A.K.A. The Big Red, no wait, Chuck, they left town 20 years ago... OK, the Arizona Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl? When they were here, I never thought I would live to see the day... Front and Center this morning, I have two quotes from people I truly respect... first from Jimmy Rogers... second from Stephen Roach... If I were you, I would be worried about the U.S. dollar,' said Rogers, 66, in a speech at the Asia Financial Forum in Hong Kong today. 'The Americans are printing U.S. dollars. The Americans are going to do whatever they can to revive their economy, even if it means destroying the U.S. dollar.'...