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  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf? NOT!

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rally in early morning Wednesday
    * But see selling the rest of the day.
    * German Consumer Confidence surprises...
    * GDP to be revised downward?

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down... Yes, a little Tub Thumpin' this morning... I'm all geeked up because I'm sneaking out to go watch Chris Carpenter pitch for the Cardinals this afternoon! A day game... YAHOO!

    OK... Enough of that! Well, another day where the currencies bumped higher early morning, but then were sold the rest of the day. I know the currency guys (and gals) are all wonder where do they go from here... Which is the way that's clear? Well... Short term currency forecasts are proven to be wrong, most of the time... Long term? Well, that can't be argued... The deficit spending, the money creation, and the monetizing of debt will all come back to haunt the dollar... And as Aaron said yesterday, "we've only just begun"... (he was telling a joke), it holds true for the U.S. deficit spending picture......
  • A Big Jobs Surprise!

    In This Issue..

    * Low yielding currencies get sold...
    * High yielding currencies remain solid...
    * Further info on the inflation indexed bonds...
    * Stealth QE...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! A very nice, but hot weekend here... But hey! It's August, it's supposed to be hot! Friday was an awful day for most of the currencies, and there was a HUGE surprise in the Jobs Jamboree (according to the BLS, of course!)... And, at the end of updates, I've got a story for you about stealth QE, you'll not want to miss a minute of that! So... Let's go!

    Well, Friday's Jobs Jamboree was quite interesting to say the least... I had already told you about the forecasts for a HUGE drop in job losses for July from 467,000 to 325,000... But the number, according to the BLS, was 247,000!!!!!!! Way to Go Corporate America! Geez Louise, I wish it were that full of seashells and balloons! This smells of yesterday's fish folks... OK, let me get this straight... The forecast was for 325,000 job losses, and an unemployment rate of 9.6% (up from 9.5% in June)... And the jobs lost were 247,000, a difference of 78,000, and the unemployment rate fell to 9.4%... So, the BLS is telling me, and you, that 78,000 jobs not being lost, was equal to .2% (9.6 to 9.4)? Come on! I didn't just fall off the turnip truck!...
  • Another Jobs Jamboree!

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies trade in a tight range... Again!
    * Continuing Claims rise...
    * Bank of England adds to QE! UGH!
    * Swiss franc posts 5 weeks of gains...

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! I'm going to go out on a limb and say it will be a Fantastico Friday! This has been a long week for yours truly, coming off a week of relaxation, and getting right back in the saddle... But... It's Friday... YAHOO!

    OK... There are a few things to discuss this morning, but none so important as the Jobs Jamboree that will happen in a couple of hours from now. I told you yesterday that the economists surveyed believe that the jobs lost number will make a big move downward from 476,000 in June to 325,000 in July... That's a HUGE jump folks! Ty Keough responded to that note in the Pfennig yesterday by saying, "That's because there are no more jobs to cut!" Now, that's one way of looking at it... We have to hope that it's not that, but instead be a reflection of jobs being added... Come on! We can hope!...
  • Spending More Than We (the U.S.) Make...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies trade in a tight range
    * Pesos, loonies and reals in the spotlight...
    * The Mogambo on a Thursday! YAHOO!
    * Jobs reports dominate today & tomorrow...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Once again yesterday, we traded all day in a very tight range with the currencies. The ADP/Challenger data didn't give anyone a warm and fuzzy about the labor picture, and tax receipts are in the news... So, let's go to the tape!

    OK, front and center this morning, I have to talk about this deal with tax receipts in this country. So, I've chronicled the April and June debacles for tax receipts, but just in case someone is new to class, and missed that, let's review... The U.S. used to count on the months of April and June for HUGE cash receipts from tax returns, but this year, both April and June's tax receipts were so bad, the expenditures were greater than the receipts! I highlight these two months because, they should have been positive months for the budget balance... If we can't post a positive balance in April and June, what's the rest of the year going to look like?

    ...
  • GDP Does Not Compute, Will Robinson!

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies trade in a tight range
    * Pound Sterling, the star performer?
    * Something smells fishy...
    * Do you see trend with Gov. Reports?

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! We had a very tight range trading day yesterday in the currencies, which have left them trading in about the same clothes they were wearing when I signed off yesterday! We've got that to talk about, and... Another $2 Billion for the CARS program has been allocated... What a crock! OK, Chuck, slow down, you don't need to get your blood boiling this quickly, this morning!

    I'm writing from home this morning, as I have a meeting close to our old office, which means its not far from where I live, which is completely different from our current office location, which is, I'll say... Quite a distance... But, hey! I'm not complaining, just giving you the details......
  • Heeeeeeee's Baaaaaacccckkkkk...

    In This Issue..

    * A strong currency move on Friday...
    * Data Cupboard gets a work out this week...
    * U.K. and ECB meet this week...
    * RBA to move to neutral tonight?

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Heeeeeeee's Baaaaaacccckkkkk... Oh no! Just when you thought it was safe to open the Daily Pfennig and not get lectured on deficit spending... He's back! Oh well, It's been over two weeks, first to Vancouver, then on vacation. We've got a lot of catching up to do, eh? Mike and Chris did a Fantastico job of taking the conn on the Pfennig in my absence... So thanks to them... But it's back to me, and besides a couple of days in San Francisco later this month, I'm all yours! (I bet that just makes you smile like a Cheshire Cat... NOT!)

    OK... Rather than beat around the bush this morning, Chris left me this note from Friday's price action, so let's go to the Friday round up and then onto today! Here's Chris!...
  • Dollar continues it’s slide...

    In This Issue..

    * Dollar continues to slide...
    * US GDP contracts but not as fast...
    * Nordic currencies outperform...
    * Japanese yen continues to fall...

    Good day... The last day of July is upon us. Time just seems to keep moving faster as it seems summer just got started. The fall of the dollar also accelerated yesterday as investors moved back out of the 'safe haven' of US$ and continued to shop for more yield. The greenback tried to stage a bit of a rally in early European trading, but has fallen back off again as I sit down to write the Pfennig.

    I got a call from a Reuters reporter yesterday mid morning to ask why the dollar was rallying at the same time stocks were moving higher. I quickly paged through my Bloomberg looking for some sign why both were heading higher. The trading pattern which has been established over the last few months has these two asset classes moving in opposite directions; good news for the US economy sends stocks higher and the dollar lower as investors retreat from defensive 'safe haven' positions in the US$. The opposite occurs whenever there is data which shows the global economic recovery is faltering, stocks move lower and the dollar rallies with safe haven buying....
  • 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....
  • Home sales improve...

    In This Issue..

    * Home sales improve...
    * Are we there yet...
    * Intervention talks...
    * Buying on dips...

    Good day...and a Fabulous Friday to you. As I was sitting here this morning collecting my thoughts, it just hit me like a ton of bricks that we're already towards the end of July and next weekend brings us into August...where's the pause button when you need it. Anyway, yesterday started out like any other quiet morning so far this week but we did see a nice little run in the currencies only to see profit taking as we moved into the late afternoon. As I turned the computer screens on this morning, I see where the overnight markets brought us right back up to the levels we began with this time yesterday. The big story that moved the markets was the better than expected housing numbers that, again, gave investors that warm and fuzzy feeling that I touched on yesterday. Since I already let the cat out of the bag, I'll jump right in...

    ...
  • A broken record...

    In This Issue..

    * Mixed bag of housing numbers...
    * Foundation work...
    * High yielders...
    * Commodity currencies again...

    Good day...and a Terrific Thursday to you. As Chris mentioned yesterday, I'll be steering the ship for the next couple of days while both he and Chuck are out so I look forward to being your relief captain. The fall like weather in the middle of summer has continued yet for another day in St. Louis, not that I'm complaining, but that out of the ordinary trend certainly hasn't carried over to the currency markets. In fact, I could probably cut and paste yesterday's Pfennig and you wouldn't miss a thing as the currencies traded in a very tight range, so there wasn't much exciting to report on...Oh well, instead of wasting space, I'll get right to it......
  • 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....
  • 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......
  • 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!...
  • 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....