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Have You Seen This?

  • It's Cinco De Mayo!

    In This Issue..

    * A Huge currency rally...
    * The games people play now...
    * RBA leaves rates unchanged...
    * Brazilian real is the daily winner!

    Good day... Hola! And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well, today is Cinco De Mayo... It's a fun day so go have some fun! A few years ago, I talked about Cinco De Mayo, and some guy took exception to it, and called me a really nasty name... So, I won't get all flowery about the day, except to say, go have some fun!

    Of course, to me, the saying 'go have some fun' is a staple of my being! Especially these days! I realize that I need to have "more fun", but work, and all that gets in the way, darn it! HA!...
  • A building block...

    * A quiet Friday... * Euro hits 1.30... * Chinese concern... * This week in data... ** A building block... Good day...And a Marvelous Monday to you. Its hard to believe that Monday morning is already upon us, where does the time go? Just as the currency market took a breather, our cold weather from last week decided to follow suit as it turned out to be a nice late winter weekend. Friday was fairly uneventful as the currencies traded in a tight range throughout the course of the day so it will be interesting to see how this week shapes up. Let's see if the currencies can build from last week...

    Volatility was basically non-existent during Friday trading with less than a .50% difference between the high and the low of the dollar index. The overall bias, however, was a weaker dollar and the euro held onto 1.29 for a majority of the day and was near 1.2920 as I left the desk. The pound and Swiss franc were the only two currencies left on the bench last week with losses of about 1% and 2.5% against the dollar respectively. The rest were able to turn in a decent week with the Swedish krona on top of the pile posting a 6.5% gain....
  • A change in the Trading Theme?

    * A change in the Trading Theme? * Gold rebounds Big time! * ECB cuts 50 BPS, as expected... * Lots of lessons today... ** Jobs Jamboree Friday! Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! It supposed to be 70 degrees here today, so in my book that makes it a Fantastico Friday! It's also a Jobs Jamboree Friday, and while this report is probably not going to be anything good, it will be Fantastico BAD! The experts have forecast a job loss in February to be 650K!!!!!! Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand did I say? Yes, sir, may I have another, sir? Well, shiver me timbers, this is just downright awful! And if it prints this bad, it will be the most jobs lost in a month since 1949! This is horrific, just plain horrific folks... And in my opinion, will NOT signal the bottom of the barrel for labor just yet... This thing has momentum and I don't think you'd want to step in front of this run-away bus!...
  • The Trading Theme Returns...

    * U.S. data prints awful! * Eastern Europe gets 24.5 Billion euros! * More Problems for Citi... * Gold at a discount... ** The Trading Theme Returns... 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! I don't know why, it's cold and rainy here, and we're supposed to get snow tonight... But Shoot Rudy, why not? Every day is a blessing, and Friday's are special! At least in my book! Well... Chris left me a note last night about the day's happenings, as I was "out of touch" all day. So... I guess it would be best to let Chris give us the recap on yesterday, eh? Here's Chris... "The big news on the day was the durable goods orders, which came in even worse than expected. The dollar had lost ground vs. most of the currencies up until the durable goods number came in. The bad data for the US sent the dollar back up as investors headed back to the 'safe haven' of US Treasuries. Initial jobless claims also came in well above expectations with continuing claims climbing over 5 million for the first time ever. Continuing claims have only climbed above 4.5 million twice since the data has been recorded. They hit 4.6 million in May of 1975 and again in October of 1982. These peaks were very short lived as the came at the height of these two recessions. The problem with today's numbers is that we are still at the beginning stages of our recession and the jobs numbers look to only get worse....
  • A Eurozone Bond To Compete With Treasuries?

    * The euro gets some wind in its sails... * Citigroup is seeking more bailout funds? * Gold hits $1,000! * The ghost of Humphrey-Hawkins... ** A Eurozone Bond To Compete With Treasuries? Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Sure seems as though I went from Friday to Monday, as I went out of town this past weekend, and before I knew it, I was driving to work this morning! UGH! There was a rumor on Friday that really sent the euro higher, and there was another rumor this past weekend about the Asian currencies... So... Let's look at those two items and more of course, as we begin the last week of February!...
  • Passing Out The Dollars...

    * Risk Takers return... * Bank of America gets more cash! * 30-year mortgages below 5%! * Looking for direction... ** Passing Out The Dollars... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday so far, let's keep it going, eh? It is downright cold here. I'm reminded of that one looooonnnnngggg winter I spent in Des Moines, Iowa... This artic cold was the "norm" for that winter there... I didn't need any other reason to move back to St. Louis, once the spring thaw came around! Well... Right out of the starters blocks this morning, we have a change in sentiment going on... The Risk Takers are back in the driver's seat this morning, as the markets are feeling better about things given that the remaining TARP money has been given to the Obama campers to dole out, and Bank of America came away with an emergency lifeline from the Gov't that totals about $138 Billion... $20 Billion in cash, right here, right now, with the rest spread out between liquidity access and guarantees... And... The TARP money... Given the fact that the Obama people have been itching like they just rolled around in poison ivy, to get their hands on that money... You've got to wonder... Are these guys going to do their best to out do the previous administration when it comes to piling up debts?...
  • Retail sales disappoint even more…

    * Retail sales disappoint.... * Chuck's views on the Lone Prop... * Waiting on the ECB... * Emerging market currencies sell off... ** Retail sales disappoint... Good day... The big news yesterday was the retail sales numbers, which fell twice as much as expected. Chuck predicted a tough Christmas season, and the BHI was right again. Sales dropped 2.7 percent according to yesterday's report from the Commerce Department. The falling home prices, rising job losses, and tighter credit have all combined to finally force US consumers to adjust their spending habits. No matter how low retailers slashed prices during the recent Christmas season, US consumers just weren't buying. The economy is forcing consumers to wean themselves off of the dangerous drug of easy credit. In spite of Bernanke and Paulson's attempts to get consumers borrowing and spending again, the economic slowdown is forcing the US consumers to reign in their spending. But while this change in consumer habits is good for the longer term economic health of the US, it only serves to drive the economy even further into recession over the short term. And the bad economic data just keeps rolling in. U.S. foreclosure filings spiked by more than 81% in 2008, a record, according to a report released Thursday, and they're up 225% compared with 2006. The total foreclosure filings in 2008 topped 3 million and showed no signs of slowing down in spite of the efforts of both the government and banking industry to slow them down. Foreclosure filings actually accelerated in the 2nd half of the year, increasing 17% in December over November of 2008....
  • The Dollar Swings A Mighty Big Hammer!

    * Another dollar rally.... * Rumors in Ireland... * Trade Deficit narrows... * Retail Sales to disappoint? ** The Dollar Swings A Mighty Hammer! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! I'm writing from home today, as I will not be in the office on this wonderful Wednesday. Writing from home, or the road, always presents problems for me, as I'm so used to being in the "saddle" at my desk, and having information all around me. But, my little work desk at home has some of those amenities... So, what the heck, quit your grumpiness, and get to writing, Chuck! The dollar ripped through the 1.32 handle of the euro yesterday, like a hot knife goes through butter! There was little to no resistance in that 1.32 handle, and before you could tell one of the many people on the desk here that sneeze all day, God Bless you, we were trading with a 1.31 handle in euros. The talk about a European Central Bank (ECB) rate cut has really ramped up this week, and taken its toll on the single unit. No one is mentioning that even if the ECB cuts 75 BPS this week, they'll still have a an interest rate / yield advantage over the U.S! I guess they'll sort that all out somewhere down the line, eh?...
  • Misguided risk aversion...

    * Bad data pushes investors into US treasuries... * Barclay's says the euro will rally... * SNB surprises with a rate cut... * Iceland gets their bailout... ** Misguided risk aversion... Good day...The dollar rallied a bit yesterday on some very poor economic data which illustrated just how bad things are getting here in the US. As Chuck has repeatedly told everyone, in the current trade pattern the dollar rallies whenever we get negative data for the US economy. Investors get spooked by this negative data, and run scared into the 'safety' of US treasuries. Ty sent me a quote from respected newsletter owner/author Bill Bonner yesterday: "Misguided risk aversion, anyone? A few months ago, investors stretched for yields. Now, it's safety they reach for...and grab U.S. Treasury debt with both hands. Investors now seem to have an unqualified trust in the full faith and credit of the world's largest debtor. Yields on 91-day T-bills have fallen to 0.11% - scarcely a tenth of one percent!"...
  • Cash For Trash...

    * Grave words about the economy... * OPEC warns of a higher Oil prices... * FDIC in need of $150 Billion? * Citigroup calling for a higher euro... ** Cash For Trash... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Well... The President sure painted a rosy picture for the U.S. economy last night didn't he? NOT! Whoa there partner! With words like 'collapse' and 'danger' and 'panic', President Bush was telling the country that we're in deep dookie! In telling the public that the government must put $700 Billion of taxpayer's money at risk to bail out the financial system, he said... 'We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis. Our entire economy is in danger. America could slip into a financial panic.' Now... Those are some serious statements, folks... And were followed up by the comments by the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, who said, 'Whatever you think about whether or not there was a need for a bailout... Once the president, secretary of the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve Chairman have announced that if you don't do this, there will be a collapse, there's probably going to be a collapse if you don't do it.'...
  • Turning Japanese?

    * Profit taking in the currencies... * German Business Confidence falls... * More talk of the bailout package... * A strong statement on Aussie dollars... ** Turning Japanese? Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Another crazy day not only in the markets but on our trading desk, where the phones continue to light up. There's a ton of volatility in the markets these days, as witnessed by the roller coaster ride stock jockeys take every day, the no direction is a good direction course of currencies, and the ups and downs of bailout plans. It's all a little too much for yours truly some days, but I carry on... Take this morning... Please somebody take this morning! The euro was showing signs of wiping out yesterday's profit taking session early on, only to see its gains wiped out by a weaker than expected German Business Confidence report. Yes, German Business Confidence, as measured by the think tank, IFO, declined more than expected this month, to the lowest level in almost 3 years. I would say that with lower Oil prices, and weaker inflation, these German Business people's attitudes will be changing soon... The German economy, other than this report, is showing signs of strength, which is bang on what I've been trying to tell everyone that was throwing darts at the Eurozone economy... Remember 80% of trade in the Eurozone is among the Eurozone members......