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  • Risk Off as US data disappoints…

    In This Issue..

    * Risk is back off on poor US data...
    * Euro pauses at $1.32...
    * China moves by Japan to become #2...
    * Gold moves close to $1,200...

    Good day...and welcome to Wednesday, or as we call it on the desk 'hump day'. Yesterday was another busy day on the desk, it seems like investors are finally figuring out that in spite of the uncertainty in the markets, there are still some good opportunities. But while the flow of trades increased yesterday, the currency markets took a breather from their torrid pace on Monday.

    What movement did occur yesterday was mainly due to a plethora of data releases in the US which mostly disappointed. Personal income and spending in the US were both reported unchanged for the month of June, and May's numbers were revised slightly lower. And while US consumers were feeling the pinch, prices rose a bit more than expected with the PCE Deflator moving 1.4% higher vs. an expected 1.3% increase. So it was no surprise when the ABC Consumer Confidence number came in at -50, again worse than what was expected....
  • Confident investors move dollar lower...

    In This Issue..

    * Confident investors move dollar lower...
    * US consumers start spending again (is this really what we need?)...
    * Aussie dollar and kiwi move higher...
    * Gold and Silver move higher on the weaker dollar...

    Good day, and welcome to the last Monday of March. The countdown to Cardinal opening day has begun, which means Chuck will be heading back home shortly. Investors headed back into the currency markets Friday feeling more confident in the global recovery after US GDP for the 4th quarter of 2009 held at 5.6%. The combination of good US growth, a possible solution to the Greek debt crisis, and the passage of Obama's healthcare overhaul had investors almost giddy as they put money back to work in the markets....
  • 3rd QTR GDP Is Strong!

    In This Issue..

    * Dollar gets sold after GDP report
    * High yielders get bought!
    * German Retail Sales decline...
    * Real has wild swings!

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! I can't believe how hard it rained here yesterday... Unbelievable! And me, with my cane, and not able to run, was stuck in it going from the car... Absolutely soaked! If I were a kid, I would have thought that to be fun! But, I'm not... It's still raining this morning too! UGH! Let's hope it stops in time for the Trick-or-Treaters!

    OK... Well the rain fell on the dollar's parade yesterday too! And, just like I thought it would do... The dollar got sold like funnel cakes at a state fair, once the U.S. 3rd QTR GDP report printed... The dollar rally was stopped in its tracks, which meant that the "trading theme" that rewards the dollar when things look bad in the U.S. and punishes it when things look good, which is completely opposite of what it should do fundamental wise, was still in place!...
  • A Dollar Roadblock!

    In This Issue..

    * Euro goes back and forth over 1.42...
    * Geithner make another promise to China...
    * RBA leaves rates unchanged...
    * The Mogambo on a Tuesday!

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well... The currencies, led by the euro, ran into a dollar road block yesterday, not once, not twice, but three times... The first two times the euro traded over the 1.42 figure, it fell back, but recovered to again try to remain over 1.42... It was a classic case of profit taking at a line of resistance... But the third time, was no charm for the euro, and thus it ended the day and night sessions below 1.42... But hey! Has this run from 1.2578 on March 1st, been something or what?

    I see where UBS believes this is it for the euro... Sort of like the thought that a star burns the brightest right before it burns out... Hmmm... I guess they believe that the U.S. deficit problems are going to go away... Apparently, they drank the kool-aid from U.S. Treasury Sec. Geithner, who told the Chinese that the U.S. was going to shrink the deficit... He also told them that their assets were 'safe'... Ty sent me something on this that he found yesterday......
  • Awful Data!

    In This Issue..

    * Weber opens Pandora's Box...
    * A record low for Capacity Utilization!
    * Do I hear a Chicken?
    * China's economy grows 6.1%

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! The 'Day After' Tax Day... It still hurts! And to think, one of these days, I'll be paying even more, thanks to the direction of our country... And you will be too! There's no two ways about it, the Deficit in funding in Washington D.C. which will be a result of all the spending, is going to require greater revenue... Where does the Gov't get the revenue? From taxes... Of course if it wasn't a debtor nation, it would not have to pay out the large sums of interest on the Treasuries it issues... But, that... Is a discussion for another day.

    The currencies saw more dollar strength yesterday, but it wasn't a result of anything the dollar had going for it... In fact, the results of the data yesterday was all dollar negative... No, this time it came from the Eurozone. Right about the time I was hitting the send button yesterday, European Central Bank (ECB) minister, Axel Weber Opened Pandora's Box of questions regarding future direction of the ECB... Let's go to the tape!...
  • 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....
  • Wild Swings!

    * Euro gains, then loses, then gains... * Inflation and Commodities... * The euro turns 10! * Risk Aversion remains but is waning... ** Wild Swings! Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well, it happened way too late for yours truly to witness it, but my beloved Missouri Tigers rallied and won the Alamo Bowl in overtime. Go Tigers! Hopefully they can fix the defense before next fall! OK... Remember those Wild Swings I talked about yesterday? The Wild Swings that could be a result of thin volumes in this the second week of Christmas. Well... We witnessed them in earnest yesterday! As I signed off yesterday, I told you that the euro had rallied 2 whole figures to 1.43 and change. Well, that rally dissipated throughout the morning, and by late in the day the single unit was 1.39 and change... WOW! Now that's a Wild Swing! You can point to profit taking as the reason for the move, and with the volumes thinned out by Holiday trading, one profit taking sell begot another, and before you knew it, the euro was looking at a loss on the day....
  • Data shows just how bad things are...

    * Data shows just how bad things are... * Trade deficits narrow... * EU confirms they are in a recession... * RBA intervening again... ** Data shows just how bad things are... Good day... Chuck asked me to go ahead and write the Pfennig this morning, but I got a late start, so this one will be short. We finally had some data releases here in the US which look to steer the markets, so I'll just get right to it. The dollar continued to strengthen yesterday after another round of bad weekly employment figures. Initial jobless claims increased to 516k during the first week of November, and last weeks numbers were revised up to 484k. The employment picture continues to darken here in the US, and it doesn't look like it will improve any time soon. This is just what the US consumers don't need right now. Not only are most consumers living paycheck to paycheck, but now many of those paychecks are being ripped out of their hands....
  • Rate Cut Week...

    * Mixed bag o' data... * Trading theme in place... * election tomorrow... * Consumer Spending collapses! ** Rate Cut Week... Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Welcome to November! For almost 20 years, November was my least favorite month, cold gray days, dead looking trees, bad memories of the month, and all that... But I just don't get all involved in that stuff anymore, as my different outlook on life tells me that every day is a great day, and months just contain great days! OK... On Friday, we saw more and more of the same trading theme, and in the overnight markets last night, more and more of it again! And Carry Trades are back for the moment anyway, as stocks rebounded late in the week to end the month with a brighter outlook than they had earlier in the month. But, in my view from the cheap seats, this stock rebound is much like what they call in the markets, a dead cat bounce, (OK no animals were hurt here!) which means... That stocks are going nowhere, but bounces can still happen. I say that stocks are going nowhere, and I'm not even your last choice as a stock jockey... I just survey the economic horizon and see a deeper recession than we are currently experiencing, and a "spent" Consumer, which is going to lead to awful earnings for Corporations, and thus stocks not going anywhere......
  • GDP Goes Negative...

    * Currency rally fizzles out... * Bank of Japan cuts rates... * Tracking David Walker... * A major shift change on spending... ** GDP Goes Negative... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Happy Halloween Friday to boot! Boy, to be a kid again, and have what is forecast as a 70 degree day on a Friday for Halloween! We've been so busy at the Butler house that we didn't even decorate our front yard with Halloween stuff this year. UGH! But, that's OK, I guess, Alex is older now, and little Delaney Grace would probably freak out with the ghost that would fly across the front of our house, etc. Well... The fog that was lifted from the markets came back with a vengeance yesterday, and once again it was the deep, dark, dangerous U.S. economy leading the charge. 3rd QTR GDP printed yesterday and even though it was forecast to be negative, when it actually printed negative, the trading theme returned. 3rd QTR GDP goes negative (and if you throw in inflation for good measure growth was REALLY negative!) and the dollar rallies... It's the trading theme of the decade! (Ok, I exaggerate a bit there, as it has only been in place for 3 months now!)...
  • Heading Towards Zero...

    * Fed cuts rates 50 BPS! * Currencies rally Big! * 3rd QTR GDP to go negative? * I.O.U.S.A. ** Heading Towards Zero... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It certainly was a Tub Thumpin' Wednesday for the currencies, foreign stocks, commodities, and the Philadelphia Phillies! This by no means that the deep dense fog that has hung over the markets for 3 months has lifted for good... It did, however, lift for one day, and what a day it was! Oh, and the Fed did indeedly do cut their Fed Funds rate to 1%, which works out great since Fed Funds had been trading at 1% anyway! I had a reported from Dow Jones call me a few minutes after the rate cut and ask me my opinion on what the dollar was doing, which at the time was rallying back a bit... I said it looked like a classic case of buy the rumor sell the fact, that enough speculators were pushing the dollar lower ahead of the rate cut in hopes that a larger cut would be made. That, however, was not the case, and the dollar rallied... But only for about 20 minutes, and then it took a rid on the slippery slope, with the euro pushing to the 1.29 handle as I left for the day....