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  • 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....
  • Risk Aversion Reigns Supreme!

    * Currencies under dollar pressure * How strong can yen get? * TARP... * ECB rate questions... ** Risk Aversion Reigns Supreme! Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! I'm draggin' the line this morning, but will get through this with my usual you know what and vinegar! The euro is trading at a one month low this morning, and the high yielders are getting stepped on again after enjoying a month a risk taking in the sun. That about explains everything, so I'll go the Big Finish now... Gotcha! Let's see what else is up on this cold and blustery Terrific Tuesday... So... It looks as though Risk Aversion is reigning supreme once again. I just don't buy into the dollar being the "safe haven" with all that's going on here. But, that's the way it is, and I can't change it. On a side bar, I used to have a customer that was convinced that I could move the markets with the Pfennig... I always thanked him for his complimentary remarks, but would hang up and have a chuckle, as IF I could change the way things are with my simple, humble little newsletter!...