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  • It's All About The Jobs Jamboree...

    * Currencies rally then fall back... * Rate slashers! * Following Japan? Let's hope not! * Canada's woes mount... ** It's All About The Jobs Jamboree... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday! A Jobs Jamboree Friday! Anything else, Chuck? No, I don't think so, I'll stop there... It's all about the Jobs Jamboree today. It's all about finding out just how badly the rot on the labor vine has gotten... The Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, yesterday, remained above 500K per week, which doesn't bode well for next month's data... But first... November's Jobs Jamboree on the docket! The "experts" have forecast a -335K drop in jobs for November... But, your old Pfennig writer believes that this forecast is low. I think it will be closer to -375K... The reason I say that is the employment piece of the ISM report that printed the other day... The employment index of that report showed some real serious rot on the labor vine... I read a report last night, where an economist was attempting to show how the report should read -750K... As bad as -375K is, I don't think the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) would have anything to do with printing a -750K report!...
  • Buying Buicks Instead Of Bonds...

    * Currencies trade in a tight range... * Another new plan to help homeowners... * RBNZ and Riksbank slash interest rates! * The Governorator speaks! ** Buying Buicks Instead Of Bonds... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It's going to be a Tub Thumpin' Thursday in Europe for sure, given the Central Banks of England and the Eurozone are meeting and will probably cut interest rates to levels that haven't been seen in a while! The automakers are in deep dookie folks, according to them, and are in need of funds / bailout money right now! The head of Ford believes his company can withstand the recession, but fears for GM and Chrysler... The UAW has made some concessions to help the automakers, but it could be a case of too little, too late... Well... Another day of doldrums in the currencies, with the bias, what little there is, to buy dollars. The stock jockeys received some manna from heaven yesterday when it was announced that the U.S. Treasury Department is considering a plan to halt the slide in home prices that would lower mortgage rates using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The plan could reduce rates for newly issued loans to as low as 4.5%....
  • Veteran's Day

    * The China good feeling dissipates... * Currencies lose their edge... * Fannie Mae needs more! * Silver manipulation? ** Veteran's Day Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! A Veteran's Day Tuesday! This is a Banking and Federal Holiday today, so the bricks and mortar banks are closed, and there will be no mail delivery, and of course your friendly neighborhood Government worker gets the day off. I'm here, in the saddle, writing the Pfennig like it's a regular work day, and the boys and girls will begin to gather in about 2 1/2 hours from now. We'll get all caught up, return some calls and head home today. Veteran's Day... I thought I would begin today with a snippet of a Veteran's Day poem by Jared Jenkins......
  • Another Jobs Jamboree Friday!

    * A zero rate conspiracy? * Weekly jobless claims head toward 500K... * Turning Japanese... I really think so! * Mr. Yen speaks! ** Jobs Jamboree Friday! Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! I hope it turns into a Fantastico Friday, because it's not starting out that way. Technical difficulties would be the term used to describe my morning so far... I don't know if the Pfennig will go out on time this morning, as those "technical difficulties" have me working offline right now. But we'll see, eh? Well, it's a Jobs Jamboree Friday too! This should be quite the Jobs Jamboree too, as the ADP Employment report suggested the other day that this data could be even worse than the forecast -200K job losses for October. There have been more job losses in 2008, than you can shake a stick at, but yet the beat goes on for the dollar. Coming To America is the theme playing out in the currencies... Of which, I've explained over and over again, until I sound like a broken record....
  • Change... What Change?

    * Currency Volatility! * Trading Theme creeps back! * ADP indicates a bad Jobs Jamboree... * Putting on my thinking cap... ** Change... What Change? Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! I say Thunderin' because we're expected to get Thunderstorms and rain today here in the St. Louis area... This will be the first rain we've received in some time, so, while it will bring cooler weather our way, it will still be much needed rain! Well... What a volatile day in the currencies yesterday! WOW! Running up and down the dial, all day long! At one point yesterday morning, the euro looked to be in the driver's seat, ooh, ooh, ooh ooh, driver's seat, yeah... Stop it Chuck, this is supposed to be a serious commentary! Yeah right! Well, at least seriousness is sprinkled in from time to time, eh? Anyway... What I was getting at before slipping off into a song by Sniff-n-The Tears, the euro was moving higher and higher, and was making the 1.29 and 1.30 handles look like picket fences when you pass them going 80 mph!...
  • Election Day!

    * The winner is... Deflation! * Trading theme in place... * RBA cuts rates 75 BPS! * Manufacturing collapses! ** Election Day! Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! It's Election Day! One more day of all that he said, she said, no I didn't, yes you did, aggravating election advertising! That's it! We're finally finished with all of it! Thank Goodness it's Election Day! TGIED! This will be the end of another of the things that's keeping the fundamentals in the back of the classroom. All we'll have left is the credit squeeze... Unfortunately though I feel like we're going to have to live with that one for some time to come! There are signs that things are loosening up, but it's a far cry from what should be considered as "normal" in the lending arena! As long as the credit squeeze remains in place and on the minds of traders & investors everywhere, we're stuck with the Trading Theme of 2008... Well, let's see, it didn't come into play until late July, so it should be called the Trading Theme of late 2008 and 2009....
  • 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!)...
  • Fed floods the markets with US$...

    * Bernanke gets help opening the spigot... * Euro and Pound rally... * Yen to continue to benefit from carry reversals...* Aussie $ rallies... ** Fed floods the markets with US$... Good day...and happy Columbus day! This is an official bank holiday here in the states, so all of the banks are closed, but the stock markets are open. We will have a half day here on the desk to try and catch up with all of the work which has been piling up the past few weeks. The phones are turned off, since it is an official bank holiday, but we will be checking messages and try to get back to everyone as quickly as possible. It is a very unusual holiday, as the banks are all closed with no funds transfers possible, but the stock markets are open. Currency desks are lightly staffed, so we will have to really work to get the trades done this morning. These strange holidays usually can lead to some real market volatility, and with today will probably be another rollercoaster. In an all out effort to ease the credit freeze, the Federal Reserve recruited help from the ECB, Bank of England, and the Swiss central bank to flood the market with US$. These central banks will auction unlimited dollar funds with maturities of seven days, 28 days, and 84 days at a fixed interest rate. This move is unprecedented, as all previous dollar swaps were capped at a maximum amount while these auctions will be for unlimited funds....
  • Coordinated Rate Cuts!

    * Yen trades to 98! * Carry Trades unwinding hurt high yielders... * Gold rallies back to $900! * Central Bank rate cuts.... ** Coordinated Rate Cuts! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... There's a ton of stuff to talk about today, one of which is the amazing run that Japanese yen has had in the past month, but particularly the last week! No need to sneak a peak at the currency round-up, Japanese yen is trading 98.80! WOW! I could be acting like a contortionist and trying to slap myself on the back, but that would unprofessional... And besides, the rest of the currencies are taking shots to the mid-section. Anyway... Blow the horn, the Carry Trade (for yen) is dead, may it rest in peace! OK... The currencies tried like all get out yesterday to rally VS the dollar, the euro did end the day 1% higher on the day, which after the bloodshed of the past month, I'll take that any old time! I would love to go back to 2005 (not really, but for this conversation's sake I will) and pull out some old Pfennigs where I talked about all the naysayers talking about a break up of the euro... We had the NO votes from France and Denmark on accepting the European Union's (EU) Constitution, we had riots in the streets of France, we had rising interest rates in the U.S. and dozens and dozens of naysayers called out the euro and said it would collapse under the weight. I said then, and I'll say now... HOGWASH!...
  • Senate Passes The Bailout Package!

    * Euro falls to 1-year low.... * Bailing out foreign investors? * O'Neill has a better plan... * ISM collapses! But the dollar rallies... ** Senate Passes The Bailout Package! Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Rocktober started off with a bang for the dollar, as the green/peachback continued to gain VS the euro and other currencies, pushing the euro to a one-year low VS the dollar. We all sat here and shook our heads in disbelief yesterday, as the U.S. ISM Index (manufacturing) collapsed in September, but the dollar rallied anyway. The ISM Index fell from 49 to 43.5, the lowest print since Rocktober 2001, which happened to be near the end of the 2001 recession and right after the awful period following 9/11. So... To me... This really paints the recession picture clear and bright for all to see... So, why did the dollar rally with this albatross around its neck?...
  • The Bailout Lives!

    * The Senate to the rescue? * Dollar rallies big time... * Rumor day... * Consumer Confidence stronger? ** The Bailout Lives! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Welcome to October! Or as we say in St. Louis... Rocktober! September went by in a flash, let's hope Rocktober slows down a bit! Well... Monday we had carnage in stocks, and yesterday in currencies, while stocks rebounded. What a difference a day makes! On Monday, the House voted down the Bailout package (doesn't it just get your goat that it's still being referred to as the "rescue plan"?), and yesterday, seeing the collateral damage caused by the "no" vote, Congress decided to try and rescue the bailout plan....
  • Scaredy Cats!

    * Not your father's currency traders.... * The euro does the rope-a-dope... * Deep Thoughts * Jimmy Rogers on the bail out... ** Scaredy Cats! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Hurricane Ike moves into the Gulf... Which way it goes from here isn't good for anyone. We had another day of watching the euro rally during the day, only to see it fizzle out by the end of the day. I go home each night and think all the way home about all this stuff going on, and wonder just who in their right minds would be buying dollars right now... Scaredy Cats that's who... So... Here you go... Deep Thoughts by chuck butler... Here's the skinny on that thought... Ever since the Fed, Bank of Japan (BOC), and European Central Bank (ECB) intervened in their coordinated, covert operation, market participants and traders are scared to death to short dollars, for fear of more intervention that could wipe out their trades, and post losses for them. Come on... These aren't the currency traders that I grew up with! Those traders took any Central Bank intervention as a "challenge" and would laugh in the face of Central Bank intervention! Central Bank intervention usually meant it was a desperate measure to shore up a currency, and that was like blood in the water for a shark... Currency traders would hit that currency even harder! But not these scaredy cats! That's one thing I think about... And then there's this......
  • More Dollar Strength!

    * Trichet's words sink the euro rally... * A New Conspiracy theory... * Japanese yen continues to rally! * An Announcement... ** More Dollar Strength! Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! It has not started out as a Fantastico Friday, just a Fun Friday... No wait! Just because the dollar is running around the end with the ball, and the currencies can't catch up with the greenback, is no reason to allow it to filter through to my feelings about each and every day! That's right! I'm feeling like there's a ton of weight on my shoulders right now, with this dollar strength, and everyone jumping ship... But, I promised myself over a year ago that if I was able to fight cancer and come out on top, that I would celebrate each day... And that's what I try to do! So... I'll make it a Fantastico Friday after all! The euro's two-day rally VS the dollar got stuffed in a box and shipped to sea yesterday. The single unit looked as though it would add to the rally that took it above 1.45 but as I was signing off yesterday the euro was giving back its gains VS the dollar... And soon, it would give back more than the two-day rally's gains....
  • Central Bank Meeting Day...

    * Euro fights back... * Germany Factory Orders drop... * BOE & ECB meeting today... * Riksbank raises rates! ** Central Bank Meeting Day... Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! A rainy Thursday for us here in St. Louis, as the rains from Gustav reach this area. There's another Hurricane in the Caribbean now... There are two Central Bank meetings going on as I write this morning. The European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England (BOE) both are meeting this morning, and both are expected to leave rates unchanged. More on this in a bit, the Fed's Beige Book, and more this morning, so let's go! Front and Center this morning, the euro spent yesterday on the rally tracks recovering from a 5-month low... When I turned on the screens this morning, the single unit was trading above 1.45 again, on expectations that the ECB would leave rates unchanged. But I've seen a softening in the euro, since arriving, that has come from an unexpected drop in German Factory Orders for the month of July....