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  • German ZEW Investor Confidence Plummets!

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies move back and forth...
    * A HUGE hickey for us from Fannie and Freddie...
    * The Chinese respond to Geithner...
    * Canada GDP to reach pre-recession levels?

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well, day one of me basically by myself this week is put in the books... A non-event... A dentist appointment was all the excitement I had last night!

    Well... That risk assets rally that we were watching yesterday morning, ran into a speed bump around noon... Yes, the euro was nearing 1.23, Aussie was looking as though it would touch 87-cents, and so on... But then along came Moodys... Talk about bad timing! Ok... Let me set this up for you...

    ...
  • U. of Michigan Spoils The Party...

    In This Issue..

    * Risk Aversion comes back strong!
    * Risk assets get sold...
    * What games will be played with TIC's?
    * 40 years since Woodstock!

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! A great weekend that was filled with watching my little buddy, Alex, play football, hosting a surprise 30th birthday party for my little girl, Dawn, and a sweep of the Padres by the Cardinals! This week gets cut short with me a the helm, as I head to San Francisco on Thursday. Chris will have the conn on the Pfennig Thursday through Monday.

    Well... Who'd a thunk it? Yes, who would have thought that the U. of Michigan Consumer Confidence could turn the markets upside down and spoil the party? Well... It happened on Friday! The U. of Michigan Confidence Survey for Aug unexpectedly dropped to 63.2, from the previous month's 66 level. The real drop though was from the forecast for this month which was 69! The drop brought the index to a five-month low....
  • 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.'...
  • Carry trades unwind...

    In This Issue..

    * Carry trades unwind...
    * Euro zone GDP falls...
    * Will TIC flows be enough??
    * Aussie dollar predicted to outperform...

    Good day...Chuck handed me the Pfennig this morning, as I took an early flight home yesterday and he got back to St. Louis much later than I did. The Las Vegas Money Show went well, as Chuck packed the presentation rooms with investors looking to learn more about investing in Gold and currencies. Attendance seemed like it was down a bit, but we stayed busy at the booth with investors looking for diversification. We also got to see a number of 'old friends' who stopped by the booth to say hi. All in all it was a good three days, but as always, it is good to get home and back into the routine.

    The currency markets fell back into their established routine also, as fear drove investors out of riskier assets and back into the US$. We saw a general reversal of the carry trade, with the Japanese yen the only major currency which appreciated vs. the US$. As Chuck pointed out last week, investors feeling more confident about the global economy, dusted off their carry trades which had made them good money over the past few years. But traders are still a bit skittish, and move back out of these leveraged trades at the first sign of trouble in the global economy....
  • Another day for the currencies...

    * Disappointing data...
    * Euro held ground...
    * Down under...

    Another day for the currencies...

    Good day...And a Terrific Tuesday to you. Another Monday morning has come and gone but not before confirming the US economy is still heading down the wrong side of the slippery slope. The uneventful trading day from Friday certainly didn't carry over as we saw a sizeable run up in currencies along with equities during the morning session. As the day progressed, the equity markets shed their gains but most of the currencies remained resilient and held on. I guess I'll stop beating around the bush and get right to it...

    It seems that Bernanke's calming approach during his interview with 60 Minutes gave investors the feeling that we are not as bad off saying the risk of a depression has been averted. He went on to say if the government succeeds in calming financial markets, the recession will probably end this year and the economy will expand in 2010....