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  • Good news for housing is bad news for the dollar...

    In This Issue..

    * Home sales increase most in eight years...
    * Euro boosted by confidence...
    * Geitner sells the Chinese...
    * Carry trades back in vogue...

    The dollar lost more ground on Monday, but the reasons were different than those that caused last week's slow decline. Currency traders sold the dollar after a report showed sales of new homes rose the most in eight years. New-home sales in the US climbed 11% last month to a 384,000 annual pace. This was substantially higher than economists had forecast, and the most since November. The report also showed the number of houses on the market dropped to the lowest level in more than a decade. The housing numbers seem to confirm that the housing market may be approaching a bottom, but housing prices continue to fall, and more data is needed before I'm convinced the worst is over. Many of these homes have been sold to first time homebuyers taking advantage of government programs; and if unemployment continues to climb, housing sales are not likely to rise quickly....
  • Home sales improve...

    In This Issue..

    * Home sales improve...
    * Are we there yet...
    * Intervention talks...
    * Buying on dips...

    Good day...and a Fabulous Friday to you. As I was sitting here this morning collecting my thoughts, it just hit me like a ton of bricks that we're already towards the end of July and next weekend brings us into August...where's the pause button when you need it. Anyway, yesterday started out like any other quiet morning so far this week but we did see a nice little run in the currencies only to see profit taking as we moved into the late afternoon. As I turned the computer screens on this morning, I see where the overnight markets brought us right back up to the levels we began with this time yesterday. The big story that moved the markets was the better than expected housing numbers that, again, gave investors that warm and fuzzy feeling that I touched on yesterday. Since I already let the cat out of the bag, I'll jump right in...

    ...
  • Increasing SDR Issuance...

    In This Issue..

    * Fed confuses markets, risk assets get sold...
    * SNB intervenes to stop franc's rise
    * ECB issues 12-month liquidity...
    * Bernanke to get grilled?

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Yes, I know the currencies and commodities got whipsawed yesterday, and my Cardinals got spanked, but that's no reason for us to not enjoy a Tub Thumpin' Thursday! Every day is a gift, and it has nothing to do with stocks, bonds, currencies, and commodities!

    OK... Not that I try to be philosophical, sometimes it just comes out that way! Besides, you don't want to think that I'm just a smart *** all the time! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Well, as I said in the open, the currencies and commodities got whipsawed yesterday, and the culprit was the FOMC minutes... You see, the Fed Reserve met to discuss rates, and other items. And what they said just blew away the bond vigilantes, and really ticked off the Hawks, but in the end, what they said, was really that things will remain status quo......
  • More Stimulus On The Way?

    In This Issue..

    * Euro leads currencies higher...
    * Commodities rally back on FOMC thoughts...
    * FOMC meeting today...
    * NZ Consumer Confidence on the rise...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... Yesterday, the title of The Pfennig was: So Far... It's A Turn Around Tuesday! And... That theme played well throughout the day, and by day's end, it had been quite the Turn Around Tuesday! Now, we have to see what's in store for us today, as the last couple of weeks have seen the Wednesday trading quite the opposite of Tuesday's trading! Strange trading pattern don't you agree?

    Overnight, the euro climbed as high as 1.4140, only to sit at the cusp of 1.41 as I begin to write this morning. Of course 1.41 certainly looks a lot different from the 1.35-1.40 range we've seen in recent days. But then, we've seen these probes above 1.40 before only end with the euro falling back to the 1.35-1.40 range again......
  • German Investor Confidence Is On The Rise...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies stop the dollar's run...
    * BRIC meeting could get ugly for the dollar...
    * RBA meeting notes good for Aussie dollars...
    * Depressing data / forecasts for housing...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Thundering storms moved through here this morning, as I was preparing to leave home and drive to the office. As slow as I am with getting around these days, I got pretty wet from my car to the office building. But, I didn't melt, as most would have thought! HA! And, I'll dry out soon enough... Well before anyone else comes in!

    OK... Well... When I left you yesterday, the dollar was on a rampage, from the comments by the Russian Finance Minister, Kudrin... Was it an overreaction, I asked? A resounding YES was my answer... I think the proof is in the pudding on that this morning, as the dollar buying has hit a roadblock, and reversed overnight, with the euro gaining back about 1%......
  • Game On!

    In This Issue..

    * Risk Assets soar!
    * What's behind this stock rally?
    * Charts and fundamentals...
    * Aussie Consumer Confidence drops...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! A total reversal of Friday's risk assets sell off was the soup du jour for Tuesday... This is beginning to remind me of a Wayne and Garth street hockey game... Here comes a car... Game off... Game on...

    So, as I just said, Tuesday saw the currencies trade right back to the levels they enjoyed VS the dollar last Thursday, before risk assets began to sell off on Friday. These are the types of trading patterns you normally see when the assets involved are getting ready for a break out... A jail break... Tonight there's going to be a jail break!

    OK, I'm not saying that the jail break takes place tonight, I just broke out in a song from the 70's... That's all... Seriously though, I hope we're seeing a return to fundamentals....
  • A shrinking US economy puts pressure on the US$...

    In This Issue..

    * US GDP falls more than expected...
    * FOMC holds course...
    * Canadian dollar has a great week...
    * Oil helps commodity currencies...

    Good day... Yesterday was a big day in St. Louis as President Obama came to visit on his 100th day in office. I can't believe it has been 100 days since the inauguration. Time sure does fly! I'm sure Obama and the rest of his administration would like the calendar to move even faster as this recession will likely last through the end of 2009. While the government has thrown trillions of dollars at the markets in an attempt to turn them around, the key ingredient for recessionary cycles to reverse is time. There is now 'quick fix' for the problems we are in, and the policies the administration has begun will take time to have an impact on our shrinking economy. Obama said as much in his nationally televised press conference last night....
  • Currencies Continue to Rally...

    In This Issue..

    * An auction announcement...
    * Euro soars!
    * Gold back to $900...
    * Who's telling the truth?

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to you! A Fantastico Friday to boot! I leave for Bermuda very early tomorrow morning, so no late night shenanigans for me tonight! HA! I'm still trying to make sure I've beaten that pneumonia, and being a "good boy"!

    Well... Front and center this morning, we have a Big currency rally going on... Recall yesterday, I told you of the beginning of the rally... Well, it really got legs as the day went on, and once again, it was not sold off overnight, but added to! Here's what I believe, and you won't see this anywhere else, my friends, is moving these currencies so violently higher VS the dollar......
  • The Treasury Secretary rides to the rescue...

    In This Issue..

    * Geithner rescues the stock market...
    * Commercial real estate, the next big drag...
    * Norway: the new safe haven...
    * China pushes for a new reserve currency...

    It was a dramatic day on Wall Street yesterday, with the major stock indexes surging as much as 6 percent, including the Dow Jones which jumped more than 400 points. The reason for all of this euphoria on Wall Street? A combination of Geithner's plan to rescue the banks from the toxic debt in which many are mired, and a surprisingly large uptick in existing home sales. I touched briefly on the Giethner plan in yesterday's Pfennig and readers know I am more than a little skeptical about its possible success.

    But the housing numbers really caught me off guard. Existing home sales jumped a tremendous 5.1% in February, clearly above all expectations. But Chuck pointed out that the almost 1/2 of the sales were either foreclosures or short sales, hardly what you would call a 'rebound' in home sales! And these additional existing home sales came at deep discounts. The median price for an existing home fell 15.5% in February 2009 to $165,400 as compared to $195,800 in February of 2008....
  • A "Stock Tip From The Top Guy!"

    * Australia's economy contracts.... * Bank of Canada cuts rates to .50% * Meeting margin calls... * TALF... ** A 'Stock Tip From The Top Guy!' Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! My beautiful bride is getting ready to leave this morning. I'm not used to 'talking' to someone when I get up at my usual early hour! She'll be gone in a few, as I write, and then it will be my little buddy, Alex, and your Pfennig writer on their own for 5 days! YAHOO! Well... After a day of waxing eloquently about the how well the Aussie economy was doing compared to the rest of the world, they go and post a contraction in their economic growth! UGH! That's the way to show me up! The Aussie economy shrank in the 4th QTR by .5% VS the forecast of .2% growth... The news scared the markets into believing the Asian problem will be worse off than previously thought. Oh Come On! Australia is STILL doing better than most countries, especially those that I listed in yesterday's Pfennig!...
  • RBA Surprises The Markets!

    * Everything but Treasuries trades heavily... * Fundamentally speaking on Australia... * Bank of Canada to cut rates today... * Tell me your story... ** RBA Surprises The Markets! Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well... The BIG NEWS this morning comes to us from down under, where the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) surprised the markets and left rates unchanged for the first time in 7 months... Now, that's the horse of a different color! How dare they? How could they? Why everybody is doing it, Where do they get off thinking they didn't have to? Ahhh, grasshopper... The RBA continues to shine in my eyes as the best run Central Bank in the world, and this is one of the reasons why... Yes, they could have gone with the rest of the crowd, and cut rates to the bone, but why stoke inflation? Now, having said all that... It doesn't mean the RBA won't cut rates again in the future... It just means that they were being prudent, and taking a step back to see what their previous rate cuts had done to the economy, and how the economy would be affected by them. So, the proverbial "pause for the cause"... But, I believe it to be warranted, given the RBA had cut 400 BPS away from their once lofty rate in 7 rate cuts......
  • Talking Stimulus Deux

    * Pending Home Sales surprise! * Eurozone Retail Sales slump! * Tax cuts don't create jobs... * Failure to follow through for the A$ ** Talking Stimulus Deux... Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... I'm here! The Orlando Money Show... And guess what? Looks like I brought that artic cold front that had hit St. Louis, all the way down to Orlando! It's cold here! UGH! Well, not "cold" like at home, but "cold" for here! OK... Front and center this morning, we had a stock rally yesterday after the Pending Home Sales data printed a surprise number. And since stocks and currencies have been trading together the past few days, (we talked at length about this yesterday) that meant a currency rally as well! But! Neither stocks or currencies could break on through to the other side, break on through, yeah! So... That left them vulnerable to profit taking, and that's exactly what we've seen with the currencies overnight. We'll have to wait a couple of hours to see how stocks open up......
  • "The Cheater" Speaks...

    * Currencies rally... * IFO unexpectedly rises... * Norway looks good... * Gold hits $900 again! ** The Cheater Speaks... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! We received the snow and ice they forecast, but the drive in to the office was no biggie, so the street crews did a fair job, I would say... We'll see when I head into the city for my radiation this morning... Hey! What a day for the currencies yesterday! Geez Louise, it's seems like it's been a month of Sundays since I could say that! And there's been follow up overnight, although, I do believe I'm seeing some profit taking right now... I went to radiation yesterday with the euro trading around 1.2965... I came back 2 hours later, and it was 1.31! And it didn't stop there, trading up to 1.3175, but running into a wall of resistance there... But that was temporary, as the overnight market pushed the single unit higher to 1.3250... It did trade all the way up to 1.33 and change on news that the German Business Confidence, as measured by the think tank IFO, unexpectedly rose for the first time in 8 months. This improvement was a result of the European Central Bank (ECB) cutting interest rates......
  • Another light trading day...

    * US GDP falls as expected... * Housing continues to slump... * Christmas wishes... ** Another light trading day... Good day... The currencies remained in a very tight range, with the dollar drifting up slightly overnight. Today will be a short trading day, as the stock market will be closing at 1 pm EST. We will be heading home around 1 pm CST today, so if you want to make some trades you will have to contact us this morning. We will be at home celebrating the Christmas holiday tomorrow, but will return to work on Friday (I think the US should adopt boxing day!!)....
  • 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%....