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  • Finally some positive news for the US labor mkt.

    In This Issue..

    * Finally some positive labor news...
    * ECB and UK rate decisions...
    * China to stress test banks...
    * Happy Birthday Delaney Grace!!...

    Good day... Thunderstorms are rolling through the St. Louis area this morning, and while we don't need the rain, the cooler temperatures they are bringing with them are certainly welcome.

    The dollar moved a bit higher yesterday as data released here in the US finally contained some positive news for US workers. The ISM's index of non-manufacturing businesses rose to 54.3 in July from last month's 53.8 figure. And more importantly for market psyche, it was well above expectations which had predicted a drop to 53. About 90 percent of the US economy is service related, so this number is more closely watched than the manufacturing reports....
  • Central Banks Diversify Out Of The Dollar!

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rally VS the dollar...
    * Reasons why the U.S. wants a cheaper dollar...
    * Interest rate differentials...
    * Trade Deficit narrows...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! An absolutely awful weekend for our professional sports teams, as the Cardinals, Blues, and Rams all lost! The Cardinals were swept out of the playoffs! UGH! Talk about a downer for yours truly... I sat there, at the game, with my little buddy, and beautiful bride, and saw the writing on the wall early in the game... No life from those redbirds... And so, another baseball season comes to an end here in St. Louis...

    Friday morning, after drying out from Thursday nights drenching, no wait, super soaking at Faurot Field in Columbia, I sat down to breakfast, and read the Pfennig... I noticed that Chris was on a roll about Geithner... I thought that it was a good finish to the things I said about him the previous day! Chris will have the conn on the Pfennig Tuesday through Friday this week......
  • ECB & BOE leave rates unchanged...

    In This Issue..

    * ECB & BOE leave rates unchanged...
    * Trichet makes a mistake in judgment...
    * Asian central banks defend the $..
    * Gold pauses...

    Good day...Had a horrible night here in St. Louis, as every one of our teams let victory slip away. As you all know, Chuck drove to Columbia to watch his MIZZOU Tigers take on one of their arch rivals in a rare Thursday night matchup. The game went well into the night, as it was delayed due to problems with the lights at the stadium, so Chuck probably didn't get home until early this morning. I'll have the con on the Pfennig today, but Chuck will be back in the saddle again on Monday.

    As predicted, both European central banks kept interest rates unchanged. The European Central Bank and the Bank of England kept their benchmark interest rates at record lows in an effort to keep stimulating their economies. Trichet signaled that the ECB has no plans to raise rates in the near future, stating that the current level is 'appropriate' for the current economic environment. 'The recovery is expected to be rather uneven,' Trichet said. 'It will be supported in the short term by temporary factors but will be hampered in the medium term by balance sheet issues at financial and non-financial institutions.'...
  • Gold Soars To An All-Time High!

    In This Issue..

    * It was all about Gold yesterday!
    * Commodity Currencies take the lead today...
    * The story behind the euro's non-move...
    * Budget data prints today...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! What a day for Gold yesterday! WOW! In case you were trapped in a cave and didn't hear the news... Gold, which I said yesterday morning looked like it was going to take out its all-time high, did take out its all-time high, and not just take it out! Gold pushed past the all-time high of $1,033.90, and didn't stop until it was trading $1,047 and change! WOW! No check that... Double WOW!

    The Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) rate hike the previous night, opened the door to this run by Gold, as the Gold Bugs all came out and bought the preferred investment to counter soaring inflation... You see, if the RBA is raising rates, when most every other Central Bank is stuck in the mud with near zero rates, the RBA must see something, eh?...
  • A Currency Rally Takes Shape...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rally overnight...
    * A$'s rally for 7th consecutive month!
    * Will the ECB be vindicated?
    * Sweden tries negative deposit rates...

    Good day... And a happy Friday to one and all! So, yesterday didn't turn out the way I thought it would go, but that's OK... I think my body is trying to tell me something, as I overslept again this morning! I'm heading out the door this morning to go 'fishing'... Should be a ton of fun, with neighbor friends this weekend...

    Well, front and center this morning, we are smack dab in the middle of a currency rally VS the dollar. It has all the makings of such, as the Japanese yen is getting sold, along with the green/peachback. The improved economic data this week, finally caught up with the dollar, as risk assets are back on the table....
  • Bad news for GM and Chrysler rallies the US$...

    In This Issue..

    * Bad news for car makers rallies the US$...
    * Yen comes back strong...
    * Singapore to devalue?...
    * German Chancellor Merkel gives warning...

    Good day... And good Monday morning to all of you. I can't believe March is nearly over, it seems as though it just started. March will end up being a pretty good month for the currency markets, as investors exited the safety of US treasuries and started moving funds back into higher yielding assets. But the markets continue to be volatile, and news released on Friday and over the weekend has sent these investors rushing back to the safe haven of the US dollar.

    The Japanese Yen and US dollar benefited after a US Government official said Friday that bankruptcy may be the best option for GM and Chrysler. The dollar continued to gain strength this morning after US Treasury Secretary Geithner warned yesterday that some financial institutions will need 'large amounts' of aid. When the Treasury Secretary says large amounts, you know it is going to be billions or trillions! Geithner was making the rounds of Sunday morning talk shows to try and justify the money already spent and prepare the taxpayers for another request of funds....
  • Spending More Money...

    * Turn back the clocks to 1950... * Currencies rally on the day... * Bank of Canada to cut rates today... * Fed Funds to zero? ** Spending More Money... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! It's raining like cats and dogs outside, and that rain is supposed to turn to snow tonight, so we've got that going for us! Always love that rain to snow bit, as it puts a nice layer of ice under the snow! Well... It looks like the new president wants to spend more money... Yes, President-elect Obama, presented his economic plan yesterday, and before doing so, issued a warning that the economy is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. His plan calls for a pledge to spend the most on infrastructure since the 1950's... Now, let me say this... The Big Boss, Frank Trotter, and I talk about this all the time... To spend money on Financial Institutions and things that don't get used more than once like bullets and bombs, isn't our "fave" way to spend money... But building something that could be used over and over again, well, that makes sense... However, this spending could be coming at the absolute most awful timing, as the Deficits are exploding in front of our eyes, and it certainly isn't as appealing as watching the fireworks display in Vancouver!...
  • 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!...
  • 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....
  • 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....
  • 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!)...
  • 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?...
  • Fed not as hawkish as expected...

    * Fed not as hawkish as expected... * Markets now turn to ECB and BOE... * Canadian dollar slides... * Aussie hit by 1-2 punch.. ** Fed not as hawkish as expected... Good day...I want to start off today's Pfennig by apologizing for those of you who were waiting to receive their Pfennig yesterday. I sent it off at the normal time, but we had some problems with the program which sends it out, so it was delayed in getting delivered. You can always view the current Pfennig at www.dailypfennig.com where we post it first thing in the morning. That website also has archived versions of past pfennigs for your reading pleasure! They tell me the problem has been fixed, so you should get this pfennig right on time. The dollar drifted higher throughout most of the day yesterday as the markets prepared for the FOMC rate announcement. The sentiment driving the dollar higher was that the Fed would sound much more hawkish in order to keep an overall consensus among the FOMC members. Dollar bulls were expecting a signal from Bernanke that an increase in interest rates would be just around the corner. These higher interest rate expectations encouraged traders to take the dollar index back up to just under 74, a level we haven't seen in almost two months....
  • When Will The Fed Be Called Out?

    * More dollar strength... * Conspiracy theories... * BOC leaves rates unchanged... * A euro chart discussion... **Front and Center this morning, the dollar continued to hold the advantage over the euro and other currencies yesterday and in the overnight market... The euro did attempt to rally overnight, but that move was thwarted, as an European Central Bank (ECB) member, Stark, threw cold water on the rally. Stark, said that "the markets have understood the Governing Council's signal", which meant the markets understood that the ECB was going to raise rates in July... But then the cold water came flying out of the bucket as Stark then said, "However, we are not talking about a series of rate increases."...