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  • 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!)...
  • Heading Towards Zero...

    * Fed cuts rates 50 BPS! * Currencies rally Big! * 3rd QTR GDP to go negative? * I.O.U.S.A. ** Heading Towards Zero... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It certainly was a Tub Thumpin' Wednesday for the currencies, foreign stocks, commodities, and the Philadelphia Phillies! This by no means that the deep dense fog that has hung over the markets for 3 months has lifted for good... It did, however, lift for one day, and what a day it was! Oh, and the Fed did indeedly do cut their Fed Funds rate to 1%, which works out great since Fed Funds had been trading at 1% anyway! I had a reported from Dow Jones call me a few minutes after the rate cut and ask me my opinion on what the dollar was doing, which at the time was rallying back a bit... I said it looked like a classic case of buy the rumor sell the fact, that enough speculators were pushing the dollar lower ahead of the rate cut in hopes that a larger cut would be made. That, however, was not the case, and the dollar rallied... But only for about 20 minutes, and then it took a rid on the slippery slope, with the euro pushing to the 1.29 handle as I left for the day....
  • A Currency Bounce...

    * U.S. stocks soar! * Currencies rally! * Consumer Confidence at an all-time low! * Getting off the bench! ** A Currency Bounce... Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! The fall chill has really set in here as witnessed by my need to throw on a jacket and my Missouri Tigers baseball cap each morning! When you are basically bald like me, the cold air is not a friend to you, thus the need for a baseball cap from now until late spring! Well... The trading theme remained in place yesterday, but this time it was reversed. For those of you new to class, or any of you who have been playing horse hooky, the trading theme that has gripped the markets since August is: The deeper, darker, and more dangerous the U.S. economy and financial meltdown, including the credit market's locked status, the dollar gets bought... If there is any sign of light to all this mess, the dollar gets sold, for whenever the markets get their minds off the mess, they are reminded of awful fundamentals for the dollar....
  • FOMC Meeting Begins Today...

    * Mini-currency rally is cut short * Is it Japan or U.S.? * Gold stages a rally... * Swiss francs remain well bid... ** FOMC Meeting Begins Today... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well... We saw some profit taking in the currencies yesterday, which meant a mini-rally in non-dollar currencies for the first time in what seems to be a month of Sundays! At one point in the day, the euro had added more than 1-cent to its figure dragging sterling, Swiss, Canada and a host of others along. But, that didn't last in the overnight markets, and we're right smack dab back on square one where we left off yesterday. This morning we'll listen in on former Fed Chairman Volcker's speech, which ought to be a good one, don't you think? I mean, this is the guy that said a couple of years ago that the U.S. could see a currency crisis... And didn't it? OK, it's not now, but turn your clocks back to June, and you'll see what I'm talking about here. Volcker is a "hero" of mine in how he took on the inflation of the late 70's early 80's and didn't dance around the dance floor with it... He whipped it into shape, and then left it all in good shape for Big Al Greenspan... We all know what happened after that!...
  • A New Trading Theme...

    * Coordinated rate cuts...* Did the Fed reignite soaring inflation?* More pain in Iceland...* Revisiting the 90's in Japan... ** A New Trading Theme... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Well... How about those wily veteran Central Bankers? They all got together and decided to cut rates... The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) went first with their 100 BPS cut, and opened the rate cut sea for the rest of the Central Banks around the world. The European Central Bank, The Riksbank (Sweden), Swiss National Bank, Bank of Canada, Bank of England, and the Bank of China all lined up at the rate cut table... The Bank of Japan, The Norges Bank (Norway), and Reserve Bank of New Zealand did not participate. The Bank of Japan doesn't have any rate to cut, The Norges Bank will wait until their regularly scheduled meeting on 10/15, and the RBNZ believes that they have taken their toxic waste bond flu shot......
  • 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?...
  • Paulson speaks with forked tongue...

    * Paulson speaks with forked tongue... * Fed leaves rates unchanged... * A look back at the data... * Japan to weather the financial Tsunami... ** Paulson speaks with forked tongue... Good day...Another day, another $85 billion of US taxpayer used to bail out an ailing financial firm. Yes, our Treasury Secretary went on another shopping spree, and this time he was accompanied by Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Barnanke. Just two days ago, Paulson drew a line in the sand when he let Lehman Brothers collapse into bankruptcy. The non-action from Paulson was seen as a good move by most, as he was sending a signal to the markets that the US taxpayer couldn't be seen as the buyer of last resort for failed financial firms. And Paulson talked tough with regard to AIG. Paulson was asked about reports that AIG wanted an emergency loan to help it through its troubles. "What is going on right now in New York has got nothing to do with any bridge loan from the government," he replied. "What's going on in New York is a private sector effort, again, focused on dealing with an important issue that's, I think, important that the financial system work on right now, and there's not more I can say than that....
  • 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....
  • Dollar swings a mighty hammer...

    * Dollar swings a mighty hammer... * FOMC expected to sound more hawkish... * Euro Opportunity currencies rally... * RAB leaves rates unchanged, but AUD$ falls... ** Dollar swings a mighty hammer... Good day...The dollar rallied again yesterday, and shot up even more overnight as the markets prepare for the rate announcement from the Fed. Falling oil prices helped propel the greenback higher, as oil fell below $120 a barrel for the first time since May. This latest move puts the dollar index close to 74, the point at which the last dollar correction ended back in mid June. The technical guys are all waiting to see if the index can break through 74.31, a sign that further strength is possible. But I don't pretend to be a technical analyst and would much rather look at the economic fundamentals to figure the direction of the dollar....
  • A week of interest rate decisions...

    * A week of interest rate decisions... * Pound Sterling drops again... * Brazil and Mexico continue to dominate... * Gold and Silver fall... ** A week of interest rate decisions... Good day...The dollar stayed in the pretty tight range it has established over the weekend, gaining some strength over the weekend after losing some ground on Friday. Should be an exciting week as it is 'Interest Rate Decision' week as a number of central banks will be announcing their new rates. I think the rate announcements will reinforce my feelings that the world's economies are heading down divergent paths, with some economies heading down a recessionary path while others maintaining good growth rates. As expected, the US unemployment rose to the highest level in more than four years as employers cut jobs again in July. But the decrease in payrolls was slightly less than forecast, so some were saying 'it isn't as bad as we thought'....
  • Fighting Deflation Instead of Inflation?

    * A bounce in the euro overnight... * Iran tests long range missiles... * Japan's Machine Orders soar! * Is Big Ben giving us a hint? ** Fighting Deflation Instead of Inflation? Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Things settled down a bit yesterday, with the rumors of bailout for Fannie and Freddie Macs fading, and some awful Housing data being swept under the rug. The dollar gained back the ground it had lost to the euro the previous day, and Japan printed a very strong Machine Orders report... And now Iran tests long range missiles... All that and more as we begin our Wednesday... OK, front and center this morning... The Housing data from yesterday. Since the media decided to sweep this under the rug, I thought I would make certain that at least Pfennig Readers were aware of the rot on the Housing vine. The index of Pending Home resales fell -4.7% in April, a much larger decline than the "experts" forecast. I think what you're seeing here is simply that would be buyers are holding off as they expect further declines in prices.....
  • "Somewhat Receded"?

    * Fed leaves rates unchanged... * A dovish tone to the Fed... * Dollar Bulls run for the hills! * Norway raises rates... ** "Somewhat Receded"? Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Well... If you are a non-dollar owner, you might want to quickly go to the currency round-up to check on your currency / currencies... The Fed left rates unchanged and were quite dovish in their statement, and the dollar has been sent to the woodshed... Welcome back! Front and Center this morning, we have a currency rally going on, with the euro leading the dogs off the porch to chase the dollar down the street. The single unit has pushed past the 1.57 handle this morning, and the high yielders of Aussie, kiwi, and Brazil are all dancing in the streets because their positive rate differentials are even more in the face of traders now....