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  • UK data boosts the dollar...

    In This Issue..

    * UK data boosts the dollar...
    * US GDP falls further...
    * Norway cuts rates...
    * Big wins by MIZZOU and BLUES...

    Good day... I want to start this mornings Pfennig with a big congratulations to the MIZZOU Tigers who pulled off what most believed was an unlikely win over Memphis last night. What a game! They move on to the Elite Eight to play powerhouse UCONN on Saturday.

    The currency markets weren't as exciting as the basketball games yesterday, as the dollar held in a fairly tight range. The big move came in early morning trading as a report was released in the UK showing their economy's contraction was worse than previously thought. This news was GDP in the UK fell 1.6% in the 4th quarter of 2008 vs. the previous quarter. And the outlook presented by the Bank of England is not rosy. BOE Chief Economist Spencer Dale said this morning that the British economy's short term prospects are 'bleak'. Chuck has brought up the comparison between the UK and US economies several times, as the UK economy looks like mirror image (albeit smaller) of the US. The UK economy has been slightly ahead of the US in the race toward economic meltdown. Unfortunately the US Fed seems to be shadowing every move by the UK, cutting rates to near zero and then using 'quantitative easing' to force them down even further....
  • A New Year’s Jobs Jamboree Friday...

    * Will the ADP report be a good indicator? * China to slow treasury purchases? * Gold as a store of wealth... * Dealing with the devil... ** A Jobs Jamboree Friday... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday, as it is forecast to get to 50 degrees today here in St. Louis. Never mind that tomorrow's high will be 29! It doesn't take away from today! What a trading day in the currencies yesterday... Whew! It's a Jobs Jamboree Friday, so let's not beat around the bush... It's time to Jamboree! Today is the day the Gov't prints the December Jobs Jamboree, and if Wednesday's ADP report did what they said it was going to, and that is change their methodology to mirror the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) then this morning's Jobs Jamboree will be a nightmare. Of course not the kind of nightmare that the over 2.5 million people that lost jobs in 2008 had! I was once in those numbers, as our old Bank, Mark Twain Bank, was bought by a bigger bank, Mercantile Bank, and Mercantile decided after a few months to perform ethnic cleansing of Mark Twain employees... I called it "my retirement" but with a 3 year old at home and on my lap most of the day, "retirement" couldn't last too long! My point is that you don't know the emptiness and failure you feel when they show you the door... So my thoughts are always with those that lose their jobs......
  • 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....
  • 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!...
  • ECB to change dollar's direction?...

    * ECB to change dollar's direction?... * BOE leaves rates unchanged... * The worst is not over in US housing... * Japan's government signals expansion is over.. ** ECB to change dollar's direction?... Good day...The dollar continued its assault on the world's currencies yesterday as the dollar index moved above the 74 handle. I pulled a chart off the Bloomberg on my way out the door last night, and it showed the only major currency which was up vs. the US$ yesterday was the Swedish krona, which managed a .07% increase. This dollar rally has legs, but I still question the fundamentals behind the dollars surge. Today may be the day we see the dollar finally make a turn, as the ECB will be announcing their rate decision. It is not that I expect Trichet to raise rates, but I do expect him to sound hawkish and refocus the markets attention on Eurozone inflation and away from worries about growth. Two reports out of Germany this morning will bolster Trichet's hawkish stance. German exports rose more than economists expected in June, defying a stronger euro and pushing the trade surplus to a record. Exports increased 4.2% from may, the most since September 2006. German industrial production also increased for the first time in four months with output rising 1.7% from a year earlier. The IMF last month rose its forecast for German economic growth this year and said the global slowdown linked to the US financial crisis was less severe than it expected....