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  • 13% increase in mortgage applications, but no help for housing.. .

    In This Issue..

    * Double digit increase in mortgage apps, but no impact on housing...

    * Euro is in a rut...

    * Pound surges higher...

    * Japan complains about weaker currencies...

    ...
  • Central Banks Diversify...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies soften VS the dollar...
    * Another look at Canadian job data...
    * China has Super month of exports!
    * Yen gets rocked by Upper House election...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Congratulations to Spain... The fiesta is on in Spain, as their football (soccer to us) team won the World Cup yesterday. Personally, I think Holland, got the bad end of the stick on two calls that would have turned that game their way. But, it was not to be, and Spain hoisted the cup!

    OK... Well, thanks to Chris for taking over the Pfennig on Friday. I was busy with other things for the day. I sent a note to Chris Friday morning about the Canadian Job report, and he replied that he had already written about it! WOW! Quick on the draw! He beat me to the punch... But, the report was so good it's worth talking about some more! Canadian employment skyrocketed again in June rising by 93,200, almost four times the amount expected by forecasters (+20,000). Add this to the 133,000 jobs created in April/May And you've got the ingredients for a strong quarter of job creation! The unemployment rate fell back to 7.9%, lower than forecasts for an 8.1% print.

    ...
  • Big Al Talks Deficit Financing...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies hold gained ground VS dollar...
    * Swiss franc really shines!
    * Japan borrows a line from the U.S....
    * The Labor problem grows...

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday, especially if you are a Los Angeles Lakers fan! Me? I've always been a fan of the Celtics, but since it's a long distance directory assistance relationship, it's not that big of a deal to me that they lost. When I was a kid, the Hawks were in St. Louis, and we won a championship, with Bob Pettit... OK, I was only 3... But my dad loved to talk about it!

    Well... We've had a day where the currencies gained VS the dollar, and then held their ground, for the most part... No profit taking, no debt crisis fears trading, just held their ground VS the dollar... Now, some would say... 'that's a sign that they've hit resistance and can't overtake it, which is not good for a rising asset'... But, me? Well, I would say, and will say... 'I find this to be refreshing. The last thing you want to see is an asset, which in this case is a currency like the euro, run up too much, too fast, for that WILL give the markets reason to sell. I prefer the slow gradual, stealth-like moves in currencies, so that they don't gain any attention, until the rally is well established.'

    ...
  • Jobs Disappoint Again!

    In This Issue..

    * Euro falls below 1.20...
    * Did we have negative "real" job creation?
    * Canada's labor market is strong...
    * G-20 yields nothing...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! It was a wonderful jam-packed weekend for yours truly, and when the alarm went off this morning, I had a greater appreciation for 3-day weekends!

    Well... Friday, when I was signing off, I said that suddenly the currencies were getting sold... At that time, it looked as if it might be short-lived... But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This was an all-out assault on risk, folks... At when the dust settled in the early afternoon, the euro had fallen below 1.20, for the first time since 2005, and everything other currency was getting whacked too... For the first time all week though, Gold rallied......
  • It’s A Jobs Jamboree Friday for 12/04/2009!

    In This Issue..

    * Commodity Currencies rebound...
    * Gold sees profit taking...
    * Canary in a coal mine...
    * It's Moving Day!

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! It's Moving Day for us here in the EverBank St. Louis office, as we will pick up our belongings and walk next door, to a larger, space, with some incredible views! We moved into this space 5 years ago, and we've been busting at the seams, with the threads holding on to dear life, for over a year now... So, this move is welcomed. Like I said the other day, in 1999, I sat in an office that we rented from the kind folks at Paylinx, and that was the beginning... From that tiny office to this! WOW!

    ...
  • More Strong Data Sinks The Dollar...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies near 1-year levels...
    * Canadian loonies are best performer!
    * Dangling a carrot...
    * Oil trades above $72...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Why Tub Thumpin'? Why not? Besides, the non-dollar currencies are darn near where they were a year ago, having a good chunk of the ground they lost during the Financial Meltdown last fall and winter... Not that I'm a cheerleader, but more of a 'this is what I believed would happen, and glad to see a plan come together' kind of guy!

    And since I, unlike throngs of people that like to point out errors, put my beliefs in writing every day... Right out there / here, in the open, for anyone to take pot shots at... But, I learned long ago that there will always be those that disagree, and not to let it upset or change the things I believe...

    ...
  • Dollar continues it’s slide...

    In This Issue..

    * Dollar continues to slide...
    * US GDP contracts but not as fast...
    * Nordic currencies outperform...
    * Japanese yen continues to fall...

    Good day... The last day of July is upon us. Time just seems to keep moving faster as it seems summer just got started. The fall of the dollar also accelerated yesterday as investors moved back out of the 'safe haven' of US$ and continued to shop for more yield. The greenback tried to stage a bit of a rally in early European trading, but has fallen back off again as I sit down to write the Pfennig.

    I got a call from a Reuters reporter yesterday mid morning to ask why the dollar was rallying at the same time stocks were moving higher. I quickly paged through my Bloomberg looking for some sign why both were heading higher. The trading pattern which has been established over the last few months has these two asset classes moving in opposite directions; good news for the US economy sends stocks higher and the dollar lower as investors retreat from defensive 'safe haven' positions in the US$. The opposite occurs whenever there is data which shows the global economic recovery is faltering, stocks move lower and the dollar rallies with safe haven buying....
  • House prices move up, but consumers still aren't confident...

    In This Issue..

    * House prices move up...
    * US consumers are worried...
    * Japanese retail sales drag...
    * Australian rates to rise...

    Good day... We finally had a bit of volatility in the currency markets yesterday, as conflicting data released in two separate reports moved the markets in opposite directions. The dollar started off the day drifting lower, as has been the pattern over the past 2 weeks. But during the late morning the dollar started gaining strength, and has barely paused its ascent overnight.

    Many of you probably heard the news reports that home prices finally rose during the month of May, and this is what had the dollar on the ropes yesterday morning. The S&P/CaseShiller Home Price Index reported that home prices in the US rose ever so slightly in May compared to April. But if we look at the annual figures, home prices are still down just over 17% across the country. Media outlets trumpeted this 'feel good' story with many economists declaring that housing has now turned a corner. This is a good sign, as prices have to stabilize before the housing sector can recover, but it is hard to get overly excited about a 17% drop YOY. The monthly figure rose just .5%, reflecting the first monthly gain since July 2006. Another report showed the share of homes sold as foreclosures or otherwise distressed properties fell to about 31% in June, down from a high of 50% seen earlier this year. With unemployment still creeping up, and the US consumer continuing to save instead of spend, I am going to need to see a couple of months of stabilized prices before I am convinced housing is turning the corner here in the US....
  • The ECB Clash Over Policy Again...

    In This Issue..

    * Initial Jobless Claims rise...
    * PPI does too!
    * Euros get hung out on a line...
    * Gold makes a comeback!

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! It may not be Thunderin' where you are, but apparently it was yesterday in my little river town, as I heard we had some shingles blow off... And... It certainly is Thunderin' over in the Eurozone this morning, I'll tell you why in a minute. So, let's get going don't want to get caught in any of that Thunder!

    I finished the last of my 3 presentations yesterday, and called it quits, as far as walking back and forth to the Conference Center. They'll just have to do without me at the booth! But the presentation was good, I think, and I made some very important points. None of which, were brand new to Pfennig readers!...
  • 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....
  • A Day Of Healing...

    * Currencies have a mini-rally... * Only to see profit taking overnight... * Gold rebounds too! * Retail Sales on board today... ** A Day Of Healing... Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! It was a Tub Thumpin' Wednesday yesterday for the currencies and Gold, after seeing them back off earlier this week! I'm in Jacksonville for a company event, and then on Friday morning, I head south to start my spring vacation! But first, some work to do here, and then on to the south! It was 29 degrees when I got in the car to leave for the airport yesterday morning... And it was 77 degrees when I finally arrived in Jacksonville! YAHOO! But even as loud as I can say YAHOO for the warm weather, which I've said over and over again, I've got to go where it's warm, it wasn't as loud as a the YAHOO yelped by currency owners as the euro led the currencies higher and higher all day long!...
  • A Jobs Disaster!

    * Retail Jobs are cut in December! * Dollar rallies on renewed Trading Theme... * Looking for the Obama bounce... * High yielders get sold... ** A Jobs Disaster! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! A grand weekend for yours truly with time spent resting, watching football, Alex play basketball, dinner with friends, and finally a wonderful dinner with my kids as we celebrated my oldest son, Andrew's, birthday. Whew! I'm at work about an hour earlier than usual this morning, as I couldn't sleep, and just decided to get up and come in... UGH! OK... Well, the big news this morning, is that the Jobs Jamboree was just awful, but "not as bad as some forecast" and therefore the dollar rallied. OK, I'm shaking my head in disgust too, but that's what the headlines reported later in the day on Friday, as the reason for the dollar rally. But let's get to the meat of the Jobs report... First of all, jobs lost in December were -525K, which was bang on the forecasts. But here's the two things I found to be very scary in the report... First of all, November's awful print of -533K was revised downward to -584K (recall, I questioned a month ago if it would reach -600K on the revision)... And here's the really scary number... -67K Retail jobs were cut in December... That's right, December! The month when retailers are supposed to be on fire!...
  • 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!...