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  • 2nd QTR GDP Today...

    In This Issue..

    * A flat trading day in currencies...

    * 473,000 newly unemployed last week...

    * Kan ready to take "bold action"...

    * Ludwig von Mises on a Friday!

    ...
  • Stocks push the currencies higher...

    In This Issue..

    * Stocks push the currencies higher...
    * Norway pulls out of recession...
    * Jackson Hole boondoggle...
    * Oil helps rally commodity currencies...

    Good day... We had more rain here last night, but the storms have cooled things off and it is starting to feel a bit like fall around here. Chuck flies off to San Francisco today to speak at the Money Show, so I will be bringing you the Pfennig for the next few days. The dollar has rallied just a bit overnight, clawing back some of the losses which occurred mid morning yesterday.

    And what, you might asked, caused the dollar to rally yesterday? You can re-read a bit of yesterday's Pfennig for the answer: 'The data cupboard has been emptied out and is looking to get restocked today... So the only thing besides sentiment moving the markets today will be the direction of stocks...' Yes, Chuck was right on in predicting what would drive the currency markets yesterday, as the dollar got sold off as stocks moved higher....
  • 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....
  • Throwing A Cat Among The Pigeons...

    In This Issue..

    * Risk Aversion returns...
    * RBA cuts 25 BPS...
    * Eurozone recession deepens...
    * Oil backs off...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! OK... I'll get to Opening Day in the Big Finish today, first, and foremost, I need to tell you about a guy that really threw a cat among the pigeons yesterday, causing a BIG scare and sell off of risk assets... Currencies that is...

    His name is Mike Mayo, and he used to work at Deutsche Bank, and now is a banking analyst at Caylon Securities... And brother can he ever move a market! To make a long story short... Mr. Mayo basically said yesterday in a report that 'Bank Loan Losses Will Exceed Depression Levels'... So, all that James Brown, feeling good, that went on last week with the G-20 singing everything is beautiful, all went down the drain after Mr. Mayo spoke......
  • Data shows just how bad things are...

    * Data shows just how bad things are... * Trade deficits narrow... * EU confirms they are in a recession... * RBA intervening again... ** Data shows just how bad things are... Good day... Chuck asked me to go ahead and write the Pfennig this morning, but I got a late start, so this one will be short. We finally had some data releases here in the US which look to steer the markets, so I'll just get right to it. The dollar continued to strengthen yesterday after another round of bad weekly employment figures. Initial jobless claims increased to 516k during the first week of November, and last weeks numbers were revised up to 484k. The employment picture continues to darken here in the US, and it doesn't look like it will improve any time soon. This is just what the US consumers don't need right now. Not only are most consumers living paycheck to paycheck, but now many of those paychecks are being ripped out of their hands....
  • Comfortably Numb...

    * Comfortably numb... * Data confirms the US slowdown... * NZD and AUD end the week with gains... * Hungarian forint stabilizes... ** Comfortably numb... Good day...These dramatic swings in the markets are becoming so common place that a move of 400 pts by the Dow doesn't really garner much notice. After all, in the past five days, the Dow Jones average has had a trading range of almost 2,000 points, but after five dramatic days the stock market is trading almost exactly where it was a week ago. And the volatility in the equity markets has carried over to the currency markets, where we continued the roller coaster ride which began a few weeks ago. Yesterday, the dollar began the day with a strong move up in early European trading. But a plethora of bad data released here in the US caused the greenback to reverse course, and it wiped out all of its earlier gains. But the bargain hunting rally in the stock market during the afternoon pulled the dollar along with it, and we ended the day with a dollar index which was slightly higher than the day before. Today is shaping up to be a similar trading pattern, as Europe has begun the day buying dollars vs. most of the major currencies....
  • Cash For Trash...

    * Grave words about the economy... * OPEC warns of a higher Oil prices... * FDIC in need of $150 Billion? * Citigroup calling for a higher euro... ** Cash For Trash... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Well... The President sure painted a rosy picture for the U.S. economy last night didn't he? NOT! Whoa there partner! With words like 'collapse' and 'danger' and 'panic', President Bush was telling the country that we're in deep dookie! In telling the public that the government must put $700 Billion of taxpayer's money at risk to bail out the financial system, he said... 'We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis. Our entire economy is in danger. America could slip into a financial panic.' Now... Those are some serious statements, folks... And were followed up by the comments by the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, who said, 'Whatever you think about whether or not there was a need for a bailout... Once the president, secretary of the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve Chairman have announced that if you don't do this, there will be a collapse, there's probably going to be a collapse if you don't do it.'...
  • US$ saved by oil...

    * US$ saved by oil... * US Recession? (not according to Paulson)... * New Zealand worst performer in July... * Big Mac Index says buy Asia... ** US$ saved by oil... Good day...And welcome to August. The markets had a little more movement yesterday as the US GDP report came in lower than expected, and had a hidden surprise for dollar bears (more on that later). In addition to the poor GDP numbers, Personal consumption dropped and the GDP Price Index also showed a decrease. The employment cost index was flat, and the weekly jobless claims were slightly higher than expected at 448k. More Americans filed initial unemployment claims last week than at any time in more than five years. The only positive piece of data released in the US yesterday was the volatile (and somewhat unreliable) Chicago Purchasing Managers number which showed an increase back above 50. With all the bad data, the dollar sold off rather sharply and the Euro jumped a full cent to trade over 1.57 for a short while. But the dollar bears didn't celebrate for long, as the dollar sharply reversed course as crude oil prices rode to its rescue. As I explained earlier in the week, the price of crude oil and the US$ have had a very tight relationship lately, with a correlation of .9. Just after the dollar fell due to the GDP releases, crude oil began a sharp $3 drop and saved the US$ from further losses. The price of oil has continued to slide, and is now down over 11% in the past month. This has helped prop the dollar up in spite of a number of poor economic reports here in the US....