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  • Holiday pause...

    * US data may wake up the markets... * Toyota reports a loss... * NZD falls, AUD gains... * Will the Rupee shine in 2009?... ** Holiday pause... Good day... The currency markets remained in a tight range through the day yesterday with no movement from the majors currencies vs. the US$. Japan has a public holiday today, so trading this afternoon will be very quiet. Jennifer, who is doing all of our currency trading while Chuck is out, let me know that the trading desks were extremely quiet yesterday afternoon. But the markets may wake up a bit this morning, as we wait for data on 3rd quarter growth in the US. GDP is expected to have fallen .5% in the 3rd quarter, and Personal Consumption is also predicted to have dropped last quarter. Later in the morning we will get reports on the sagging housing market. New home sales and existing home sales are both expected to have dropped slightly during the month of November. And with sales dropping, prices of both existing homes and new homes are also expected to have dropped. Finally, this afternoon we will get the ABC Consumer Confidence number which will likely show another drop in consumer sentiment....
  • Currency markets stabilize...

    * Currency markets stabilize (for now)... * Data packed holiday shortened week... * China cuts rates... * Indian rupee falls... ** Currency markets stabilize... Good day...The dollar settled in at the slightly higher levels it reached Friday morning and is trading in a narrow range heading into a holiday shortened week. Trade desks across the globe will be mostly staffed by the backups as the big bosses take Christmas week off. Volume will likely be lighter, which can sometimes lead to an increase in volatility. The data calendar is empty today, but chock full tomorrow and Christmas eve. Markets will be closed on Christmas day, and most will be closed again on the day following Christmas (known as boxing day). GDP, Personal Consumption, U of Michigan consume confidence, New Home Sales, Existing Home sales, House price index, Richmond Fed Man. Index, and ABC Consumer confidence numbers will all be released tomorrow. On Christmas eve the US will release MBA Mortgage applications, Personal Income, Personal Spending, PCE deflator, Durable Goods orders, and the weekly jobs numbers will all be released. I told you we will be packing in a weeks worth of data in the next two days!!...
  • Dollar bounces back up...

    * Dollar bounces back up... * Paulson heads back to congress... * BOJ cuts rates to below the US... * China to continue increasing the value of the Renminbi... ** Dollar bounces back up... Good day... The currencies took a breather overnight as the dollar bounced back up. When we left last night, the Euro was still holding above $1.42, but the single unit dropped 3 cents overnight and is now hovering around the $1.39 level. This move back down was to be expected, and serves as an excellent opportunity for investors who were afraid they had missed out on getting back into the currency market. I have searched the news wires this morning and can't find any good reasons for the dollar's turn around other than it had simply gone too far too fast. Mike Meyer and I were talking about this yesterday morning, as we were looking at the trading screens in amazement. The dollar's move down over the past two weeks was even faster than the move up earlier this year. Chuck had warned readers all during the dollar rally that the strength was only temporary, but the reversal was just too quick. This move back up is healthy for the markets, and will allow investors another opportunity to move back in....
  • Santa rally continues...

    * Santa rally continues... * Norway cuts 175 basis points... * Japanese intervention possible... * Indian rupee moves up... ** Santa rally continues... Good day... The dollar is falling much faster than it rose, the euro surged over 6 cents vs. US$ since yesterday at this time. The 5 day return chart for the major currencies vs. the US$ is pretty impressive: Swiss Franc +12.55%, Euro +9.5%, Danish Krone +9.44%, New Zealand $ +8.41%, Australian $ +5.08%, Swedish Krona +4.85%. And it continues. The past two weeks have been the most dramatic move by the dollar that I can remember. The dollar index, which tracks the US$ vs a group of major currencies is back trading right where it was at this time last year. I pulled a chart of year to date currency returns vs. the US$, and there are now 5 major currencies which have appreciated vs. the greenback: Yen +26.44%, Swiss + 8.07%, and Singapore, Danish Krone, & Euro + 1%. And with the recent big moves, our phones have been lighting up with investors moving back into currencies. I love the fact that all of these investors are diversifying, but the speed of this recent move demonstrates why we suggest keeping your investments spread across all asset classes. Trying to time into or out of a market can be frustrating, while keeping consistent asset allocations is the key....
  • Bailout failure accelerates dollars decline...

    * Senate rejects auto bailout... * ECB pushes back from the rate cut table... * Goldman and Citigroup predict a dollar fall... * China to continue to appreciate... ** Bailout failure accelerates dollars decline... Good day... Not sure when all of you will be receiving this today, as it took nearly over a half hour for my computer to boot up this morning. But its all good news for currency investors, so I'll get it written and out to you as quickly as I can. The dollar slowed its decent overnight, but continued to fall vs. most of the major currencies as the US Senate rejected the $14 billion bailout for the auto industry. The big winner in the Senate rejection of the bailout plan was the Japanese yen, as Japanese car makers are predicted to grab an even bigger piece of the US auto market. The yen, which has been rallying due to global deleveraging and carry trade reversals, suddenly had another reason to rally. The yen rose to a 13 year high, trading below 90 yen per dollar, and some are now predicting a rise to 80. Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa boosted the yen further after telling reporters in Tokyo that Japan isn't considering intervening in the currency markets....
  • A HUGE Currency Rally!

    * Another currency rally.... * SNB cuts another 50 BPS! * Budget Deficit continues to widen! * Treasury yields go south for the winter! ** A HUGE Currency Rally! Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It's been quite the rally this week in the currencies led by the euro, which is like old times, eh? The Big Dog on the porch finally gets to stretch its legs and chase the dollar down the street! It's been a long time since we've seen this go on for more than a day. Yes, we've seen one day spikes, and even two day rallies turn into false dawns, but this one has lasted about a week now. Ever since last Friday's awful Jobs Jamboree, the tide has turned, and the Trading Theme that has held the currencies in a full nelson since the end of July, could very well be on the way out the door. I said that about the Trading Theme earlier this week, so I just wanted to repeat that to emphasize the point!...
  • 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!...
  • Automakers Say They Need Funding Now...

    * Currencies trade in a tight range... * China... * Commodity prices to blame... * "Safe" Treasuries? ** Automakers Say They Need Funding Now... Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... I went "shopping" yesterday evening... At least I can say I did my bit to keep the economy afloat! HA! Thanks to all who sent along notes to me yesterday with kind words. I truly appreciate the kind words, you are all too kind! The automakers made their pleas to Congress yesterday, and they claim they are in deep dookie! GM says they need $4 Billion right now! And... The original $25 Billion figure has grown to $35 to $40 Billion... The currencies were lifeless yesterday, with only a blip up in euros to 1.2740, only to give it back overnight. Aussie dollars (A$) rallied on the Huge 100 BPS rate cut news from the previous night, but at the end of the day, that was all but forgotten... It was as if the currencies did a Hans and Franz... Got all pumped up... But then turned into 100 lb weaklings again as the day turned to night....
  • The NBER Finally Says So!

    * RBA cuts 100 BPS... * It IS a recession! * Paulson to ruffle feathers? * Yen to rally hard? ** The NBER Finally Says So! Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Quoting one of my all time fave Christmas songs, Baby, it's Cold Out There! Winter has arrived, and I had to drag out the big heavy winter coat this morning. So... The seasons pass us, which is a good thing, because without winter, we couldn't have spring, and spring training! OK... Right out of the starters blocks this morning, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) pulled the rug right out from under the "high yield status" of their economy, with another HUGE rate cut overnight... This time, the RBA cut 100 BPS, to an internal cash rate of 4.25%. This brings the total since September to 300 BPS! WOW! Talk about effectively unwinding seven years of tightening! The statement following the rate announcement leads me to believe that the RBA is probably finished cutting rates for now... It will be a wait-n-see what happens globally, before the RBA entertains any talk of further rate cuts... At least that's my opinion!...
  • Back to Risk Aversion...

    * Japanese yen rallies... * Renminbi stumbles... * A very tough data week in store... * Rate cuts all around the world... ** Back to Risk Aversion... Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! In addition, Welcome to December! We had our first "dusting" of snow over the weekend, after experiencing wonderful weather Thursday and Friday. As much as they tried, even my beloved Missouri Tigers losing to ultra-rival, Kansas on Saturday, couldn't ruin what was a very fun and relaxing weekend for yours truly! Well... When I left you last Wednesday, I had thought that we could be on the cusp of a "change" in the currencies, as the Trading Theme that had held a tight grip on the currencies since July, was thrown to the side for a couple of days... But, I doubt "that" has happened, as a return to risk aversion is back on the table, which means the currencies and precious metals get sold, while Japanese yen, and U.S. Treasuries (read dollars) get bought....
  • Veteran's Day

    * The China good feeling dissipates... * Currencies lose their edge... * Fannie Mae needs more! * Silver manipulation? ** Veteran's Day Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! A Veteran's Day Tuesday! This is a Banking and Federal Holiday today, so the bricks and mortar banks are closed, and there will be no mail delivery, and of course your friendly neighborhood Government worker gets the day off. I'm here, in the saddle, writing the Pfennig like it's a regular work day, and the boys and girls will begin to gather in about 2 1/2 hours from now. We'll get all caught up, return some calls and head home today. Veteran's Day... I thought I would begin today with a snippet of a Veteran's Day poem by Jared Jenkins......
  • 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....
  • Iceland Melts Down...

    * RBA cuts rates 100 BPS! * Iceland to peg the krona... * High Yielders get whacked! * Gold rallies in the face of a strong dollar! ** Iceland Melts Down... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well... Folks... The wheels, what was left of them, are really coming off this economy. It's a sad sight to see, but it's happening nonetheless, and there's no bailout, stimulus check, mortgage bill, truck loads of money supply, or whatever, that's going to stop this recession bus.. Memo to Paulson and Bernanke... Don't throw yourself under this recession bus... Well... The dollar continued to push the envelope against a handful of currencies yesterday. Up front and center, the high yielders got beaten about the head and shoulders by the dollar. Aussie, kiwi, real, rand, all took major hits from the dollar. It was one of the worst days I can remember seeing for these currencies. This huge sell off showed two things going against the high yielders... 1. Commodities (other than Gold) are getting whacked, and 2. The Carry Trade is Dead......
  • The Deed Is Done...

    * Adding $700 Billion to our debt... * U.S. loses 159K jobs in September! * Dollar rallies to 13-month high VS euro * Ding Dong the Carry Trade is Dead... ** The Deed Is Done... Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! The deed is done... The House, which had previously voted down the Bailout Package, decided to go ahead and put the country in debt by another $700 Billion... Yes, I know it the payouts will be in installments, but in my mind it was in one swoop that $700 Billion was added to our debt... And guess what? The dollar rallied on the news! More on the Bailout Package in a minute... The other thing happened on Friday was the awful Job Jamboree in which 159K jobs were reported lost by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) during September. The job losses were all over the place led by job losses in Manufacturing. And guess what? The dollar rallied on the news!...
  • Some Healing...

    * largest one-day move up in the euro! * largest one-day move up in Oil! * Gold and Silver rebound! * Renminbi finally moves! ** Some Healing... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! I heard from one of my two sisters that live in the Houston area yesterday. They rode out the Hurricane together, have some damage to her house, and is still without electricity. I can't imagine what that's all like. But they are both safe at that's what's important at this point. Well... The euro had it's largest one-day move upward VS the dollar since its inception in 1999, yesterday... We've seen some profit taking in the overnight markets, but just for good measure... I think it appropriate to show that the euro reached 1.48 yesterday... That was a 3.5 euro move, and after falling to a low of 1.3869 on 9/12 (before bouncing big that day), the euro has now recovered about 7%... I would call that "some healing"......