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  • Retail sales disappoint even more…

    * Retail sales disappoint.... * Chuck's views on the Lone Prop... * Waiting on the ECB... * Emerging market currencies sell off... ** Retail sales disappoint... Good day... The big news yesterday was the retail sales numbers, which fell twice as much as expected. Chuck predicted a tough Christmas season, and the BHI was right again. Sales dropped 2.7 percent according to yesterday's report from the Commerce Department. The falling home prices, rising job losses, and tighter credit have all combined to finally force US consumers to adjust their spending habits. No matter how low retailers slashed prices during the recent Christmas season, US consumers just weren't buying. The economy is forcing consumers to wean themselves off of the dangerous drug of easy credit. In spite of Bernanke and Paulson's attempts to get consumers borrowing and spending again, the economic slowdown is forcing the US consumers to reign in their spending. But while this change in consumer habits is good for the longer term economic health of the US, it only serves to drive the economy even further into recession over the short term. And the bad economic data just keeps rolling in. U.S. foreclosure filings spiked by more than 81% in 2008, a record, according to a report released Thursday, and they're up 225% compared with 2006. The total foreclosure filings in 2008 topped 3 million and showed no signs of slowing down in spite of the efforts of both the government and banking industry to slow them down. Foreclosure filings actually accelerated in the 2nd half of the year, increasing 17% in December over November of 2008....
  • Rescue plan not an instant fix...

    * Rescue plan to take time... * Pound sterling rallies (for now)... * Brazil supports the real... * Iceland cuts rates... ** Rescue plan not an instant fix... Good day...Another roller coaster of a day, as the dollar continued to slide through lunch but then rallied back up in the afternoon. As I walked out the door last night, most of the major currencies were trading right about where they were when I turned the screens on. The dollar has started to fall again in overnight trading, so the up and down of the past few weeks looks to continue. The news stories coming across the wires this morning seem to be as volatile as the currencies. I have now counted three different stories which state the markets are moving back into higher yielding currencies and riskier investments after the coordinated bank bailout plan which was announced yesterday. But several other stories are talking about how investors are moving out of the higher yielding assets because of concern that the bank rescue will take too much time to unfreeze global credit markets. I tend to agree with the latter of these....
  • Trichet "Gets The Memo"

    * ECB raises interest rates... * More jobs losses in June! * An embarrassment for the Fed... * Buying opportunities? ** Trichet "Gets The Memo" Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! What a fabuloso 3-day Holiday weekend! WOW! The weather was great, I relaxed max time, and shot off some fireworks just to keep the tradition going... The weekend was working hard to make me forget the happenings of Thursday... The Perfect Storm that was possible for the dollar turned out to see the tables turned and it was the euro that went into a tailspin on Thursday... Here's the skinny......
  • FOMC Meeting Day!

    * What will the Fed do? * Going into the fryer? * Trichet tries to cool the jets... * India raises rates 50 BPS! ** FOMC Day! Good day... And a what should be "Wild" Wednesday to you! This is the day the Fed's "true" colors come through in my opinion. The markets were all fired up a couple of weeks ago, and the air in their balloon has been slowly let out up to now. But today, we'll see if their balloon get re-inflated or goes "pop"! You see, today is the day the Fed's FOMC meeting adjourns and a rate announcement along with a new bias will be the order of business at the end of the meeting. The Fed Heads normally eat their lunch, which was probably packed in brown bag consisting of a baloney sandwich (since that's what they normally spew is baloney!), some chips and ho-ho's... HAHAHAHAHA!...