Archive for October, 2018

Notes From Underground: Rome Is Alive With the Sound of Music

October 31, 2018

There was singing in Rome when Angela Merkel announced that she is stepping down as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union. The two most recent German regional elections has solidified the unmitigated truth about the weakened condition of the German chancellor. For the last six years, I have been highly critical about Merkel’s policies. The bumbling French President Nicholas Sarkozy out-maneuvered Merkel in 2011 as he prevented then-Bundesbank President Axel Weber from leading the ECB.

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Notes From Underground: Volatility Will Remain in Financial Markets

October 28, 2018

First,I have the extreme pleasure of participating in another PODCAST with Richard Bonugli at the Financial Repression Authority. It is always a pleasure to “JAM” with Peter Boockvar in an effort to discern the rhythms of the global financial system. Peter, along with Jim Bianco, are two of the best analysts covering the entire rubric of money flows being impacted by the data. Enjoy the exchange and remember that this recorded on Tuesday, October 23. There was a great deal of volatility and data after our podcast, but much of it is relevant heading into this week’s trading.

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Notes From Underground: Mario Draghi, The Magician of Frankfurt

October 24, 2018

After the Swedish Riksbank’s decision on Wednesday to keep rates at -50 basis points and pledging to raise rates in the coming months, the Bank of Canada met market expectations by raising its overnight rate by 25 basis points. The most important information from Governor Poloz is that the BOC raised rates even though last week’s inflation data was much softer than expected. The BOC official statement noted that the global economy is solid, the reconciliation over the USMCA is positive and “rates to rise to a neutral stance to achieve inflation target.”

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Notes From Underground: Tell Me Why You Are Crying

October 23, 2018

The current market temperament is causing angst among investors. A relatively strong earnings season is failing to provide support to the U.S. equity markets that many analysts have been promoting. The media is wondering what will halt the continuing slide in stocks around the globe. We at Notes From Underground have pondered what the primary catalyst would be

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Notes From Underground: A Fresh Glance at Markets

October 21, 2018

Exactly two weeks ago we at Notes From Underground published, “Powell Seeks To Reestablish The Authority of Markets…Maybe?” While I was off enjoying my daughter’s wedding, the December S&P futures had closed at 2895 on Oct. 5 (unemployment Friday). I warned that the market was misjudging Chairman Jerome Powell as he seemed impervious to equity and bond market corrections. The algos are built on the FOMC being quick to defend the elevated levels of the bond and equity markets.

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Notes From Underground: Powell Seeks to Reestablish the Authority of Markets … Maybe?

October 7, 2018

I am positing this idea because I think it’s critical to current valuations of various asset classes. The nine-year rally in the U.S. (and to some extent the global equity markets) has stretched valuations as ultra-cheap money has pushed investors into taking risks larger than what many money managers and retail investors would do “normal” circumstances. This was ultimately the Bernanke plan the former chairman laid out at Jackson Hole in 2010 (simplified in Bernanke’s Washington Post op-ed as the PORTFOLIO BALANCE CHANNEL). The long-term problem for investors is that Bernanke and Janet Yellen were terrified of market reactions whenever they desired to halt the massive QE programs and their beloved use of FORWARD GUIDANCE.

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Notes From Underground: Weather Disrupts. Will It Disrupt Financial Flows?

October 4, 2018

Based on the recent ADP report and other economic data, logic would dictate that Friday’s jobs report OUGHT to be very strong. If the data is weaker than expected, analysts will look to the impact from Hurricane Florence, ” the storm the authorities came to blame.” There are projections that jobs will be diminished by upwards of 50,000 so the initial algo traders will be thwarted. As usual, the critical component of the jobs number will again be the average hourly earnings (AHE), which are expected to rise 0.3% following August’s increase of 0.4%. If this number were to print 0.5% expect bond futures to come under pressure, even on top of violent increase in yields we have experienced this week.

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Notes From Underground: Going Where Others Fear to Tread

October 3, 2018

In a surprise visit with Rick Santelli on Wednesday, we picked up where we left off in our discussion about rising interest rates. This time we had live ammunition as the data releases revealed suggested robustness in the U.S. economy. Now that the “accommodative” language was removed from the FOMC statement, Chairman Powell will have the luxury of FLEXIBILITY in reacting to economic signals. The markets responded to Powell’s new policy by sending interest rates higher, taking out long-time technical resistance on the U.S. 10- and 30-year Treasuries. Is the rise in yields sustainable? Friday’s unemployment report will provide a powerful test for the markets because if wages increase more than anticipated there will be renewed selling all along the curve.

Click on the image to watch me and Rick discuss the rise in Treasury yields.

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