Archive for the ‘data’ Category

Notes From Underground: Quick Note on the BOE and Friday’s Jobs Report

November 2, 2017

Today, the BOE raised interest rates (as expected). But the market deemed it to be dovish and the EUR/GBP rallied 2 percent as the British pound tumbled and the euro strengthened versus the pound and dollar. On Wednesday I cautioned that the EUR/GBP failed to hold below its 200-day moving average and this provided a good technical level. As expected, the FOOTSIE index rallied more than 1 percent as investors appreciated a weaker POUND as beneficial to British corporations regardless of Brexit. The initial release of the statement revealed a 7-2 vote, which on first read was not the expected 6-3 vote so could have been a bit hawkish. But the eight paragraph statement clarified the soft-side of Governor Carney:

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Notes From Underground: A Guide For The Perplexed? (Maimonides)

June 4, 2017

Friday’s unemployment data showed the addition of 138,000 jobs, weaker than the ADP report. Even though the RATE dropped to 4.3% the all-important average hourly earnings rose by a tepid 0.2% and April’s data was lowered by a tenth of a percentage point. Many readers e-mailed me as to why the S&Ps and NASDAQ continued to rally in the face of weak economic news from the U.S. The BOND rally made sense as investors continued to cover short positions, but what is perplexing is the continued strength in the precious metals and the currencies despite a strong U.S. equity market.

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Notes From Underground: The Unemployment Report Revealed Little

April 9, 2017

The headline nonfarm payroll number was much weaker than expected and confused traders because it was so wide of the April 5 ADP release of 263,000, but the rest of the data was tepid though not weak enough to dissuade the FOMC from further efforts to raise rates. The important average hourly earnings was up 0.2%, in line with expectations, but the weekly hours worked slipped 0.1, which may have been in response to the early March storms. The unemployment rate dropped to a recovery low of 4.5% but that may be because of the amount of workers having left the labor force. The markets’ initial reaction to the headline NFP was the bonds rallied, the dollar weakened and the precious metals rose. By day’s end all the moves reversed from early rallies inspired by the U.S. missiles fired at Syria. The market had deemed the cruise missiles fired at the air force base in Syria as a market destabilizing event, spurring a purchase of what are deemed safe haven assets: GOLD, YEN, BONDS. But the end of day reversal nullified Syria as a one-off event. So the market is confused as to the genuine impact of the unemployment report and we will have to wait for more economic data to weigh all the “communication” coming from FED speakers. Chair Yellen will be speaking with a Q&A session on Monday afternoon so late market action should not be discounted.

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Notes From Underground: The World of 2+2=5 Is Back In Full Swing

October 30, 2016

The mid-day, market-moving announcement from FBI Director Comey resulted in the selloff of the DOLLAR, EQUITIES and RALLIES IN PRECIOUS METALS just after the market had enjoyed the better-than-expected first look at the third quarter GDP. I will try to make sense of both releases from a market stand point and in an APOLITICAL format.

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Notes From Underground: Unemployment Report Spot-On and Meaningless; Draghi Doesn’t Disappoint

December 6, 2015

The U.S. jobs report was in line with market expectations colored by the Wednesday release of the ADP data. The market’s response was interesting in that BONDS, STOCKS AND THE DOLLAR reversed some of the reaction to ECB President Mario Draghi’s press conference on Thursday. While the jobs report seemed to SOLIDIFY an FOMC rate hike next week, the settlements on Friday raises questions about the Fed’s current strategy. Even though a rate increase is a “certainty” and with the ECB promising more liquidity at lower interest rates, the settlement prices at the week’s end were perplexing:

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Notes From Underground: Shot Fired, British Pound Down

November 5, 2015

Is it the first Friday of a new month already? If so, then it must be time for the release of the U.S. employment data and preparing for a day of market volatility driven by the machines of madness and their algorithmic masters. In preparation for the trading madness, it seems that the consensus is for a nonfarm payrolls increase of 192,000 jobs, a work week of 34.5 hours, and, most important for Chairman Yellen, an increase in average hourly earnings of 0.2%. It appears that a strong number will result in a higher probability of the FED raising rates at the December 15-16 FOMC meeting. It is the problem of dissecting what a STRONG EMPLOYMENT is that makes trading and investing so difficult for the next six weeks. Is it the number of jobs created and the impact on the unemployment rate that renders the most powerful argument for the Fed hawks? Or is it the level of wages relative to GDP and corporate profits that is the most significant indicator of job strength and possible inflation?

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Notes From Underground: Fed Creates Jobs by Printing `Data Dependent’ T-Shirts

May 11, 2015

Today, CNBC‘s Steve Liesman interviewed San Fran Fed President John Williams. In a swipe at Fed gallows humor, President Williams presented Liesman with a T-Shirt that said the Fed was DATA DEPENDENT. The humor part was Williams’s effort to cut-off Steve Liesman’s well choreographed question which amounts to: “Come on, John, share your inside view about the possibility of a RATE RISE at the next FOMC meeting (just between us, John).” So as to make sure that Liesman understands the consistent answer: It is data dependent. If the FED wants to create some jobs it can send everyone with a bank account a free “Data Dependent” shirt, compliments of their regional Federal Reserve. All sarcasm aside, President Williams’s view puts added importance now to the inflation data on Friday and of course the retail sales input on Wednesday. The consensus on the CORE RETAIL SALES is 0.3% increase so a strong number would be above 0.6%. If the theory of data dependence holds then it should be the SHORT END of the curve that gets sold and here is my reasoning: The 2/10 and 5/30 parts of the yield curve have steepened dramatically during the last two months as the market accepts the fact that the recent bout of weak economic data has pushed the FED further away from raising rates.

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Notes From Underground: Is Tomorrow’s Number a Meaningless Statement?

February 5, 2015

Yes, except if the nonfarm payroll numbers comes in above 300,000 jobs created and/or average hourly earnings rise above 0.4%, reversing last month’s -0.2 %. Consensus is for payrolls to grow by 235,000 but that is in line with the average of the last six months so it will have to be a strong number to give some substance to the more hawkish voices on the FOMC Board. More importantly for Chair Yellen will be the wage growth for if wages lag job growth the Fed will be reticent to raise rates, especially in the face of a strong dollar or the euphemism of” international developments.” In my humble opinion, global financial conditions in the light of European instability will play a larger role in the Fed’s decision to raise rates, which is why I maintain it will take a large number to give voice to those Fed voters wishing to raise rates.

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Notes From Underground: Janet — Klaatu Barada Nikto (The Day the Earth Stood Still)

July 29, 2014

Tomorrow is a big day for disseminating information with market-moving potential. The market is bored with war, pestilence and famine so it must be FED pronouncements and GDP data that can provide a volatility boost. The markets did twitch today as the European Union and the U.S. both upgraded the sanctions against Putin’s Russia. It will be very difficult for Russian banks and large energy consortiums to raise dollar- and euro-based capital. Even with the advent of new and improved sanctions the global equity markets barely moved, especially as corporate earnings in the U.S. continued its string of “beats.” The counter to the continued strength of the equity markets is the behavior of the global debt markets as European sovereigns from Spain to Germany have reached record low yields. The U.S. yield curves continue to flatten as investors continue purchasing 10- and 30-year debt driving long-term yields lower. Again, I will state that while the curves are flattening the 2/10 U.S. curve is not historically flat.

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Notes From Underground: We Won’t Be Fooled Again

May 14, 2014

I’ll move myself and my family aside

If  we happen to be left half alive

I’ll get all my paper and smile at the sky

For I know that the hypnotized never lie
                                   — The WHO
I’d like to follow-up yesterday’s blog post and the dilemma for the Fed in regards to low inflation and low wages, as in, which way will interest rates turn? Today the bond yields dropped in spite of a much higher PPI (producer price index), which measures wholesale inflation. If producers cannot pass higher input costs onto the consumer, profits will suffer. Tomorrow, the BLS will release the consumer price index, CPI, which is expected to be up 0.1 percent on the core and 0.3 percent on the headline number. If the data is higher than market consensus it will be interesting to see if the BONDS and NOTES shrug off inflation fears and continue the recent rally. The price of the 10-year note closed above the 200-day moving average for the first time in two months, even as the 30-year bond has been above the 200-DMA for the same period of time. The rally in the 10-YEAR NOTE acted to flatten the curve but I warn you, readers, that this curve is far from being flat by historical measures. Two-hundred eighteen basis points is far from being flat and again I remind readers that a year ago the 2/10 curve was a much flatter 145 basis points.

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