Financial Review

A Tight Range

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB) Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 0.34 = 18,285 SPX + 4 = 2130.82 NAS + 19 = 5090 10 YR YLD – .07 = 2.18% OIL + 1.71 = 60.69 GOLD – 3.00 = 1207.80 SILV + .05 = 17.23   The S&P 500 closed at a record high today.   We had a slew of economic data this morning. The leading economic index rose 0.7% in April, indicating the US economy is still expanding.   Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 274,000 for the week ended May 16. Despite last week’s increase, claims remained below 300,000, a threshold associated with a strengthening labor market, for an 11th straight week. The four-week average for jobless claims decreased to 266,250, a 15-year low.   The National Association of Realtors reports sales of existing homes fell 3.3% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million. April’s sales pace was up 6.1% from a year earlier. The median sales price of used homes hit $219,400 in April, up 8.9% from the year-earlier period.   The jobless claims and existing home sales are pretty important because they are strong indicators for second quarter growth. We know the Fed is watching the labor market. It would be very difficult for the Fed to hike rates if the labor market starts showing signs of weakness. The housing data is important …

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Financial Review

Ongoing Criminal Enterprises

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB) Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Financial Review by Sinclair noe DOW – 26 = 18,285 SPX – 1 = 2125 NAS + 1 = 5071 10 YR YLD – .01 = 2.25% OIL + .77 = 58.76 GOLD + 1.80 = 1210.80 SILV un = 17.18   April 29 and 30 the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee met to determine monetary policy; today, they published the minutes of that meeting. There were no surprises. Policymakers have no plans to increase interest rate targets in June. We all knew that. Officials in April “had increased uncertainty regarding the economic outlook,” the minutes showed. They had no good reason to explain why consumer spending was so weak.  “Most” Fed officials think the dramatic slowdown in growth in the first quarter was transitory and that a moderate rebound would resume in the second quarter. Inflation was also expected to move higher.  The international context isn’t helpful to the US economy. Fed officials deem “foreign economic and financial developments” as constituting “potential downside risks,” and they specifically mention Greece and China. Moreover, despite its recent partial retracement, the dollar’s appreciation is “likely to continue to be a factor restraining US net exports and economic growth for a time.”   This suggests that they see a rate hike coming sometime later this year. Only a “few” on the U.S. central bank questioned whether the Fed was providing enough stimulus for the economy at the present …

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Financial Review

Another Record

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB) Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 13 = 18,312.39 (record) SPX – 1 = 2127 NAS – 8 = 5070 10 YR YLD + .03 = 2.26% OIL – 2.17 = 57.26 GOLD – 17.80 = 1209.00 SILV – .61 = 17.17   Record high for the Dow Industrials.   Construction starts on new U.S. homes was up 20% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million. That’s the biggest monthly percentage gain in over 24 years and the highest level since November 2007.  Total housing starts remain far below an average pace of about 1.5 million over the 20 years leading up to the housing bubble’s 2006 peak.   A board member of the European Central Bank says the ECB will “frontload” its asset purchases in May and June – that is, step up buying in those months – to maintain its monthly average of $67 billion, given an expected drop in liquidity in the summer vacation period. The policymaker also said the recent selloff in German bunds and other sovereign bonds is not a cause for concern but the rapidity of the move is worrying.   Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told a Greek TV channel last night that Greece is “very close” to a deal, other officials are less enthusiastic. European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker said this morning that there will be no agreement for Greece at this week’s summit. At …

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Financial Review

Milk and Cookies

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB) Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 26 = 18,298.99 (record) SPX + 6 = 2129.20 (record) NAS + 30 =  5078 10 YR YLD + .09 = 2.23% OIL – .14 = 59.55 GOLD + 2.30 = 1226.80 SILV + .19 = 17.78   Record high close for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Whenever the S&P 500 hits a record high close we mention it. Whenever the Dow hits a record high close we have a celebration with milk and cookies. Our reasoning is that we never know if or when we will see another record high close. Sure, the Dow could hit another record high tomorrow, or it might falter and it could be 5 years or ten years until we see a record, or maybe never. So today we celebrate.   The rationale behind these record highs is suspect. Last week’s economic news was disappointing, and the bad news moved the markets higher, mainly on the idea that the Fed will be slower to raise rates. Retail sales were weak, industrial production was flat and capacity utilization decreased.  Consumers aren’t spending what’s left over after lower oil prices, instead, they are increasing personal savings. A new survey from Princeton Research shows 19% saved the difference from the gas pump, 4% invested, and only 14% took the savings from lower gas prices and went out and spent it on …

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Financial Review

Inmates Run the Asylum

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB) Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 20 = 18,272 SPX + 1 = 2122 NAS – 2 = 5048 10 YR YLD – .10 = 2.14% OIL – .01 = 59.87   The S&P 500 index hit a record high close for the second day in a row. The S&P added 0.3 percent this week for its first back-to-back weekly gain in more than a month. The Nasdaq posted a small gain for the week.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 0.4 percent for the week. The Dow is close to another record. The old record is 18,288 from March 2.   So, to see if this little rally has legs, we can look at the Dow Jones Transportation Index, because according to Dow Theory, if the industrials are performing, they have to ship their products to market, so the Dow Transports should confirm any move by the Industrials. We are not getting confirmation. Transports topped out in November, and then there were 4 failed attempts to break through the high of 9310. And since March, the Transports have been consolidating lower. Now this doesn’t mean that the Industrials can’t hit a new record on Monday; after all the index is within spitting distance of the old record; but if the rally has legs, we would need to see Transports exhibit some signs of life. When we see a divergence, the we can …

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Author Interviews

Jeremy Josse

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:50 — 9.1MB) Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Audio interview by Sinclair Noe with Jeremy Josse, author of “Dinosaur Derivatives and Other Trades”

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Financial Review

Bad Things in the Midwest

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB) Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 191 = 18,252 SPX + 22 = 2121.10 NAS + 69 = 5050 10 YR YLD – .04 = 2.24% OIL – .77 = 59.73 GOLD + 6.30 = 1222.40 SILV + .35 = 17.55   The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed at an all-time high, taking out the previous closing high of 2117.69. The Dow is still about 36 points shy of its record closing high. The dollar is on track for its longest weekly losing streak since October 2013. The bond market rallied, just a little, which is at least a change from the past couple of weeks. The earnings season is winding down, and it was ugly, but it looks like there will be positive earnings growth coming from the first quarter numbers. The economic data has been tepid.   The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits in the first full week of May fell by 1,000 to 264,000. New claims have registered less than 270,000 for three straight weeks, only the second instance in which that’s happened since 1975. Continuing jobless claims, people already collecting benefits, were unchanged at 2.23 million in the week ended May 2.   Producer prices, or prices at the wholesale level, fell a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in April to mark the seventh decline in the last nine months, mainly because of lower gasoline and food costs. Core producer …

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Financial Review

No Small Thing

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB) Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 7 = 18,060 SPX – 0.64 = 2098 NAS + 5 = 4981 10 YR YLD + .02 = 2.28% OIL – .62 = 60.13 GOLD + 22.10 = 1216.10 SILV + .61 = 17.19   U.S. retail sales were flat in April. Americans went out to eat more and made plenty of Internet purchases, but we cut back on gasoline, autos, home furnishings and electronic goods, among other things. While March’s retail sales were revised up to show a 1.1 percent increase instead of the previously reported 0.9 percent rise, that was not enough to offset the general weak tone of the report. Retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services were also unchanged. Core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.   You can’t blame the bad winter weather for this report. The American consumer is acting in a most bizarre manner…, they are not spending, they are saving. The most recent data, from March, shows that Americans saved 5.3% of their pre-tax income, down from 5.7% in February. But the average savings rate so far in 2015 is higher than it was last year and in 2013. Savings spiked following the recession, but it was widely expected the savings rate would eventually fall back to the pre-bubble rates of 3% or 4%. Yea, that’s not happening. …

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Financial Review

Magnitude of Falsity is Enormous

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB) Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 36 = 18,068 SPX – 6 = 2099 NAS – 17 = 4976 10 YR YLD – .03 = 2.25% OIL + 1.50 = 60.75 GOLD + 9.50 = 1194.00 SILV + .21 = 16.58   The Treasury market continued to sell-off this  morning, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury up to 2.35% intraday, the highest point since Nov. 21. The selling eased by the afternoon, sending the yield down to 2.25 percent. The intense selling in the Treasury market was fueled by a similar meltdown in the Eurozone’s government bond market which has been going on for more than two weeks. Germany’s 10-year bund yield is 14 times higher than a month ago.  The yield on the 10-year benchmark German bond known as the bund increased 12 basis points to 0.71% intraday and European peripherals, such as Spain, Italy and Portugal, also saw their yields jump between 10 and 13 basis points.   At a panel discussion in Zurich this morning, NY Fed President William Dudley outlined that he does not know when interest rates will rise but repeated recent comments that the policy tightening will depend on the US economy. In other words, the Fed won’t send out engraved invitations and you will need to stay alert but the markets shouldn’t be surprised when the Fed raises rates. Dudley said the conditions that will determine the …

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Financial Review

Hot Fun in the Summertime

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB) Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Financial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 85 = 18,105 SPX – 10 = 2105 NAS – 9 = 4993 10 YR YLD + .12 = 2.27 OIL – .10 = 59.29 GOLD – 4.00 = 1184.50 SILV – .13 = 16.38   The S&P 500 Index went up to 2117.69, it sat there for a couple of seconds then fell; the reason this is important, or not, is because 2117.69 is the record high from April 24; also, last Friday, the S&P hit 2117.66 for an intraday high. It has been at or near this level several times in the past 3 months, but it can’t break through. Meanwhile, about $100 million in options on the VIX changed hands at 12:16:04 this afternoon; that’s a little more than a half day’s normal volume in a split second. The VIX is the Volatility Index. Just over 1 million contracts were traded. The trades were spread among four contracts that pay off at different dates and prices, say if the VIX rises to 17 by June or 23 by July. We don’t know who made the trade, but somebody is betting things will get hot this summer.   On Friday, the Jobs Report showed the economy added 223,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.4%. We’ll get more information on the labor market tomorrow with the JOLT survey, which takes a look at job openings …

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