Financial Review

Thursday, April 10, 2014 – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

Mr. Toad’s Wild Rideby Sinclair Noe DOW – 266 = 16,170SPX – 39 = 1833 (-2.1%)NAS – 129 = 4054 (- 3.1%)10 YR YLD – .06 = 2.62%OIL – .20 = 103.40GOLD + 5.80 = 1319.10SILV + .19 = 20.13 If you want to know why the stock market is up one day and down the next, and not just little moves but triple digit swings – I don’t know. If anybody says they know, they probably don’t. Maybe it’s the Fed, maybe it is earnings reporting season, maybe it’s a strong economy or a weak economy, or maybe the markets are just trying to imitate Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. The one thing we know is that stock prices fluctuate, and over time a pattern or trend develops; right now things are wobbly. In economic news, the Labor Department said that the number of people applying for unemployment benefits dropped to 300,000, the lowest level in nearly seven years. The Treasury Department says the federal budget deficit for the first half of the 2014 fiscal year totaled $413 billion, down $187 billion from where it stood at this point last year, as tax revenue surged and spending sank.  In March, the Treasury collected $216 billion in taxes, up 16% from a year ago, helping reduce the deficit for March to $37 billion from $107 billion last year.  Meanwhile, spending sank by 14%, or $40 billion; military spending has been cut, federal government jobs have been cut, and Fannie Mae and …

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Financial Review

Wednesday, April 09, 2014 – Feeding Time at the ZIRP Trough

Feeding Time at the ZIRP Troughby Sinclair Noe DOW + 181 = 16,437SPX + 20 = 1872NAS + 70 = 418310 YR YLD un = 2.68%OIL + 1.04 = 103.60GOLD + 4.30 = 1313.30SILV  – .22 = 19.95 In an otherwise light week for economic news, the big report is today’s release of the FOMC minutes from last month’s meeting. No surprises. You may recall that after the last meeting, Chairwoman Janet Yellen talked about the possibility of raising the fed funds target rate after a “considerable time”; when pressed she indicated a “considerable time” was about six months after the Fed ends it asset purchases under Quantitative Easing. That would mean late spring or summer of 2015. Fed policymakers were unanimous in wanting to ditch the thresholds they had been using to telegraph a policy tightening; no hard and fast target of 6.5% unemployment or 2% inflation. The minutes indicate the Fed would like to see more improvement in the economy; the emphasis on quality rather than quantity. In other words, the Fed remains dovish, and they will taper but they will also keep rates low for a long time. And also, those “dots” are over-rated. The dots are actually charts suggesting the fed funds rate would top 2% by the end of 2016. In the minutes published today, several policy-makers claim the charts overstated the shift in projections, which would suggest the Fed is not ready to tighten policy. A couple of the voting members wanted to commit …

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Financial Review

Tuesday, April 08, 2014 – When Stuff Aligns

When Stuff Aligns by Sinclair Noe DOW + 10 = 16,256 SPX + 6 = 1851NAS + 33 = 411210 YR YLD – .01 = 2.68%OIL – .28 = 102.28GOLD + 11.10 = 1309.00SILV + .20 = 20.16 Every now and then the planets align. Tonight is one of those times; Mars, the Sun, and Earth will be aligned in opposition. And Mars is closer than normal, although still about 92 million miles away. I have no idea what this means in the cosmic scheme of things, but when the sun sets in the West, Mars will rise in the East; and it will be overhead around midnight. You should be able to spot it easily as it will look light a bright star with a red or burnt orange color. If you can’t watch tonight, you can look to the skies for the next week.  On April 14, there will also be a total lunar eclipse causing the full Moon to turn as red as the Red Planet itself. Investor sentiment remains upbeat ahead of earnings and despite the smack-down in prices Friday and Monday. On Friday, the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, dropped down to a multi-month low of 12.6 and even after a few days of triple digit declines the VIX has only edged back into the mid-14 range. And although Alcoa is the official start of earnings season, a few companies have already reported, including Oracle, Nike, and Fed Ex; without inspiration. The floodgates on profit …

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Financial Review

Financial Review for Tuesday, July 30, 2013 – The Bus Doesn’t Go There

The Bus Doesn’t Go There by Sinclair Noe DOW – 1 = 15,520SPX +0.63= 1685NAS + 17 = 361610 YR YLD + .01 = 2.61%OIL + .22 = 103.30GOLD – .50 = 1327.70SILV – .12 = 19.83 This might turn out to be a very interesting week, even if the markets were absolutely somnambulant today. Tomorrow morning we’ll get a report on second quarter gross domestic product and it is widely anticipated that it will show the economy growing at 1%, which is down from 1.8% in the first quarter and is generally pathetic, but remember that this number will then be revised a couple of times until they get it right. Tomorrow afternoon the FOMC will wrap up it’s two day meeting; Ben Bernanke will come down from his ivory tower and announce that the economy is modestly moderate and the Fed is watching it with keen interest and they will do whatever they do, which is more of the same depending upon economic conditions as seen from the long range telescope high atop their ivory tower. Of course, there is always the possibility the Fed could surprise us; they might take away the punchbowl and the kids on Wall Street might throw a temper tantrum and break your 401k, so we’ll all tune in tomorrow. Then on Friday we have the jobs report, which is the first Friday of each month. If there is strong jobs growth the kids on Wall Street might throw a temper tantrum and …

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Financial Review

Financial Review for Friday, November 2, 2012

Jobs, Jobs, and More Jobs by Sinclair Noe DOW – 139 = 13,093SPX – 13 = 1414NAS – 37 = 298210 YR YLD +.01 = 1.73% OIL – 1.98 = 87.58GOLD – 38.10 = 1677.90SILV – 1.35 = 31.01 The big economic news of the day is the October jobs report. The Labor Department says the economy added 171,000 jobs last month, and they revised prior months to show even more job gains. The unemployment rate rose to 7.9%, as more people entered the labor pool. Some 578,000 people entered the labor force in September, according to the household survey, with 410,000 saying they found work. The discrepancy led to the slight uptick in the unemployment rate. The professional-services sector created 51,000 jobs, health care added 31,000, retail gained 36,000 and leisure and hospitality companies hired 28,000 workers, manufacturers added 13,000 jobs after shedding workers in the prior two months. Altogether, the private sector added 184,000 jobs, with government subtracting 13,000 from the final total. Any jump in jobs is good for housing. While overall construction added 17,000 jobs in September, residential-building construction employment fell by 2,000. Residential specialty contractor jobs increased by 6,700, which speaks to the real root of today’s housing recovery. All-cash investors are leading the gains; they buy distressed properties and then repair and remodel them to turn them into rentals. It’s no wonder remodelers are seeing greater gains than the home builders. Companies also hired more employees in September and August than previously estimated. The …

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Financial Review

Financial Review for Thursday, October 25, 2012 – Thank You Notes

Thank You Notes by Sinclair Noe DOW + 26 = 13,103SPX + 4 = 1412NAS + 4 = 298610 YR YLD + .05 = 1.83OIL – .43 = 88.30GOLD + 8.80 = 1711.30SILV + .38 = 32.11 PLAT + 3.00 = 1567.00 listen at www.MoneyRadio.com Chief executives of more than 80 big U.S. corporations, including Goldman Sachs, Cisco Systems and Boeing, joined forces to press Congress to reduce the federal deficit; they call it “The Campaign to Fix the Debt,” but it is a silly notion. We already have a plan to fix the debt. It’s called sequestration. It involves cutting spending and raising taxes, and it will fix the debt; it would also put the brakes on the economy. The group said any fiscal plan must be bipartisan, tackle all areas of the budget and include tax reform. It also urged the government to reform and improve the efficiency of healthcare programs like Medicare and Medicaid. The Wall Street leaders whose recklessness and illegal behavior caused this terrible recession are now lecturing the American people on the need for courage to deal with the nation’s finances and deficit crisis. The CEOs think the uncertainty is overwhelming and they think it stems from the fiscal cliff, not a lack of business. If they keep putting the cart before the horse, they might veer off the path. I almost missed this next story. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase received a major endorsement from a prominent congressman: Barney Frank. Congressman …

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Financial Review

Financial Review for Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DOW -124 = 13,074SPX – 14 = 1398NAS – 45 = 306810 YR YLD -.04 = 2.24% OIL +.57 = 102.04 GOLD – 25.40 = 1621.40SILV – 1.32 = 31.46PLAT – 43.00 = 1604.00 So, we made it through the first quarter, and it was just delightful, one of the best first quarter rallies in years; the S&P up about 12%, the NASDAQ up 18%. Do you think the S&P will continue at that pace in the second, third, and fourth quarters? Do you think the S&P will gain 48% this year? Actually a bit more. Do you think the NASDAQ will gain 72%? Let’s sort through what it really means. Are we seeing recovery or was it just a cyclical bull in a secular bear? Remember hearing about green shoots? Remember when they withered on the vine? How do recognize a genuine, sustainable recovery? First you have to realize there is an economic ebb and flow and there are some fairly predictable patterns that emerge. There were good years for investors back in the Great Depression but it was still a Great Depression. And we still have threats to the economy. Treasury Secretary Timothy Giethner said today that fallout from the European debt crisis along with fears of Iran and higher oil prices posed the biggest threats to the U.S. economy. “Europe is still facing a very difficult, very challenging period. They are likely to have weak growth. You have, obviously, the fear of Iran and oil prices, even though that is …

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Financial Review

Financial Review for Friday February 24, 2012

DOW  – 1 = 12,982SPX + 2 = 1365 NAS + 6 = 296310 YR YLD – .01 = 1.98% OIL +1.86 = 109.69 GOLD – 6.50 = 1774.60 SILV +.04 = 35.51PLAT – 13.00 = 1717.00 We’ve almost made it through the first two months of the year and if you haven’t noticed, things are getting better. This is not to say that everything is good or even great, just that things are getting better. And of course, there is the caveat that things might get worse and that could happen fast and it could be severe, but for this specific moment in time, things are getting better. Some people would like to deny this; they claim this getting better notion is a false meme; we’re being manipulated into believing that things are getting better when they are not. Despite the presence of bright sunlight, we know that the darkness of night is right around the corner; and even cold, hard numbers are unconvincing. Let’s look at the numbers: the S&P 500 has doubled in less than 3 years, and it’s up more than 8% year to date; just this week home sales showed strength and inventories dropped, the unemployment rate has been steadily dropping and the initial claims for jobless benefits fell to the lowest level since March, 2008; and consumer confidence in January moved to its best level in a year. Maybe these numbers don’t apply to you personally; fair enough. And it’s easy to claim the …

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Financial Review

Financial Review for Thursday, January 25, 2012

DOW +81 = 12,756SPX + 11 =1326NAS + 31 = 281810 YR YLD -.06 = 2.01OIL +.79 = 99.74GOLD  + 44.40 = 1711.80SILV + 1.22 = 33.37PLAT + 35.00 = 1585.00 The Federal Reserve will leave interest rates unchanged. That is the biggest non-news event of the day, but wait, there’s more! The Fed wrapped up their FOMC meeting with a new twist, they issued an official inflation target of 2 percent and they published individual policymakers’ forecasts for the Fed funds rate. A 2 percent target for inflation isn’t really new, and it wasn’t really on target because the rate for 2011 was 3 percent. The individual policymakers offered a wide range of views; three policymakers expect rates will need to rise this year and two others don’t think rates will need to rise until about 2016. The consensus seemed to be that rates should stay unchanged until the end of 2014. The Fed says the economy faces “significant downside risks” but it offered little to suggest it was close to launching another round of bond-buying to prop up growth. It did say, however, that it would maintain a “highly accommodative” monetary policy stance. The statement also dropped a reference saying the Fed was monitoring inflation and inflation expectations. Let’s break this down a bit further; the biggest change was that the Zero Interest Rate Policy has been unofficially extended from 2013 to 2014; this could be considered dollar negative; meanwhile, there was no announcement on QE3 – no …

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Financial Review

Financial Review for Tuesday, January 07, 2012

DOW + 33 = 12, 878SPX + 2 = 1347NAS + 2 = 290410 YR YLD +.06 = 1.96%OIL + 1.74 = 98.65GOLD + 25.00 = 1744.90SILV +.47 = 34.15 PLAT + 36.00 = 1647.00 I talked with a friend this weekend about the unbelievably better than expected jobs report on Friday. My friend was a bit surprised that I viewed the report favorably. I tried to explain that the report was deeply flawed, seriously imperfect, and likely not accurate, however it is probably still the best report to track the jobs picture, even with strange seasonal adjustments. The debate continued that the jobs report was certainly nothing more than a big BLS snow job, and if I bothered to look at the tax rolls, I would see that tax revenue declined while jobs were supposedly increasing. Of course, that’s what happens when you cut the payroll tax rates. Then I heard the argument that if we really counted the way we used to count in 1994 the unemployment rate would be 22.5%, and I was politely told about shadowstats. Well, I’ve met John Williams and I’ve cited John Williams, and if we compare today’s  unemployment rate to 1993, then he has a good point, but if we compare the unemployment rate from a year ago or 3 years ago then the jobs picture is improving; apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Then my friend asked if the economy was recovering. I think we’re still in a small “d” …

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