Financial Review

Floors and Ceilings

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-10-17-2014.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review DOW + 263 = 16,380 SPX + 24 = 1886 NAS + 41 = 4258 10 YR YLD + .05 = 2.20% OIL + .27 = 82.97 GOLD – .70 = 1239.20 SILV – .10 = 17.37 The markets were down for the week, even with the bounce today. For the week, the Dow and the S&P each dropped about 1%; the Dow was down 164 points on the week, and the S&P was down 20 points. The S&P is now down for 4 consecutive weeks. Let’s take a look at the charts. Earlier in the week I talked about support and resistance. Someone mentioned to me that they weren’t quite clear on the concept. So, here is a good way to look at these topics. Support is the floor and resistance is the ceiling. Think of a chart as a staircase under construction. The stairs are being built, hopefully higher and higher, and to prop up the stairs, you have to have a structure, or floors and ceilings. When you break through the ceiling to a new higher level, that ceiling then becomes the floor for the next level up. In other words, resistance becomes support. If the staircase of price falls, the last floor will catch you, or provide support. Then to go higher yet again, you will have to punch through that ceiling, or resistance, again. So, let’s look …

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Financial Review

Third World Stuff

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-10-15-2014.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review DOW – 173 = 16,141 SPX – 15 = 1862 NAS – 11 = 4215 10 YR YLD – .11 = 2.09% OIL – .13 = 81.71 GOLD + 8.90 = 1242.10 SILV + .05 = 17.55 Go back a mere 18 trading sessions and the market was at all-time highs. The Dow hit an intraday high of 17,350 and a closing high of 17,279, on September 19th; that was 18 trading sessions in the past. For the Nasdaq composite we have seen a 10% correction from recent highs. That means this drop happened fast, and it also means the bear may have more room to run; this move is not mature in terms of duration or magnitude. The major indices have dropped under the 200 day moving average; we were waiting for confirmation; we got it. The S&P looked to bounce off a different trendline. If you draw a straight line across the S&P lows beginning with the lows from 2011, which is where we saw support and a bounce today, at the 1820 level; it is also very close to the support levels from April at about 1815, which we talked about on Monday. That is an intermediate level of support, but it held today, and you have to respect the line, unless or until it breaks down. Once we hit certain levels, people start to feel the pain and …

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Financial Review

Everything You Need to Know About the Jobs Report

http://SINCLAIR_NOE_-_SEG_1_-_09-05-2014.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review 09-05-2014 DOW + 67 = 17,137 SPX + 10 = 2007.71 (record) NAS + 20 = 4582 10 YR YLD + .01 = 2.46% OIL – 1.00 = 93.45 GOLD + 7.50 = 1269.40 SILV + .13 = 19.29 The S&P 500 index closed at a record high; the Dow Industrials closed just short of a record high. The S&P 500 and the Dow recorded their fifth consecutive weekly gains. For the week, the Dow and the S&P each gained 0.2% and the Nasdaq rose 0.06%. Today is a jobs report Friday. In August, the economy added 142,000 net new jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 6.1%. This was a weaker than expected report. The economy had been averaging more than 200,000 new jobs a month for the past 6 months. Economists expected somewhere around 220,000 to 230,000 new jobs. Employment gains for July and June were lowered by a combined 28,000; June was revised from 298,000 to 267,000, and the change for July was revised from 209,000 to 212,000. The August report will likely be revised as well. Each job report starts with an initial estimate on the first Friday of the month, followed by two revisions. The month of August is prone to sharp revisions; over the past 5 years, the difference between the first and third estimates have averaged more than 70,000 per month; and each of the …

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Financial Review

Be Careful Out There

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1_2-08-22-2014.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:28 — 9.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS08222014 LISTEN HERE DOW – 38 = 17,001 SPX – 3 = 1988 NAS + 6 = 4538 10 YR YLD un = 2.40% OIL – .46 = 93.50 GOLD + 4.30 = 1281.60 SILV un = 19.51 All three major indices posted gains for the week, with the Dow up 2%, the S&P up 1.7% and the Nasdaq up 1.6%. It was the strongest week of gains for both the Dow and the S&P since April, and the third straight week of gains for all three indices. There is a lot to cover before we can wrap up the week. First we go to Jackson Hole Wyoming, where the Fed has been having a friendly get together of economists. Janet Yellen kicked off the event with a speech this morning. She said what you might expect: “There is no simple recipe for appropriate policy,” and she called for a “pragmatic” approach that gives officials room to evaluate data as it arrives without committing to a preset policy path. And she backed up her comments with a new tool, the Labor Market Conditions Index, which measures 19 labor market indicators, and it isn’t new data, just combining it all together, but it showed she is monitoring the data. Yellen referenced the possibility that labor markets may be a bit tighter than they seem and that the Fed may consider having to raise interest rates …

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Financial Review

Rarified Air

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-08-21-2014.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS08212014 DOW + 60 = 17,039 SPX + 5 = 1992 NAS + 5 = 4532 10 YR YLD – .02 = 2.40% OIL + .45 = 93.90 GOLD – 15.10 = 1277.30 SILV – .04 = 19.52 The S&P 500 broke two records during today’s session, climbing past its previous intraday all-time high of 1,991.39 and ending above its previous record close of 1,987.98. Both had been set on July 24. Family Dollar has rejected a $9 billion dollar buyout offer from Dollar General, opting instead for a smaller $8.5 billion dollar offer from Dollar Tree. The thinking is that a combination of the largest dollar store – Dollar General with the #2 Family Dollar, would be unlikely to win antitrust approval. Once upon a time, Sears was the largest retailer in the nation. Today, Sears Holdings announce it lost $975 million in the first half of the year; $573 million in the second quarter. This was the 9th consecutive quarter of losses, and the past quarter also marked the heaviest losses. Quarterly revenue dropped about 10%. The plan now is to close underperforming stores, or, in a classic example of corporate-speak “rationalizing our physical footprint.” The company successfully spun off Lands End earlier this year, to the benefit of shareholders. But its Sears Canada and Sears Automotive stores have been on the block for some time, indicating either a lack of interest …

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Financial Review

Theory and Instinct; Nobody Knows

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-08-19-2014.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:14 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSOver the weekend, the geopolitical hotspots did not explode. Kurdish forces made progress against ISIS militants in Iraq; Ukrainian forces made progress against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

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Financial Review

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 – Forecasts Are Subject to Change

Forecasts Are Subject to Change by Sinclair Noe   DOW + 98 = 16,906 SPX + 14 = 1956 NAS + 25 = 4362 10 YR YLD – .04 = 2.61% OIL – .15 = 105.72 GOLD + 5.80 = 1278.50 SILV + .14 = 20.00   The Federal Reserve FOMC meeting wrapped up today. The Fed issued a statement that was almost a carbon copy of the April statement. The Fed said that growth “has rebounded in recent months” and the labor market indicators “generally showed further improvement.” The central bankers noted that business fixed investment had “resumed its advance” after saying that it “edged down” in April. The only negative comment was that the housing sector “remained slow.”   The Fed will hold interest rates steady for now, and probably well into next year; and they will continue to cut back on their large scale asset purchase program by another $10 billion per month. So, starting in July, the Fed will only buy $35 billion in Treasuries and mortgage backed securities.   The Fed statement was generally upbeat: “Economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will continue to improve gradually. Household spending appears to be rising moderately and business fixed investment resumed its advance.”   Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen held a press conference and the topic of inflation was brought up. The feeling is that the Fed wants to see solid signs of recovery, and inflation isn’t a concern; those inflation numbers are …

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Financial Review

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 – Congratulations Graduates, Yada, Yada, Yada

Congratulations Graduates, Yada, Yada, Yada by Sinclair Noe   DOW + 158 = 16,533 SPX + 15 = 1888 NAS + 34 = 4131 10 YR + .02 = 2.53% OIL – 33 = 103.74 GOLD – 2.40 = 1292.90 SIL  un = 19.49   Earnings season is winding down; about 96% of S&P 500 companies have reported results, with profit growth this quarter of 5.5% and revenue up 2.8%. While more companies have topped earnings expectations than usual, fewer have beat on the revenue side. This has been an ongoing theme for corporate profits; bottom line growth without corresponding sales. If this formula sounds unsustainable, it is, unless there is some other factor pumping up the markets.   Follow-up from yesterday: China has signed a 30-year deal to buy Russian natural gas worth about $400 billion. The gas deal gives Moscow an economic boost at a time when Washington and the European Union have imposed visa bans and asset freezes on dozens of Russian officials and several companies over Ukraine. It allows Russia to diversify its markets for gas, which now goes mostly to Europe; essentially opening the door to Asia’s gas market and potentially closing the door on the petro-dollar.   The Federal Reserve today released the minutes of the most recent FOMC meeting. Fed policymakers considered several approaches to tightening monetary policy, but decided to remain flexible; which is another way of saying QE is a big experiment and they are just hoping nothing explodes in their …

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Financial Review

Friday, May 16, 2014 – Nervous About Recovering in the Recovery

Nervous About Recovering in the Recovery by Sinclair Noe DOW + 44 = 16491 SPX + 7 = 1877 NAS + 21 = 4090 10 YR YLD + .02 =  2.52% OIL + .68 = 102.18 GOLD – 4.10 = 1293.70 SILV – .11 = 19.45   Stocks were all over the place this week; we had record highs for the Dow Industrial Average and the S&P 5oo Index, topping 1900 for the first time, even as small caps slipped and internet stocks tumbled. For the week, the Dow slipped 0.6 % and the S&P 500 dipped 0.03 %, while the Nasdaq gained 0.5 %. Bonds enjoyed a very nice week indeed, with the yield on the 10 year Treasury note moving from a high for the week of 2.66% to a low of 2.47%. Isn’t it awesome when the Dow hits a record high but everything else flatlines or shrinks? Maybe we are in a recovery, but maybe we need to recover from the recovery. Recent economic data has been mixed, and reports released Friday added to concerns about the lackluster recovery. The preliminary Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for May was at 81.8, down from 84.1 in April. Housing starts increased in April at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,072,000. This is 13.2 % above the revised March estimate of 947,000 and is 26.4 % above the April 2013 rate of 848,000. Earlier in the week we got the PPI and CPI inflation numbers. …

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Financial Review

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 – What is Really Plausible

What is Really Plausible by Sinclair Noe DOW + 162 = 16,424SPX + 19 = 1862NAS + 52 = 408610 YR YLD + .01 = 2.63%OIL + .05 = 103.81GOLD – .20 = 1303.20SILV + .07 = 19.73 Let’s start with some earnings news and then we’ll move over to economic data. Google posted $3.4 billion in net income, or $5.04 per share, in the three months ended March 31, compared to $3.3 billion, or $4.97 per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 19% to $15.4 billion, but analysts had estimated $15.5 billion, and the shares were getting clobbered in late trades. IBM reported its lowest quarterly revenue in five years; IBM reported revenue of $21.7 billion for the quarter, but that marks the eighth consecutive decline in quarterly revenue. The company has been restructuring its business by cutting jobs and selling its low-end server business. This is not what you would call a growth model. Also, from the faulty business model file: Bank of America posted a $276 million loss for the most recent quarter. The financial results included a pre-tax expense of $6 billion, or approximately 40 cents a share after tax, to cover litigation costs as the bank moved to resolve mortgage-related litigation fallout from the financial crisis that began in 2007 and other issues; far worse than the $3.7 billion investors had braced for. The bank today agreed to a $584 million settlement of litigation over nine residential mortgage-backed securitizations insured by the Financial Guaranty …

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Financial Review

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 – Yellen in the Lions’ Den

Yellen in the Lions’ Denby Sinclair Noe DOW + 89 = 16,262SPX + 12 = 1842NAS + 11 = 403410 YR YLD – .01 = 2.62%OIL – .22 = 103.83GOLD – 24.20 = 1303.40SILV – .41 = 19.66 Stocks were all over the place today. We started with triple digit gains for the Dow Industrials, dipped to triple digit losses, then back into positive territory for the close with the major indices closing just below their morning highs. This kind of volatility does not engender confidence; it does warrant caution. The utilities sector gained 1.3% and finished ahead of the other groups, extending its YTD gain to 11.8%; the biotech ETF added 1%, while the broader healthcare sector advanced 1.1%.Tech stocks have been beaten up quite a bit over the past couple of weeks. The Nasdaq 100 Tech Index (NDXT) is down 7% since April 1st. The Nasdaq Composite has exhibited weakness, but not to the point of meeting the definition of a correction; it would take a slide to 3,922 to mark a 10% fall from the March 5 closing high at 4,357; a 10% pullback from the March 6 intraday high of 4,371 would be achieved at 3,934. The Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index, or CPI, increased 0.2% in March after posting a 0.1% increase in February. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, core prices ticked up 0.2%.Prices rose 1.5% for the 12 months ending in March. That is up from February’s year-over-year reading of 1.1%. Core prices …

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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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Thursday, April 03, 2014 – Tomorrow, Tomorrow, It’s Only a Day Away

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, It’s Only a Day Away by Sinclair Noe DOW – 0.45 = 16,572SPX – 2 = 1888NAS – 38 = 423710 YR YLD – .01 = 2.79%OIL + .73 = 100.35GOLD – 3.10 = 1287.80SILV – .16 = 19.92 Forget about today; at least in terms of Wall Street trading. Tomorrow is more important. The first Friday of each month is always a big day because of the monthly jobs report; tomorrow, maybe more than most. The consensus estimates called for 200,000 net new jobs in March and the unemployment rate is expected to drop to 6.6% from 6.7%. Then there is the whisper number. Many people believe the harsh winter weather has held back hiring, like a balloon trapped under water by a thin sheet of ice, and when the ice melts, as it did in March, the balloon will jump out of the water like a salmon swimming upstream. Weather sensitive industries such as retail, construction and manufacturing might be especially strong performers. A March jobs report that shows a broad increase in hiring across most or all industries would show the economy is recovering and everything, including the Fed, is on track. A disappointing number, though, would bolster the case of the increasingly famished Wall Street bears that bad weather alone is not the source of weak economic growth so far in 2014. And if the number comes in right at expectations, we’ll have to go to the tiebreakers. We will look at the number …

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Monday, March 31, 2014 – Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worstby Sinclair Noe DOW + 134 = 16,457SPX + 14 = 1872NAS + 43 = 419810 YR YLD + .01 = 2.72%OIL – .18 = 101.49GOLD – 10.10 = 1285.80SILV – .06 = 19.86 Wrapping up the first quarter let’s go to the scorecard. The Dow Industrials lost 121 points in the quarter but gained 136 points in the month of March; the S&P 500 finished the quarter up 24 points and up 13 points in March; the Nasdaq Comp gained 22 points in the quarter and lost 110 points in March; oil prices are up $3.50 a barrel since the start of the year and down .42 in March; gold gained $74.80 for the quarter but lost $41.90 the last month; silver added .33 for the quarter but down $1.44 for the month of March. The first quarter marked the fifth straight quarter of gains for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite indices. Last week’s drop of 2.8% in the Nasdaq Comp was the first such drop since October 2012, or the first time the Nasdaq dropped by 2.8% in 77 weeks. Did you see 60 Minutes last night? They interviewed Michael Lewis, who is an excellent financial writer; he has a new book called “Flash Boys” and it deals with high frequency traders on Wall Street. They tried to present the idea that they had just discovered the market is rigged. It is rigged, and it has been rigged for …

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Friday, March 21, 2014 – Friday Wrap-up

Friday Wrap-up by Sinclair Noe DOW – 28 = 16,302SPX – 5 = 1866NAS – 42 = 427610 YR YLD – .02 = 2.75%OIL + .69 = 99.59GOLD + 6.20 = 1335.70SILV un = 20.38 The S&P 500 briefly climbed to a record high of 1,883.97, just over its previous record of 1,883.57. We hit resistance and didn’t break through. For the week, the Dow is up 1.8%, the S&P is up 1.6% and the Nasdaq is up 0.9%. The European Union has added a few more sanctions against Russia, adding 12 names to their list of Russians and Ukrainians facing asset freezes and travel bans. One EU commissioner said the goal is not sanctions, the goal is to get Putin to the negotiating table. The EU doesn’t want anything to rattle their already weak financial situation. In Europe they consider the Spanish “recovery” to be one of their success stories. GDP is projected at 1% growth, double last year’s 0.5% pace, and youth unemployment is still 55%; and this is considered good news. Spain, and several other EU nations are in no condition to fight a sanctions battle with Russia. A separate order signed by President Obama yesterday expanded sanctions and authorized potential future penalties. Yesterday’s sanction expansion included Bank Rossiya, not one of the largest Russian banks, but it starts to pull the financial sector into the equation. The EU cancelled a summit in Russia planned for June. US bankers are now considering whether they participate in a …

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 – Behind the Curtain of the Mysterious Central Bankers

Behind the Curtain of the Mysterious Central Bankers by Sinclair Noe DOW – 114 = 16,222SPX – 11 = 1860NAS – 25 = 430710 YR YLD + .09 = 2.77%OIL + .67 = 100.37GOLD – 24.90 = 1331.60SILV – .20 = 20.71 Sometimes the stock market is a grand mystery, a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Sometimes the stock market is simple. Wall Street loves it when the Federal Reserve is throwing bags of money out of the helicopter that hovers over Wall Street. The traders get a little nervous when it looks like the free money might stop raining down on them. That doesn’t mean the Fed is stopping throwing money at Wall Street, just that traders are nervous. Today, the Fed FOMC wrapped up a two day meeting; they issued a statement; then Chairwoman Janet Yellen delivered a prepared statement; then she answered questions. The Fed statement indicated the Fed could and likely would continue with its low interest rate policy even after they reach their goals of full employment and 2% inflation. The central bank proceeded with its well-telegraphed reductions to its massive bond-buying stimulus, announcing it would cut its monthly purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to $55 billion from $65 billion per month. I will now attempt to translate the Fed statement from Fedspeak to English. The statement said: the labor market is getting better but unemployment is still too high, household and business spending is decent but the housing market is …

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Friday, February 28, 2014 – Tantrums

Tantrums by Sinclair Noe DOW + 49 = 16,321SPX + 5 = 1859 NAS – 10 = 430810 YR YLD + .02 = 2.66%OIL + .05 = 102.45GOLD – 5.10 = 1327.70SILV – .06 = 21.30 Broadcasting from the Renaissance Esmerelda in Indian Wells for Financial Fest Palm Springs edition.   Remember last summer when various Fed officials floated the taper balloon? The hinted that the Fed might taper from $85 billion a month in QE asset purchases. The result: Wall Street had a taper tantrum; the yield on the 10 year note spiked up to 3%; mortgage rates shot up and made many question the strength of the housing recovery; stocks swooned as the froth escaped the market. The tantrum didn’t last long, even when the Fed announced the actual taper. Markets treated the announcement with a yawn. Stocks resumed their climb to record highs; Treasuries settled down; the housing market, well that’s always a local story, so it depends; and the economy continued to muddle. The markets seemed to accept the idea that the economy could handle a little less Fed stimulus, after all, they gave forward guidance that interest rates would remain low until the cows come home. In retrospect, last summer’s taper tantrum seems nothing more than a blip. Not so fast. A new paper released today before the Monetary Policy Forum in New York argues that the tantrum might portend a negative response as taper continues and as the Fed moves closer to someday raising …

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Thursday, February 27, 2014 – As She Was Saying…

As She Was Saying… by Sinclair Noe DOW + 74 = 16,272SPX + 9 = 1854NAS + 26 = 431810 YR YLD – .03 = 2.64%OIL – .35 = 102.24GOLD + 2.00 = 1332.80SILV + .05 = 21.36 Two weeks ago, the freshly minted Fed Chair Janet Yellen appeared before the House Financial Services Committee to deliver her first bi-annual Humphrey Hawkins testimony on the state of the economy and monetary policy. She read a prepared statement and then answered questions from the Congressional representatives. The next day she was scheduled to repeat the process with senators; that didn’t happen because of a big winter storm that essentially resulted in a Snow Day for Washington DC. Today, Yellen returned to Capitol Hill to continue her testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. Yellen began today’s hearing with the same prepared remarks from two weeks ago, but then she got to the part about the Fed’s outlook for the economy and this time she said something a little different: “Mr. Chairman, let me add as an aside that since my appearance before the House committee, a number of data releases have pointed to softer spending than many analysts had expected. Part of that softness may reflect adverse weather conditions, but at this point, it’s difficult to discern exactly how much. In the weeks and months ahead, my colleagues and I will be attentive to signals that indicate whether the recovery is progressing in line with our earlier expectations.” Now for the past …

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Thursday, February 13, 2014 – The Popsicle Economy

The Popsicle Economy by Sinclair Noe DOW + 63 = 16,027SPX + 10 = 1829NAS + 39 = 424010 YR YLD – .02 = 2.73%OIL – .02 = 100.35GOLD + 11.00 = 1303.80SILV + .25 = 20.59 According to the latest AAII Investor Sentiment Survey, over the last week the number of self-described bulls jumped to over 40% while bears plunged from over 36% to 27%. Did all those people suddenly become timing experts or is this an indication that it’s time to take profits? The number of Americans who applied to receive unemployment benefits rose last week and the gradual decline in claims since last year appears to have halted. Initial jobless claims climbed by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 339,000 in the seven days ended Feb. 8. RealtyTrac reports monthly foreclosure filings — including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — reversed course and increased 8% to 124,419 in January from December. One month does not make a trend, but the foreclosure rebound pattern is not only showing up in judicial states like New Jersey, where foreclosure activity reached a 40-month high in January, but also some non-judicial states like California, where foreclosure starts jumped 57% from a year ago, following 17 consecutive months of annual decreases. As a whole, 57,259 US properties started the foreclosure process for the first time in January, rising 10% from December but still down 12% from last year. On a monthly basis, retail sales decreased 0.4% from December to January (seasonally …

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014 – Which Way the Wind Blows

Which Way the Wind Blows by Sinclair Noe DOW – 30 = 15,963SPX – 0.49 = 1819NAS + 10 = 420110 YR YLD + .04 = 2.76%OIL + .33 = 100.27GOLD + .90 = 1292.80SILV unch = 20.34 After a four day rally, the stock market came back to a dose of reality. Just a reminder that the Fed has started gradually reducing the amount of money it pumps into the economy. The move could hardly have been a surprise, because the Fed announced as early as last spring that it would begin doing so by the end of 2013. Now, it’s happening, and likely won’t change, and Janet Yellen said the rest of the world needs to adjust because the Fed has set its course. That has made for shaky markets around the world. Remember that about a month ago, we started worrying about emerging markets. China said their economy was slowing down; that in turn will hurt the exports of commodity producers, weakening their trade balances. The big question now is how much further growth in China will slow. A serious cutback in China’s demand would not just harm emerging markets’ shipments directly to China, it would also cause further erosion in the already falling world prices for emerging markets’ coal, copper, palm oil and other commodities. China is also dealing with a shadow banking system ripe with potential defaults. But that isn’t the only problem in the world. Many of those emerging markets also have unique economic …

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