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

Monday, June 09, 2014 – Record Highs and a Few Crumbs

Record Highs and a Few Crumbs by Sinclair Noe DOW + 18 = 16,943 SPX + 1 = 1951 NAS + 14 = 4336 10 YR YLD + .02 = 2.61% OIL + 1.73 = 104.39 GOLD – .30 = 1253.00 SILV + .05 = 19.16   The major indices are now up for 4 consecutive sessions. The Dow Industrials hit a record high close for the 10th time this year. The S&P is now up 14 of the last 17 trading sessions. The last time the Dow experienced a 10% correction was back in October 2011; since then, the Dow has gained almost 60% over 32 months without a 10% correction. Typically, you can expect a correction about every 12 months on average. The longest period without at least a 10% pullback was an 82 month run from 1990-1997. The S&P 500 hit a record high close for the 19th time this year. The S&P bull market is now at 62 months and counting, the best run since 1994 to 2000.   The CBOE Volatility Index moved a little higher today to 11.34. On Friday, the VIX hit a low of 10.73, the lowest level since January 2007. The VIX can go low and stay low for an extended period of time. In 2007, after hitting a low, the VIX steadily rose for the remainder of the year but stock prices didn’t peak until the end of 2007. The VIX measures options trades, but does it really mean investors …

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Financial Review

Thursday, June 05, 2014 – The European Central Bank Has Done Something

The European Central Bank Has Done Something by Sinclair Noe   DOW + 98 = 16,836 SPX + 12 = 1940 NAS + 44 = 4296 10 YR YLD – .02 = 2.58% OIL – .18 = 102.46 GOLD + 9.60 = 1254.20 SILV + .24 = 19.04   The Dow and the S&P finished with record high closes.   We start in Europe. The European Central Bank has done something. No, I’m serious, they did something; not just talked about doing “whatever it takes”, they actually took some action; nothing terribly bold; probably not enough, but something. Specifically, the ECB cut its benchmark interest rate to 0.15% from 0.25%, and the deposit rate to minus 0.10% from zero. The rate cuts will take effect next week, on June 11. They are trying the  negative interest rate, which has never been tried on a large scale, in a bid to push down the value of the euro and encourage banks to invest excess cash rather than hoard it in central bank vaults.   The ECB will also begin offering four-year loans to banks at the benchmark interest rates, under conditions meant to ensure that lenders use the money to issue loans to businesses. The loans are designed so that they can’t just borrow the money from the ECB at 0.15% and toss it into government bonds.   Also, the ECB will start buying packages of loans, or asset-backed securities; another measure designed to push lending to small businesses; right now …

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Financial Review

Friday, May 30, 2014 – Record Highs, Bonds, Coal Mines

Record Highs, Bonds, Coal Mines by Sinclair Noe   DOW + 18 = 16,717 SPX + 3 = 1923 (another record) NAS – 5 = 4242 (not a record) 10 YR YLD + .01 = 2.45% OIL – .71 =  102.87 GOLD – 4.60 = 1252.30 SILV – .23 = 18.91   For the week, the Dow rose 0.7%, the S&P 500 gained 1.2% and the Nasdaq added 1.4%. For the month of May, the Dow gained 0.8%, the S&P 500 rose 2.1% and the Nasdaq climbed 3.1%. Meanwhile, if you are looking for action, the bond market is the place; the yield on the 10 year note has dropped from 2.65% to 2.45% this month.   Nearly everyone is looking for an explanation as to why longer-term interest rates continue to fall in the face of reduced Fed support and what is being hyped as better economic data. This wasn’t supposed to happen. The Federal Reserve has been propping up Treasury bond prices, and suppressing yields, for the past several years by buying large quantities of bonds each month in an effort to increase investment and consumption, and force investors into riskier assets. To some extent, the Fed’s QE purchases have worked; ultra-low interest rates have supported housing price increases and have led to skyrocketing stock prices.  Household net worth has increased by $25 trillion from the financial-crisis lows in the first quarter of 2009.  However, these gains in net worth have overwhelmingly accrued to the well-to-do while low- …

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Financial Review

Financial Review for Wednesday, April 30, 2014 – Record Highs in First Gear

Record Highs in First Gear by Sinclair Noe DOW + 45 = 16580.84 (record close)SPX + 5 = 1883 NAS + 11 = 411410 YR YLD – .04 = 2.65%OIL – 1.59 = 99.69GOLD – 4.60 = 1292.30SILV – .29 = 19.25 Back on December 31st, we finished the old year with a record high close on the Dow Industrial Average at 16,576; since then the index has bobbed up  and down, briefly hitting an intraday high of  16,631 on April 4th, but on that day we finished in negative territory. Today, a record high close. The S&P 500 is closing in on the record high close of 1890, but not today. Now, when you hear the Dow is breaking records, you might think the economy is roaring, cruising along the highway in fifth gear. You would be wrong; the economy is stuck in first gear and the clutch is slipping. The Commerce Department reports the economy expanded at a mere 0.1% annual pace in the first three months of the year, one of the weakest rates of growth in the nearly 5-year-old recovery. A slowdown had been expected due to the harsh winter weather that froze business activity across a large swath of the country, but this report was worse than expected. The gross domestic product had been expanding at a 3.4% pace in the second half of last year. No worries, the weather has warmed and everything is returning to normal. Yeah, not exactly. There has been a …

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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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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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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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Tuesday, February 11, 2014 – Yellen: Far From Complete

Yellen: Far From Complete by Sinclair Noe DOW + 192 = 15,994SPX + 19 = 1819NAS + 42 = 419110 YR YLD + .04 = 2.71%OIL + .36 = 100.42GOLD + 15.90 = 1291.90SILV + .16 = 20.34 Janet Yellen went to Capitol Hill this morning to deliver her first semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress as Fed Chair; this is what we used to call the Humphrey-Hawkins testimony and it involves prepared remarks followed by a question and answer before the House Committee of Financial Services; tomorrow, she’ll repeat the process with senators. With regard to monetary policy, Yellen said she expects a great deal of continuity in the FOMC’s approach to monetary policy. No surprise; Yellen was the vice-chair, she served on the FOMC, she helped formulate the current monetary policy strategy, and she supports the strategy. Yellen pointed to real gross domestic product growth which rose at an average annual rate of more than 3.5% in the third and fourth quarters, versus 1.75% in the first and second. She also said there has been “progress” in the labor market which has added 3.25 million jobs since the Fed began a new round of asset purchases in August 2012. However the economy added just 113,000 jobs last month, and 75,000 jobs the month prior. While Yellen did not specifically reference these weaker than expected reports in her prepared remarks, she called the labor recovery “far from complete.” And the Fed’s target of 6.5% unemployment as the line where …

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Thursday, January 09, 2014 – A World Of Central Bankers

A World Of Central Bankers by Sinclair Noe DOW – 17 = 16,444SPX + 0.64 = 1838NAS – 9 = 415610 YR YLD – .03 = 2.96%OIL – .67 = 91.66GOLD + 1.80 = 1228.70SILV + .02 = 19.65 If it’s not one central bank, it’s another. Today the European Central Bank and the Bank of England met to determine monetary policy. Back in November, the ECB cut interest rates to 0.25%, so there were no expectations of further rate cuts in today’s meeting. In Britain, which is outside the euro zone, the Bank of England left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.5 percent. As the US Federal Reserve has been creating new dollars at the rate of $85 billion a month under Quantitative Easing, the Fed’s balance sheet has been growing, even as the ECB’s balance sheet has been shrinking. And even though the Fed announced it would scale back those purchases by $10 billion a month, that just means the Fed balance sheet will continue growing, just not as fast. Or the bottom line; the Fed is creating money and the ECB is not. Today, Mario Draghi, the president of the ECB said he wanted to “strongly emphasize” his earlier promise to keep monetary policy easy for as long as necessary. And Draghi said the ECB was “ready to consider all available instruments” to address either further weakness in consumer prices or increases in short-term money market rates that could put stress on …

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