Wheeee – this is fun!
The dollar dropped to 76.5 this morning and that gave us a nice pop in the futures which is fading now (8am) as we move towards our 8:30 Trade Report along with the PPI and, of course, the usual 450,000 weekly pink slips handed out to the few remaining US workers (135M and dropping almost as fast as the value of the dollar).
As you can see from Pharmboy’s excellent chart, our market "rally" is ALL about the declining dollar. We are not used to inflation in this country – it hasn’t been much of an issue for the past generation but that’s what we’re seeing here as we are experiencing lower wages, lower demand and flat prices – THAT IS INFLATION or, as we used to say in the 70s – STAGFLATION. A stagnant (or declining) economy plus inflation is a disaster for the people, even while it may be a boon for Big Business as they squeeze whatever dollars are left from the pockets of the consumers while paying their workforce less and, through the benefit of worthless currency, cleaning up on foreign sales as it’s much easier to sell an IPhone at $199 when $199 was 167 Euros in May and is 142 Euros in October – a nice 15% discount (for foreign buyers) heading into the holidays!
Since AAPL makes their IPhones in China – using the remaining FoxConn employees who haven’t killed themselves to escape their torturous working conditions (one improvement that’s been made is they now have bars on the windows to stop the workers from escaping by leaping to their deaths) and, since China’s currency is pegged to ours, their production costs stay flat and net profits (when priced in dollars) look pretty good.
In fact, I had been getting bearish because I thought corporate profits weren’t going to be so good this quarter, what with the lack of sales and all, but I was wrong. I was wrong because corporate profits are priced in dollars and dollars are worth 10% less than they were the last time corporations reported.