On the back of a greater than expected increase in Durable Goods Orders this morning, the Atlanta Fed GDPNow model rose from 2.5% to 2.9%.
Latest GDPNow Forecast: 2.9 Percent — May 26, 2016
The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2016 is 2.9 percent on May 26, up from 2.5 percent on May 17. The forecast for second-quarter real gross private domestic investment growth increased from -0.3 percent to 0.4 percent following this morning’s durable manufacturing release from the U.S. Census Bureau. After yesterday’s advance report on international trade in goods from the Census Bureau, the forecast for the contribution of net exports to second-quarter real GDP growth increased from -0.04 percentage points to 0.16 percentage points.
The cowardly dithering in the Eccles Building is sucking Wall Street punters into a vortex. And it promises to be the mother of all bubble implosions.
There is no other possible outcome for a stock market that is trading at 24Xreported earnings in the teeth of the most enormous headwinds ever accumulated.
The intensifying global deflation/recession lapping upon these shores gets more ominous by the day. Yet that’s only the half of it.
When you take an unvarnished look at the domestic economy, the real recessionary skunk in the woodpile becomes apparent. Yet the casino is falsely capitalizing earnings as if recessions have been outlawed and the nirvana of Keynesian full-employment has become a permanent condition, world without end.
Today’s bubblevision meme that all is well because the Fed judges the economy to be strong enough to absorb 1% money market rates some time next year is just a manifestation of that permanent full employment delusion. After all, earnings always collapse during a recession—–so implicitly there is not one in sight as far as the eye can see.
Then again, why would anyone credit the Fed’s insight into the future, or even its grasp of the present? In its April minutes, for example, it noted that the world financial dangers that caused it to pause in March have now eased.
No they haven’t. As detailed below, the only thing that changed is that China went through another flash bubble in the commodity space that is already done and gone.
In fact, the Fed has never, ever anticipated a recession——even when we were in month 118 of the 1990s technology and dotcom bubble.
Likewise, it had no clue that the housing collapse was coming and was shocked by the September 2008 Wall Street meltdown. And now it has had to revise sharply lower every single GDP forecast it has made in the years since the crisis.
Here’s the thing. The Fed’s paint-by-the-numbers Keynesian incrementalism leaves it blind to the underlying rot in the US economy and to drastically over-estimate its capacity to maintain a stable growth equilibrium.
In fact, corporate America is being strip-mined by Fed-fueled financial engineering and flyover America is sinking irretrievably into debt, dependency and shrinking living standards.
You can’t capitalize that at 24X. And most certainly the fools who occupy the Eccles Building have no clue about the storms that are coming.
When last week, Oklahoma threatened to impeach Obama over the administration’s recommendations on accommodating transgender students, saying the president overstepped his constitutional authority, few paid much attention. After all, it is safe to say there have been far more egregious violations of the constitution by this administration, for it to be too worried about allowing transsexuals to use any bathroom they choose.
However, now that ten other states joined Oklahoma overnight in suing Obama, it may be time to pay attention.
According to Reuters officials from 11 U.S. states sued the Obama administration on Wednesday to overturn a directive telling schools to let transgender students use bathrooms matching their gender identity, decrying the policy as “a massive social experiment.”
The 11 states’ lawsuit accused the administration of taking that argument too far and improperly, widening the scope of interpretation of civil rights law.
Ramping up the simmering battles over contentious cultural issues in America, the states, led by Texas and most with Republican governors, accused the federal government of rewriting laws by “administrative fiat.” Texas was joined by Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin, plus Arizona’s Department of Education and Maine’s governor.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, would challenge the controversial order, which tells school district to allow transgender students to use the restroom of their choice. No other details were immediately available Wednesday about the number of states joining in on the suit. Abbott announced the litigation in a tweet.
How serious are the plaintiffs? Very: “We are willing to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to,” Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told reporters in Austin.
Amid a national debate on transgender rights, President Barack Obama’s administration on May 13 told U.S. public schools that transgender students must be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice, upsetting Republicans and paving the way for fights over federal funding and legal authority.
The states’ lawsuit accused the federal government of overstepping its constitutional powers by taking actions that should be left to Congress or individual states. It also challenged the Obama administration’s interpretation of federal civil rights law with regard to sex and gender.
Durable goods orders bounced a much greater than expected 3.4% with autos and aircraft leading the way.
Excluding transportation, the bounce was as expected.
Amidst the strength, core capital goods orders declined 0.8%.
Bloomberg Econoday comments on the durable goods orders.
Indications on the factory sector have been mixed as is April’s durable goods report. The headline came in at a stronger-than-expected gain of 3.4 percent with March revised higher to a gain of 1.9 percent. Vehicles orders gave an important boost to April, up 2.9 percent as did the always volatile commercial aircraft component which swung 65 percent higher. But the ex-transportation reading, which excludes vehicles and commercial aircraft, rose a more modest and as-expected 0.4 percent.
A negative in the report is a sizable 0.8 percent decline in core capital goods orders which ominously is the third straight decline for this reading and the fifth out of the last seven reports. Year-on-year, orders are noticeably in the negative column at minus 5.0 percent. These readings point squarely to stubborn weakness in business investment and uncertainty in the general business outlook.
There are, however, solid points of strength in the report including 0.6 percent gains for both total shipments and total unfilled orders. The gain for unfilled orders is the largest since July 2014. Another plus is a 0.2 percent decline in inventories which pulls down the inventory-to-shipments ratio to a leaner 1.65 from 1.67.
Vehicle strength is an important foundation for the factory sector, one tied to domestic consumer demand and a strength that highlights this otherwise mixed report.
That’s a balanced commentary on a mixed report. There certainly is stubborn weakness in business investment. Companies would rather use cheap financing to buy back shares at insane PE ratios than invest in production.
While the stock market saw big gains yesterday, one options exchange reported a near-record level of relative put buying.
One of the recent themes that we’ve noted – and written about – has been the considerably depressed sentiment among various investor groups. This includes survey-based sentiment as well as real-money gauges. The most noteworthy thing about this trend, in our view, is that it comes despite the persistence of most stock market averages in staying within arm’s length of their post-February rally highs. We mentioned one example from the CBOE options market a few weeks ago. Today’s example comes via the International Securities Exchange (ISE) where yesterday, in spite of the big up day in stocks, traders bought a near-record number of equity put options relative to calls.
We’ve put up a number of posts regarding the ISE Equity Call/Put (ISEE) ratio in the past. As a refresher, the ISE only includes opening long volume in their calculations so, as they argue, the ratios are truer gauges of investor sentiment. Also, unlike most exchanges, the ISE expresses their options ratios with the puts as the denominator instead of the usual numerator, i.e., the ISEE Call/Put Ratio. Thus a low ratio reading indicates a high level of relative put buying whereas most exchanges report put/call ratios so that a high number would be indicative of high relative put buying. Anyway, as mentioned, yesterday’s ISEE Call/Put ratio of 76 was extremely low – the 10th lowest in the exchange’s 10-year history, in fact.
Again, what was so unusual about the reading was that it occurred while the S&P 500 gained +1.37%. That is not typically how traders operate. Rather, typically, they buy relatively large numbers of calls when the market rallies. For example, on all days since 2006 when the S&P 500 gained at least 1%, the average reading of the ISEE was 170, or nearly 100 basis points higher the reading yesterday.
Conversely, traders normally buy up relatively large numbers of puts (out of fear) when the market sells off. Indeed, this was just the 4th out of the 14 all-time readings below 80 that occurred with the S&P 500 up on the day. The average performance of the S&P 500 on the prior 13 days was -1.01%. And…
The motion that was filed this week asked that any audio or video of Mills’ upcoming deposition not be allowed to be released to the public, due to concerns that the video may be used to “exploit Ms. Mills’ image and voice in an unfair and misleading manner.” Or said otherwise, Mills doesn’t want her body language and uncertainty in her voice – as she answers questions about the way Clinton managed communications – to be shown to the public.
Lawyers for a former top aide to Hillary Clinton filed a motion on Wednesday asking a federal court to bar a conservative watchdog group from releasing a videotape of her upcoming deposition as part of a lawsuit related to Clinton’s private email server.
The aide, Cheryl Mills, “supports the release of the written transcript of her deposition to the public,” her lawyers wrote in a filing on Wednesday. “But no additional public interest would be served by the publication of the audiovisual recording.”
The lawyers said they “are concerned that snippets or soundbites of the deposition may be publicized in a way that exploits Ms. Mills’ image and voice in an unfair and misleading manner.”
“Judicial Watch should not be allowed to manipulate Ms. Mills’ testimony, and invade her personal privacy, to advance a partisan agenda that should have nothing to do with this litigation,” they said.
Additionally, lawyers are saying that Ms. Mills isn’t a party to the action, rather Mills is a private citizen appearing voluntarily and as such Judicial Watch shouldn’t be allowed to invade her privacy or manipulate any testimony.
“Ms. Mills is not a party to this action. She is a private citizen appearing voluntarily to assist in providing the limited discovery the Court has permitted. … Judicial Watch should not be allowed to manipulate Ms. Mills’ testimony, and invade her personal privacy, to advance a partisan agenda that should have nothing to do with this litigation.”
So far, Judicial Watch as refused to agree not to publicize…
The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey business conditions indicator measures activity in the following states: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, western Missouri, and northern New Mexico
Quarterly data for this indicator dates back to 1995, but monthly data is only available from 2001.
Here is an excerpt from the latest report:
KANSAS CITY, Mo. –The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the May Manufacturing Survey today. According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that Tenth District manufacturing activity declined modestly. “Regional factory activity continued to drift down in May, as weakness in energy and agriculture-related manufacturing persisted,” said Wilkerson. “Still, firms expect a modest pickup in activity later this year.”
Tenth District manufacturing activity continued to decline modestly, while producers’ expectations for future activity remained slightly positive. Most raw material price indexes rose moderately in May, but selling prices fell slightly. The month-over-month composite index was -5 in May, which is largely unchanged from April and March readings. The composite index is an average of the production, new orders, employment, supplier delivery time, and raw materials inventory indexes. [Full release here]
Here is a snapshot of the complete Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey.
The next chart is an overlay of the general and future outlook indexes — the outlook six months ahead. Future factory indexes fell in May to 4 from last month’s 10.
While Wall Street looked upon today’s Durable Goods report with caution, noting the substantial beat in the headline print which was entirely as a result of a surge in nondefense aircraft orders (read Boeing) which soared by 65%, there was substantial weakness below the surface especially in the core capex print, the capital goods orders nondefense ex-aircraft, which disappointed significantly, sliding 0.8% on expectations of a 0.3% rebound.
However, that was just part of the story. A far bigger part was missed by most because as always Wall Street was focused on the sequential change, and not on the absolute number.
As it turns out, the Department of Commerce decided to quietly revise all the core data going back all the way back to 2014. In doing so it stripped away about 4% from the nominal dollar amount in Durable Goods ex-transports, where the March print was slashed from $154.7 Billion to $148.3 Billion…
… and, worse, the government just confirmed what many had said for years, namely that capex spending had been far lower than reported all along when it revised the capital goods orders nondefense ex-aircraft series lower by a whopping 6%, taking down the March print from $66.9 billion to only $62.4 billion, the lowest absolute number since early 2011.
So how did this downward revision to a critical historical series, and key driver of GDP, change the current GDP estimte? Well, according to the Atlanta Fed, “the GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2016 is 2.9 percent on May 26, up from 2.5 percent on May 17. The forecast for second-quarter real gross private domestic investment growth increased from -0.3 percent to 0.4 percent following this morning’s durable manufacturing release from the U.S. Census Bureau.“
Oddly not a word about the sharp revisions to the core data.
The OPEC meeting is only a week away, but the chances of a positive result are as remote as ever. Rising oil prices, the heightened rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and Saudi Arabia’s willingness to go it alone will make a deal all but impossible.
First of all, Iran is not in a cooperative mood. According to the IEA, Iran has managed to boost oil production to 3.56 million barrels per day in April, its highest level since November 2011. Oil exports also jumped 600,000 barrels per day to 2 million barrels per day. Importantly, Iran’s output now stands at pre-sanctions levels, a key threshold that the Iranian government says it needs to reach before it would consider any cooperation on production limits with OPEC. However, Iran thus far does not see it that way, insisting that it still has more ground to make up.
More importantly, however, is Saudi Arabia’s shift in attitude. In a once unthinkable development, Saudi Arabia is backing away from OPEC. The cartel’s largest, most important, and most influential member will leave the group rudderless. Countless obituaries have been written about OPEC since November 2014, but the new direction that the Saudi monarchy is heading in all but ensures diminished influence for the oil cartel.
Saudi Arabia’s spurning of OPEC has been building for some time. In November 2014 it abandoned any plans to limit production in order to prop up prices, a strategy to pursue market share that has led to some downsides, but has largely achieved its goals. Saudi Arabia has seen revenues plummet, but it is producing at record levels and outlasting rival producers. U.S. shale, for instance, is down about 1 million barrels per day (mb/d) from the April 2015 peak, and more than 70 North American drillers have gone bankrupt.
But Saudi Arabia has gone further to distance itself from OPEC. In April, Saudi Arabia scuttled the production freeze deal in Doha, killing what would have been only a modest agreement that put limits on oil output. By all accounts, the emergence of the young Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman led to a harder line from Saudi Arabia. The replacement of long-time oil minister Ali al-Naimi a few weeks later…
The presumptive Republican presidential candidates is now the official Republican presidential candidate.
Moments ago, AP calculated that Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign.
Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party’s unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention. Among them is Oklahoma GOP chairwoman Pam Pollard.
It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president. Trump has reached 1,238. With 303 delegates at stake in five state primaries on June 7, Trump will easily pad his total, avoiding a contested convention in Cleveland in July.
As AP adds, “millions of grassroots activists, many who have been outsiders to the political process, have embraced Trump as a plain-speaking populist who is not afraid to offend.”
Steve House, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party and an unbound delegate who confirmed his support of Trump to AP, said he likes the billionaire’s background as a businessman. “Leadership is leadership,” House said. “If he can surround himself with the political talent, I think he will be fine.”
Others were less enthusiastic in their support of Trump. Some said they are supporting him out of a sense of obligation because he won their state’s primary.
Cameron Linton of Pittsburgh said he will back Trump on the first ballot since he won the presidential primary vote in Linton’s congressional district. “If there’s a second ballot I won’t vote for Donald Trump,” Linton said. “He’s ridiculous. There’s no other way to say it.”
An interesting side note from the wire service:
Trump’s path to the Republican presidential nomination began with an escalator ride. Trump and his wife, Melania, descended an escalator into the basement lobby of the Trump Tower on June 16, 2015, for an announcement many observers said would never come: The celebrity real estate developer, who had flirted with running for office in the past, would announce that he was launching his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination.
That speech set the tone for the candidate’s ability to
Here are some charts from InsiderCow.com showing that insider activity is relatively low, both buying activity and selling activity. Some notable buys recently were in ENDP (a mini-Valeant), FEYE, and AVID.
The mainstream media mouthpieces for the establishment peddle false narratives, disingenuous storylines, and outright propaganda to keep the ignorant masses confused, oblivious to reality, misinformed, and passively submissive to the opinions of highly paid “experts” and captured fiscal authorities. The existing social order likes things just as they are.
They reap ill-gotten riches, wield unchecked pow...
The latest index comes in at 2.0, a 0.7 point decrease from the previous week's revised 2.7.
RecessionAlert has launched an alternative to ECRI's Weekly Leading Index Growth indicator (WLIg). The Weekly Leading Economic Index (WLEI) uses fifty different time series from these categories: Corporate Bond Composite, Treasury Bond Composite, Stock Market Composite, Labor Market Composite, Credit Market Composite. RecessionAlert emphasizes that WLEI is a growth index and its data is no more than a week old, as is ECRI's WLIg.
Here is an excerpt from the description:
Being a weekly growth index, it provides data with at most a 1-week lag, which is far more t...
By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.
Donald Trump will be good for economy, bad for Wall Street: David Rosenberg
Published on May 25, 2016
Live from the 2016 Strategic Investment Conference
Get the latest updates live from the sold-out 2016 Strategic Investment Conference with John Mauldin, Richard W. Fisher, David Rosenberg, James Grant, Niall Ferguson, George Friedman, Pippa Malmgren, Charles Gave, Neil Howe, and many more. Click go to following link to visit the conference’s live blog:
Hello, everyone who has joined us on the second day of SIC 2016. It’s going to be a long and exciting day. Today, we’ll hear speeches from George Friedman, Lacy Hunt, David Rosenberg, and other well-known financial and political experts. We’ll also do video interviews with each speaker, and all of th...
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Do you remember when you were growing up and all your friends were allowed Atari game consoles but you weren’t?
Well, I do and the things seemed as foreign to me as Venus. Mostly because the little time I managed to spend on the gaming consoles when my friends weren’t hogging them I found it all a bit silly. I never “got” computer games, and to this day still have poor comprehension of things like Angry Birds.
I suspect that many people around the world view Bitcoin in the same way as I view Angry Birds: with mild amusement and a general lack of understanding as to what the hell all the fuss is about.
I was thinking of this since a buddy of mine recently started ...
After a three-year bull run that more than quadrupled its value by its peak last July, IBD’s Medical-Biomed/Biotech Industry Group plunged 50% by early February, hurt by backlashes against high drug prices and mergers that seek to lower corporate taxes.
Although we try to stay focused on finding and managing promising trade ideas, the comments in the comment section sometimes take a political turn (for access, try PSW — click here!). So today, Jean Luc writes,
The GOP debate last night was just unreal – are these people running to be president of the US or to lead a college fraternity! Comparing tool size? The only guy that looks semi-sane is Kasich. The other guys are just like 3 jackals right now.
And something else – if Trump is the candidate, that little Romney speech yesterday is probably already being made into a commercial. And all these little snippets from the debate will also make some nice ads! If you are a conservative, you have to be scared now.
Phil writes back,
I was expecting them to start throwing poop at each other &n...
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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