CPI came in in-line with expectations. The headline figure was 0.4% while the CPI less food and energy came in at 0.1%. These are relatively benign figures. There are no serious signs of deflation and inflation isn’t running wild. Not too hot and not too cold. A Goldilocks figure in case you’re a Kudlow fan. Unfortunately for those of us who are growing increasingly concerned about the perpetual boom bust cycle created by easy money, this only throws fuel on the fire. Bernanke is now in the exact position he wants to be – wait and see mode. That means the fire can rage while the Fed chief twiddles his thumbs. Much like he did when he kept rates too high in 2007 and much like Greenspan did in 2003 when he kept rates too low. If the global economy begins to take off as it did in 2003 we are almost certain to see a repeat of the boom portion of the cycle in the coming years. Of course, the likelihood of a following bust is high….Econoday has some thoughts on the data:
Several factors kept the core rate soft. The cash-for-clunkers tax credits helped push prices for new vehicles down by 1.3 percent. Apparel slipped 0.1 percent. Shelter costs were sluggish, including owners’ equivalent rent rising only 0.1 percent. The recession has kept rents soft which also impact owners’ equivalent rent which is based on actual rent for owner-type houses. On the upside, prescription drugs increased 0.6 percent and airline fares jumped 1.7 percent.
Year-on-year, headline inflation rose to minus 1.4 (seasonally adjusted) from down 1.9 percent in July. The core rate eased to up 1.5 percent in July from up 1.6 percent the previous month. On an unadjusted year-ago basis, the headline number was down 1.5 percent in August while the core was up 1.4 percent.
Outside of energy, consumer price inflation is subdued, leaving the Fed flexibility for when to start unwinding its balance sheet expansion. Given that the August numbers matched expectations, there should be little market reaction today. But the higher energy costs serve as a reminder that when recovery strengthens, oil prices and headline inflation are likely headed up. Bond traders should take note.
In other news. industrial production came in better than expected at 69.6%. This…
US stock indexes nosedived today, with the benchmark S&P 500 losing 1.13%. The index hit its intraday high, up 0.02%, five minutes into the session and then cascaded to a mid-day trading range, down about half a percent, that held until shortly before the final hour. It then continued the slide to its worst percentage loss since the 1.32% selloff on November 11th.
The popular financial press attributes today's selling to the news of a budget deal in congress, e.g., the CNBC spin: "the provisional budget deal in Washington raised speculation that the Federal Reserve could pull back on its stimulus program soon."
Lest today's slump seem overly gloomy, note that the 1.32% decline on November 7th was followed by a 1.34% gain the following day.
With the Ukraine situation increasingly precarious, and now even the US state department getting involved with the occasional unexpected harsh warning...
U.S. MAY CONSIDER SANCTIONS ON UKRAINE: STATE DEPT
... into what Putin has made very clear is his brand new sphere of influence (it is unclear just why the US is responding in such a way: did the pro-Europe protesters not use Made in the US tear gas or chemical weapons?), Russia casually threw it out there earlier today that it would use nuclear weapons if it comes under an attack. As vice prime minister and defense industry chief made clear, "One can experiment as long as one wishes by deploying non-nuclear warhe...
SHLD – Sears Holdings Corp. – Options volume on Sears today rose well above the average daily level for the stock during morning trading, with the bulk of the activity concentrated in far out of the money Jan 2014 expiry puts. Overall volume on the stock is approaching 30,000 contracts just before midday in New York, roughly 155% of SHLD’s average daily options volume of around 18,000 contracts. Shares in Sears are off 0.70% at $46.54 at present, off earlier session lows that saw the stock touch down to $45.98, the lowest level since September 5th.
Alan Blinder, a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, is back at it.
In an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal Blinders says "Don't only drop the interest rate paid on banks' excess reserves, charge them."
Please consider The Fed Plan to Revive High-Powered Money. Unless you are part of the tiny portion of humanity that dotes on every utterance of the Federal Open Market Committee, you probably missed an important statement regarding the arcane world of "excess reserves" buried deep in the minutes of its Oct. 29-30 policy meeting. It reads: "[M]ost participants thought that a reduction by the Board of Governors in the interest rate paid on excess reserves could be worth ...
Investors lost their enthusiasm on Tuesday as the December 13 budget deadline approached with more dysfunction on Capitol Hill.
The S&P 500 Index retreated from Monday’s record high on Tuesday, as investors watched another budget battle unfold in Washington, with the clock ticking down to the December 13 deadline. Although this latest battle appears less toxic than the previous episodes, investors obviously remained skeptical as the major stock indices fell into the red.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) lost 52 points to finish Tuesday’s trading session at 15,973 for a 0.33 percent decline. The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) fell 0.32 percent to close at 1,802....
Today, with very little market moving news, the S&P 500 closed at 1808.4, yet another new closing daily high. The index did touch the 1811 area on at least three distinctly different time slots creating a new resistance level. But after last week’s bevy of positive economic surprises, the sharp gain of 1.1% on Friday, leaving the index just a tiny point away from its ninth consecutive up week, we can’t be too quick to suggest today was a topping rally. For one thing, volume was quite low as traders seemed to be trying to sort out the odds on the earliest date of Fed tapering. Estimates range from this month to March and even later. But it’s going to happen…so why so much emphasis on when? Perhaps protection of end-of-the-year profits in so many fund managers portfolios? ...
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This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).
We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options.
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These rallies are becoming familiar. In early July we saw a streak of 12 of 13 sessions in a row up, early September 11 of 12, and mid October 11 of 13 (current streak). It is a bit uncanny the similarities and how the escalator goes straight up in vertical ascent as we see indexes come out of mini corrections during QE. So we are about at the same stage where the last two began to tire, so it will be interesting if this is similar or if the current consensus of the market that there is nothing to worry about until next year as the Fed and D.C. are both off the table and this 3% annual growth rate in earnings we are now seeing in the S...
Welcome to the fouth update of the IRA Virtual Portfolio. First I am going to summarize the current state of the Portfolio then I will get into all the activity we had during September expiration.
Profit and Loss – Net of closed positions the portfolio is up a total of $769
Market Commentary – Last expiration I said, "I would like to put a total of $20,000 to work by the end of SEP expiration. If the VIX pops up to around 20 I plan to put about $50,000 total to work." The market didn't quite reach the goal but I did manage to deploy $15,000 of buying power. I still feel the market is too high and expect a correction during October. If the vix pops up to around 20 I still plan to put about $50,000 to work. If a correction doesn't happen I still plan to have a total of $25,000 in buying power put to work by October expiration. Now on to the act...
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Come and get it! Read all about it! Biotechs, biotechs and more biotechs to buy buy buy for your portfolio! To date, almost 30 biotech companies have hit the market. Most of the time, there are fewer than 10-12!
For the last five years, biotechs have had issues obtaining offer prices above expectations. In 2013, that trend looks to be broken. According to BiotechNow, the offer prices are 4% above expectations! In addition, biotechs are going public with little more than a wing and a prayer (pre-clinical or Phase 1 data only). Really? What this means is that the drug or technology looks good in mice, rats, or dogs, etc, but there is no smidgen of evidence that it will work in humans. That's what is called an appitite for RISK!
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