Morgan Stanley just released a research report that painstakingly details the current state of our global economy.
Inside the 88-page report is a section called "Charts You Can’t Miss." It’s broken down in the following order of countries: Global economy, Europe, Asia (excluding Japan), and Japan. These charts focus on the underlying issues that truly affect our economy.
Credit spreads are at their highest levels ever post-Lehman and Germany’s industrial production is falling. Clearly there’s cause for concern.
If you’ve ever wanted a quick, comprehensive breakdown of the global marketplace, here’s your chance.
A tsunami warning was issued for Chile and Peru by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, and a tsunami watch was issued for Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Antarctica.
Soon after, the U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had generated a tsunami that may have been destructive along the Chilean coast near the epicenter. The USGS said the earthquake struck 56 miles northeast of the city of Concepcion at a depth of 34 miles at 3:34 a.m./1:34 EST.
Its magnitude was initially reported at 8.3 then 8.5. An earthquake of magnitude 8 or over is classified as a "great" earthquake that can cause "tremendous damage," according to the USGS website.
The earthquake that devastated Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince on January 12 was rated at magnitude 7.0.
U.S. President Barack Obama dramatically altered policy direction during his first State of the Union address by announcing plans to focus fully on creating jobs while doubling exports in five years. This could put the United States on a collision course with China’s export strategy. And a head-on crash, possibly centered on China’s foreign exchange rate policy, might occur before America’s mid-term elections in November.
No one wants confrontation, especially at such a critical time for global trade, the world’s recovering economy and China’s property market. But a changing political mood is steering Washington into Beijing’s lane. China can respond by turning the wheel before it’s too late.
The trigger for Obama’s policy turnaround was the defeat of the Democratic Party in the Massachusetts election for a U.S. Senate seat left vacant when Ted Kennedy died.
A senior U.S. counterterrorism official confirmed the terror plot to a number of news outlets, including the Daily News and Fox News.
The intelligence doesn’t provides specifics about time, place or method of attack. But officials are taking the threat seriously. The Yemeni group is said to have been emboldened by the Christmas Day attack.
"Our concerns have intensified," the official told The News.
Frighteningly, Fox reports that some of the suspected terrorists may have US passports.
Al Qaeda in Yemen and the Al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, known as Al Shabaab — translated as Mujahadeen Youth — are described as having "shared interests and shared goals."
U.S. counterterrorism officials say clear connections now can be traced between the two terrorist groups and they are not ruling out the possibility that they are working together to attack U.S. interests.
U.S. officials also remain concerned about two dozen Somali Americans who disappeared into the Al Shabaab training camps in Somalia in the last 18 months. Their American passports would allow them to reenter the United States.
According the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest energy outlook, while world energy consumption is expected to grow in 2010, it will only be adding 1.1 million barrels of consumption and will remain below its past peak consumption.
This tepid demand growth will butt against production increases for many non-OPEC oil producers, which means that OPEC will be under substantial pressure to limit its output, and obviously will.
Yet this will require massive discipline for the member nations given that OPEC’s surplus crude oil production capacity will actually rise in 2010, after a huge increase in surplus capacity during 2009. 2010 will see the worst OPEC overcapacity situation since 2002, as shown below.
EIA: Through the forecast period, OPEC surplus crude oil production capacity should remain in excess of 4 million bbl/d, versus an average of 2.8 million bbl/d seen over the 1998-2008 period.
Second-rate petrol state and paper tiger Iran is ditching the dollar.
According to the Tehran Times, the country announced that it plans to hold no dollars as part of its forex reserves, and that all of its oil transactions shall take place in other currencies.
Should you be trembling? No.
The TPOI (Trade Promotion Organization Of Iran) has also announced that since October 2007 Iran has sold 85 percent of its oil exports in currencies other than the U.S. dollar and is determined to sell the remaining 15 percent in other currencies such as the UAE dirham.
Ok, so this was mainly the case already, and now they’ll do marginally less business in dollars.
Edward Morseis, Managing Director of Louis Capital Markets and an ex-State Department energy official, argues in the upcoming issue of Foreign Affairs that oil prices won’t shoot back to the moon, as key producers boost production and capacity:
…Last year’s high prices and the recession have severely damped demand, and the growth of new production capacity, especially in Saudi Arabia, is buoying supplies.
The rapid fall and then rebound in oil prices over the past year surprised many people. But it was not unusual: commodities markets are cyclical by nature and have a history punctuated by sudden turning points. Although this generally makes it difficult to forecast prices, it is safe to say that commodities markets will remain lower over the next few years than they have been over the past five. In the oil industry, the most important new factor that accounts for low prices is the return of surplus production capacity among the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for the first time since 2002–3.
Later on, Moresis astutely points out it’s not in OPEC’s interest to spike oil. "[Saudi Arabia] will likely use its surplus capacity to keep prices moderate in order to spur global economic growth, maintain long-term demand for oil, and deter investments in alternative sources of energy."
Low oil prices is great news, so long as the administration remains focused on its alternative energy plans. Foreign Affairs suggests cheap oil presents an opportunity "to make energy markets less volatile and strike arrangements with producing countries that will better serve the United States’ long-term interests."
If we pull a redux of the 80′s though, and forget about the energy problem, lower oil prices could actually be our enemy.
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.
One of the most dangerous philosophical contentions even amongst liberty movement activists is the conundrum of government force and prevention during times of imminent pandemic. All of us at one time or another have had this debate. If a legitimate viral threat existed and threatened to infect and kill millions of Americans, is it then acceptable for the government to step in, remove civil liberties, enforce quarantines, and stop people from spreading the disease? After all, during a viral event, the decisions of each in...
My title above is only half-kidding. Because everytime Wall Street pronounces “The Death Of” anything, that’s pretty much when it starts working again. But there is an important point being made in a new article at the Wall Street Journal about the current state of some of our biggest stalwart stocks and their underlying businesses, a point I made two days ago here…
Here’s the Journal:
A third of the companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average have posted shrinking or flat revenue over the past 12 m...
After a one-day pause, the S&P 500 returned to rally mode. The index opened at its 0.20% intraday low, vaulted upward and then drifted to its 1.81% mid-afternoon high. It closed ninety minutes later with a trimmed gain of 1.23%. The popular financial press touted strong pre-market earnings (most notably from Caterpillar and 3M) as the rally trigger and blamed the afternoon fade on renewed Ebola worries (a doctor being tested in NY).
Looking ahead ... will Amazon's post-close earnings disappointment trigger a market struggle at tomorrow's open? Stay tuned!
The yield on the 10-year Note closed at 2.29%, up 4 bps from yesterday's close. The weekly average for the 30-year fixed mortgage was announced today at 3.92%, the lowest rate since early June of last year.
Here is a 15-minute chart of the past five sessions.
There is lots of action in Southwest Airlines Co. November expiry call options today ahead of the air carrier’s third-quarter earnings report prior to the opening bell on Thursday. Among the large block trades initiated throughout the trading session, there appears to be at least one options market participant establishing a call spread in far out of the money options. It looks like the trader purchased a 4,000-lot Nov 37/39 call spread at a net premium of $0.40 apiece. The trade makes money if shares in Southwest rally 9.0% over the current price of $34.32 to exceed the effective breakeven point at $37.40, with maximum potential profits of $1.60 per contract available in the event that shares jump more than 13% to $39.00 by expiration. In September, the stock tou...
Last week brought even more stock market weakness and volatility as the selloff became self-perpetuating, with nobody mid-day on Wednesday wanting to be the last guy left holding equities. Hedge funds and other weak holders exacerbated the situation. But the extreme volatility and panic selling finally led some bulls (along with many corporate insiders) to summon a little backbone and buy into weakness, and the market finished the week on a high note, with continued momentum likely into the first part of this week.
Despite concerns about global economic growth and a persistent lack of inflation, especially given all the global quantitative easing, fundamentals for U.S. stocks still look good, and I believe this overdue correction ultimately will shape up to be a great buying opportunity -- i.e., th...
Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?
With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...
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What do falling energy prices mean for the US consumer? Sober Look writes a brief yet thorough overview of the consequences of the correction in the price of crude oil. There are good aspects, particularly for the consumer, bad aspects, and out-right ugly possibilities. For more on this subject, read James Hamilton's How will Saudi Arabia respond to lower oil prices? In previous eras, Saudi Arabia would tighten the supply to help increase prices, but in this "game of chicken," the rules m...
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Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely. From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.
First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices. Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment. Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer. For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...
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