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.
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Note: This commentary has been updated to include this morning's release of the March data for Real Personal Income Less Transfer Receipts.
Official recession calls are the responsibility of the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee, which is understandably vague about the specific indicators on which they base their decisions. This committee statement is about as close as they get to identifying their method.
There is, however, a general belief that there are four big indicators that the committee weighs heavily in their cycle identification process. They are:
The rally in mining stocks since the first of the year has been very impressive.
The rally has taken Gold Miners ETF GDX up to test the 23% retracement of the collapse over the past 5-years. At the same time it is hitting the 23% level, two other resistance lines are being put to a test, with momentum at the highest levels in the past 5-years.
Graham Media Group, Inc., a Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) subsidiary, said it struck a deal with Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. and Media General, Inc. to purchase WCWJ, a CW affiliate television station in Jacksonville, Florida and WSLS, an NBC affiliate television station in Roanoke, Virginia for $60 million in cash and the assumption of certain liabilities.
The agreement to acquire Nextar Broadcasting included pension obligations. Graham Media Group, Inc. would continue to operate both stations under their current network affiliations.
Graham Media said the acquisition is subject to approval by the FCC, other regulatory appr...
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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