The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for June, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $360.2 billion, a decrease of 0.5 percent (±0.5%)* from the previous month
Heh, that’s not so good. Ex-autos sales were down -0.15%, implying what we’ve already seen reported: auto sales have gone in the tank.
But that’s not the only place we found bad news. Building materials were down about 1%, and, interestingly, so were food and beverage stores (about 1/2%.) Gasoline sales were down 2%, while clothing stores, general merchandise and electronics were up slightly.
All in all not a disastrous report – but definitely not a strong one either. The market reaction was immediately negative, although the move (about 1/2% southbound) wasn’t dramatic.
The evidence continues to mount that the economy is, indeed, slowing once again.
On January 5th the durables report for November was ‘released’.
It showed a 0.2% increase. I didn’t write on it at the time, as it didn’t appear to be particularly consequential. The report, of course, came in the middle of the first-week January market rally.
But now, in the dark of night, the number has been revised – to a decrease of 0.7%. The reason is a claimed "statistical error."
This, by the way, should have been obvious from the retail sales report, which I did write on.
Here’s the ugly – the Census’ link to the report is now listed as missing (that is, intentionally removed!) and what’s worse the link they refer you to, the "Historical M3 Releases" does not have the corrected November data – it only has releases through October on it.
That is, November’s report has disappeared.
No, the "historical" tab doesn’t have it either. Attempting to retrieve it off the link in Google’s search returns a "not currently available, see historical" message – but it’s not there.
You would think that such an "error" would result in an immediate press release by Census identifying the cause of the error and a corrected report, along with CNBS and the rest of "ToutTV" talking about how this "mistake" happened and alerting investors to the fact that they had made decisions based on "mistaken" information and in fact durables had suffered a second sequential decline.
YOU WOULD BE WRONG.
Are we now down to rank fraud in "data releases" from our government, revised in the dark of night without public notice or press release, with the agencies claiming "statistical error"?
Folks, honest errors are immediately admitted to when discovered and disseminated to all of the people who the government or agency knows relies on these figures for economic decisions.
But when "errors" are less than honest the person or agency committing them attempts to hide the evidence instead of admitting to and publicly exposing their mistake.
Over the weekend we reported that in the latest unspoken mockery of the Obama administration, the Iranian military had successfully carried out another two launches of short-range ballistic missiles - the Nazeat and the Fajr-5 - during ground forces exercises. As a reminder, Iran is technically not permitted (even if the prohibition is not enforced) to engage in such drills, because following the adoption of the JCPOA, the UN S...
Markets today were in a mildly depressed mood. Asian indexes were mixed, but Gold finished lower, Crude Oil declined and European indexes lost ground. Our benchmark S&P 500 wiggled through the day between its 0.16% high and -0.25% low — the second narrowest intraday trading range of the year. The index finished with a fractional loss of 0.21%. There was no economic news to stir the trade, so the popular financial press explains today's (in)action as a lull in wait of further signals from the Fed on a rate hike.
The yield on the 10-year note closed at 1.84%, down one basis point from the previous close.
Here is a snapshot of past five sessions in the S&P 500.
On the daily chart of the SPY ETF, which generally gi...
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By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.
On Monday, German conglomerate Bayer AG finalized its $62 billion takeover offer for American agrochemical company Monsanto (MON). The acquisition would create the largest agrochemical company in the world. Here is what the sell-side is saying.
Monsanto- Bayer – deals, deals, deals
At $122/share for Monsanto and no disposals the deal would require BASF to issue equity (Bayer issuing ~25% of the deal value) and would imply a deal ROIC in FY5 of 8.5%, 40bps below their WACC of 8.9% and below the buyback equivalent ROIC of 8.8%. The deal, however, would imply €4.55/share in FCF accretion in FY5 enabling BASF to delever to 0.5x net debt/EBITDA in the same time frame. If they levered back to 1.5x in FY15, we estimate EPS would reach €10.20/share.
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 email@example.com 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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