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Posts Tagged ‘yield curve’

$10,000 Tuesday – One Trade To Make Your Month!

RUT WEEKLYHow would you like to make $10,000?

If the Russell can finish this option period (24 days) 2.5% higher, at 1,178 or higher, we can turn net $1,000 or less cash into $10,000 for you.  After all, if the Fed is going to give away money – why shouldn't we get our share?

I'll preface this by saying that our Members are already long on Russell Futures at the 1,150 line, as we made that call in our live Member Chat Room (become a Member here) earlier this morning.   

If the market is going to remain bullet-proof (and missile-proof too, it seems) then the RUT is now the lagging index and we can construct a play to take advantage of it breaking back up by making a play on TNA, the 3x Ultra-Long Russell ETF.  

Very simply, if we buy the August $72.50 calls for $3.45 and we sell the Aug $76.50 calls for $1.70, we have a net cost of $1.75 on the $4 spread that's $4.64 out of the money (at goal) and that's 6.4% out of the money so, to be safe, we'll need a 2.5% gain on the Russell, from 1,150 to 1,178.75 to make the full $4.  25 contracts at $4 = $10,000 so we can work with that.

But what about the cost of the 25 contracts (at $1.70 x 2,500, that's $4,250)?  Well, there's a couple of ways to offset that.  One way is to sell 25 TNA Aug $65 puts for $1.70 to offset the cost.  The danger there is, if the Russell goes down 2.5% (to 1,121) or lower, we'll be assigned 2,500 shares of TNA for $65 ($162,500) – that could be unpleasant. 

Instead, we can commit to being long TNA at $45 in 2016 by selling just 5 2016 $45 puts for $8, and that raises $4,000 and commits us to owning "just" 500 shares of TNA at $45 per share ($22,500).  

Now, if you don't want to be bullish on the Russell when TNA is down 37% (Russell 1,006), then why are you long on it at 1,150?  


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WHAT DOES THE YIELD CURVE TELL US ABOUT FUTURE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS?

Pragcap asks: "WHAT DOES THE YIELD CURVE TELL US ABOUT FUTURE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS?"

There are few indicators more prescient than the yield curve. Over the years the curve has successfully predicted all but two post WW2 recessions.  In the last 40 years it is 7 for 7 in predicting recessions.  A negative yield curve is generally consistent with a Federal Reserve that is attempting to cool the economy.  Clearly, they have a tendency to overshoot.

The current curve, however, is quite steep and tends to be consistent with a Federal Reserve that is attempting to stimulate the economy (something they also have a tendency of overshooting).  Based on past readings the Cleveland Fed says the current environment is consistent with 1% growth in real GDP:

“Projecting forward using past values of the spread and GDP growth suggests that real GDP will grow at about a 1.0 percent rate over the next year, the same projection as in October and September. Although the time horizons do not match exactly, this comes in on the more pessimistic side of other forecasts, although, like them, it does show moderate growth for the year.”

But meager growth is better than no growth.  At current levels the probability of recession is virtually 0%. Unfortunately, low growth means this is going to continue feeling like a recession for a large portion of the country.  And in a balance sheet recession the usual Fed toolbox of altering interest rates is unlikely to have the usual stimulative impact.


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Treasury Rally Continues in Normal Fashion; No Reason to be Short Treasuries

Treasury Rally Continues in Normal Fashion; No Reason to be Short Treasuries

Courtesy of Mish

In the wake of anemic retail sales in July, treasuries could have been expected to rally and they did.

Yield Curve as of 2008-08-13

Curve Watchers Anonymous notes that the biggest treasury gains (drops in yield), occurred on the longest durations. This is a normal yield curve reaction.

This is in contrast to the pattern we have been seeing for weeks, with the middle of the curve reacting the strongest.

Here is a chart over time from Front Running the Fed – Who Knew?

Once again the 7-year treasury is in the sweet spot.

click on chart for sharper image

Yield Curve May 2009 Thru Present

click on chart for sharper image

The 30-year long bond has finally broken through that shelf at the 4% mark. There is plenty of room for further rallies is the economic data remains weak. There is no reason to expect anything other than weakness, thus no reason to be short treasuries here.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock


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Albert Edwards Explains How The Leading Indicator Is Already Back Into Recession Territory And Why The Japan “Ice Age” Is Coming

Albert Edwards Explains How The Leading Indicator Is Already Back Into Recession Territory And Why The Japan "Ice Age" Is Coming

Greenland

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Albert Edwards reverts to his favorite economic concept, the "Ice Age" in his latest commentary piece, presenting another piece in the puzzle of similarities between the Japanese experience and that which the US is currently going through. A.E. boldly goes where Goldman only recently has dared to tread, by claiming that he expects negative GDP – not in 2011, but by the end of this year.  After all, if one looks beneath the headlines of even the current data set, it is not only the ECRI, but the US Coference Board’s Leading Index, Albert explains, that confirms that we are already in a recesion.

If one takes out the benefit of the steep yield curve as an input to the Leading Indicator metric, and a curve inversion physically impossible due to ZIRP and the zero bound already reaching out as far out as the 2 Year point (it appears the 2 Year may break below 0.5% this week), the result indicates that the US economy is already firmly in recession territory. Edwards explains further: "one of the key components for Conference Board leading indicator is the shape of the yield curve (10y-Fed Funds). This has been regularly adding 0.3-0.4% per month to the overall indicator, which is now falling mom! The simple fact is that with Fed Funds at zero, it is totally ridiculous to suggest there is any information content in the steep yield curve, which will now never predict a recession. Without this yield curve nonsense this key lead indicator is already predicting a recession."

All too obvious double dip aside, Edwards focuses on the disconnect between bonds and stocks, and synthesizes it as follows: "investors are finally accepting that what is going on in the West is indeed very similar to Japan a decade ago. For years my attempts to draw this parallel have been met with hoots of derision  but finally the penny is dropping." The primary disconnect in asset classes as the Ice Age unravels, for those familiar with Edwards work, is the increasing shift away from stocks and into bonds, probably best summarized by the chart below comparing global bond and equity yields – note the increasing decoupling. This is prefaced as follows:…
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Bernanke Says Economic Outlook is “Unusually Uncertain”, Fed Prepared for “Actions as Needed”

Bernanke Says Economic Outlook is "Unusually Uncertain", Fed Prepared for "Actions as Needed"

ben bernanke Courtesy of Mish

Be prepared for Quantitative Easing Round 2 (QE2) and/or other misguided Fed policy decisions because Bernanke Says Fed Ready to Take Action.

Treasuries rose, pushing two-year yields to the fourth record low in five days, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the economic outlook is “unusually uncertain” and policy makers are prepared “to take further policy actions as needed.”

Ten-year note yields touched a three-week low as Bernanke said central bankers are ready to act to aid growth even as they prepare to eventually raise interest rates from almost zero and shrink a record balance sheet.

“An unusual outlook may call for unusual measures, and that means the Fed may take more action as needed, which would lead to lower rates,” said Suvrat Prakash, an interest-rate strategist in New York at BNP Paribas, one of the 18 primary dealers that trade with the central bank.

The Fed chief didn’t elaborate on steps the Fed might take as he affirmed the Fed’s policy of keeping rates low for an “extended period.” Economic data over the past month that were weaker than analysts projected have prompted investor speculation the Fed may increase monetary stimulus in a bid to keep the economy growing and reduce a jobless rate from close to a 26-year high.

“Bernanke acknowledged that things weren’t very strong economically and left action on the table without going into details, and that’s sending investors from stocks into bonds,” said James Combias, New York-based head of Treasury trading at primary dealer Mizuho Financial Group Inc.

Monetary Policy Report to the Congress July 2010

Inquiring minds are slogging through the 56 page Monetary Policy Report to the Congress July 2010. Here are a few key snips.

Summary of Economic Projections

Participants generally made modest downward revisions to their projections for real GDP growth for the years 2010 to 2012, as well as modest upward revisions to their projections for the unemployment rate for the same period.

Participants also revised down a little their projections for inflation over the forecast period. Several participants noted that these revisions were largely the result of the incoming economic data and the anticipated effects of developments abroad on U.S. financial markets and the economy. Overall, participants continued to expect the pace of the economic recovery to


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Bernanke Reiterates the Fed’s “Whatever It Takes” Pledge for the Thousandth Time

To summarize and save you time, Jr. Deputy Accountant writes

Bernanke Reiterates the Fed’s "Whatever It Takes" Pledge for the Thousandth Time

I won’t call Bernanke a one trick pony since he’s got more tricks than a Hollywood madam but I will say this: the man is nothing if not consistent.

USA Today:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Wednesday the economic outlook remains "unusually uncertain," and the central bank is ready to take new steps to keep the recovery alive if the economy worsens.

Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, Bernanke also said record low interest rates are still needed to bolster the U.S. economy. He repeated a pledge to keep them there for an "extended period."

Whatever it takes!

Full text of Bernanke’s semi-annual monetary policy check-in with Congress may be found via the Board of Governors


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ECRI Weekly Leading Indicators at Negative 9.8; Has the ECRI Blown Yet Another Recession Call?

ECRI Weekly Leading Indicators at Negative 9.8; Has the ECRI Blown Yet Another Recession Call?

Courtesy of Mish

Inquiring minds have been watching the ECRI’s weekly leading index plunge nonstop since October of 2009. Moreover the WLI has been in negative territory for 6 consecutive weeks.

click on chart for sharper image

Is that a recession call by the ECRI? 

Absolutely not, at least as of June 14, according to Lakshman Achuthan managing director of ECRI who blasted the Wall Street Journal for misleading reporting.

The Business Insider discusses the situation in Why Last Week’s Collapsing ECRI Leading Indicator WASN’T A Recession Signal.

Following the Business Insider link back one step takes us to Jeff Miller’s "A Dash of Insight" Weighing the Week Ahead: Negativity Prevails where I see that I was cited along with the Wall Street Journal, Zero Hedge, the Pragmatic Capitalist, and the Financial Times for incorrect intrepretation of the WLI.

Miller quoting a comment in response to the Wall Street Journal article writes…

Meanwhile, in the comments there was a stern rebuke. Lakshman Achuthan wrote: 

While we certainly appreciate the attention given to our Weekly Leading Index, I’d like to clarify a few points raised in the article. First, according to the Economist magazine, “the ECRI” has not ever given false alarms on a recession forecast. http://www.businesscycle.com/about/testimonials/

The purported false alarms from “the ECRI” mentioned in this article come from a mistaken and simplistic view that negative growth in ECRI’s Weekly Leading Index (WLI) is tantamount to a recession forecast. In fact, since 1983, cyclical downturns have taken WLI growth under the zero line a dozen times, but recessions have followed on only three of those occasions – times when ECRI actually made a recession forecast.

Since ECRI itself has never used WLI growth going negative as a recession signal, it is important that such “false alarms” are attributed not to ECRI or even to the WLI, but to what is a mistaken interpretation of the WLI.

In fact, at the very least, ECRI itself would need to see a “pronounced, pervasive and persistent” decline in the level of the WLI (not merely negative readings in its growth rate) following a “pronounced, pervasive and persistent” decline in ECRI’s U.S. Long Leading Index (not discussed in the article), before it makes a recession call.

Just The Facts Maam, Not The Spin
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Are we “Trending Towards Deflation” or in It?

Are we "Trending Towards Deflation" or in It?

Courtesy of Mish 

Paul Krugman is worried we are Trending Toward Deflation.

Inflation has been falling, but how close are we to deflation? I found myself wondering that after observing John Makin’s combusting coiffure, his prediction that we might see deflation this year.

Here’s the thing: the usual way inflation is measured is by looking at the change from a year earlier. But if inflation is trending lower, that’s a lagging indicator — if prices have been falling for the past few months, but were rising before that, inflation over the past year will still be positive. On the other hand, monthly data are noisy. So what to do?

Well, a crude approach would be simply to fit a trend line through those noisy monthly numbers. Here’s what happens when you do this for the Cleveland Fed’s median consumer price inflation number. On the vertical axis is the monthly inflation at an annual rate, on the horizontal axis months with Jan. 2008=0:

What I take from this is that deflation isn’t some distant possibility — it’s already here by some measures, not far off by others. And of course there isn’t some magic boundary effect when you cross zero; falling inflation is raising real interest rates and making debt problems worse as we speak.

There is a second chart and further discussion in Krugman’s article.

The Rising Threat of Deflation

The article Krugman referred to is The Rising Threat of Deflation. Here are a few snips highlighting Makin’s and Krugman’s concern over prices.

U.S. year-over-year core inflation has dropped to 0.9 percent—its lowest level in forty-four years. The six-month annualized core consumer price index inflation level has dropped even closer to zero, at 0.4 percent. Europe’s year-over-year core inflation rate has fallen to 0.8 percent—the lowest level ever reported in the series that began in 1991. Heavily indebted Spain’s year-over-year core inflation rate is down to 0.1 percent. Ireland’s deflation rate is 2.7 percent. As commodity prices slip, inflation will become deflation globally in short order.

Meanwhile in Japan, while analysts were touting Japan’s first-quarter real growth rate of 5 percent, few bothered to notice that over the past year Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP) deflator had fallen 2.8 percent, reflecting an accelerating pace of deflation in a country where the price level has been falling


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YIELD CURVE SAYS: SLOW GROWTH, BUT NO RECESSION

YIELD CURVE SAYS: SLOW GROWTH, BUT NO RECESSION

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Much has been made about the recent action in the bond market.  Yields have fallen to unheard of levels.  The inflationistas and curve steepener traders are bewildered.  It’s clear that bond investors are expecting very low inflation in the coming decade, but some fear it is portending far worse.  Famed bond guru Bill Gross is worried about the action in the bond markets – so much so that he says the current environment is pricing in a depression.   The Cleveland Fed recently released a note on the predictive nature of the yield curve.  Their conclusions – a slowdown is on the horizon, but no double dip will follow:

“Since last month, the three-month rate has dropped to 0.09 percent (for the week ending June 18) from May’s 0.17, and this also comes in below April’s 0.16 percent. The ten-year rate dropped to 3.26 percent from May’s 3.33 percent, also down from April’s 3.85 percent. The slope increased a mere 1 basis point to 317 basis points, up from May’s 316 basis points, but still below April’s 369 basis points.”

fed1 YIELD CURVE SAYS: SLOW GROWTH, BUT NO RECESSION

“Projecting forward using past values of the spread and GDP growth suggests that real GDP will grow at about a 1.00 percent rate over the next year, just up from May’s prediction of 0.98 percent. Although the time horizons do not match exactly, this comes in on the more pessimistic side of other forecasts, although, like them, it does show moderate growth for the year.”

fed2 YIELD CURVE SAYS: SLOW GROWTH, BUT NO RECESSION

“the expected chance of the economy being in a recession next June rises to 12.4 percent, up from May’s 9.9 percent and April’s 7.1 percent, despite the slight rise in the spread. Recent data has shifted the predicted value upward, though it still remains low.”

fed3 YIELD CURVE SAYS: SLOW GROWTH, BUT NO RECESSION

So, very slow growth, but no double dip.  Of course, this is all assuming the recession actually ended which I think is absolute nonsense.  This is and remains a consumer driven balance sheet recession.   The reason policymakers have failed to solve the problems on Main Street is because they have failed to properly diagnose this as a problem rooted on Main Street.

As for the predictive nature of the yield – I think we have to seriously wonder if this time isn’t different.  Monetary policy has proven to…
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JOHN HUSSMAN ISSUES A RECESSION WARNING

JOHN HUSSMAN ISSUES A RECESSION WARNING

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

John Hussman is officially sounding the double dip siren.  He issued a similar call in November of 2007:

Based on evidence that has always and only been observed during or immediately prior to U.S. recessions, the U.S. economy appears headed into a second leg of an unusually challenging downturn.

A few weeks ago, I noted that our recession warning composite was on the brink of a signal that has always and only occurred during or immediately prior to U.S. recessions, the last signal being the warning I reported in the November 12, 2007 weekly comment Expecting A Recession. While the set of criteria I noted then would still require a decline in the ISM Purchasing Managers Index to 54 or less to complete a recession warning, what prompts my immediate concern is that the growth rate of the ECRI Weekly Leading Index has now declined to -6.9%. The WLI growth rate has historically demonstrated a strong correlation with the ISM Purchasing Managers Index, with the correlation being highest at a lead time of 13 weeks.

wmc100628a JOHN HUSSMAN ISSUES A RECESSION WARNING

Taking the growth rate of the WLI as a single indicator, the only instance when a level of -6.9% was not associated with an actual recession was a single observation in 1988. But as I’ve long noted, recession evidence is best taken as a syndrome of multiple conditions, including the behavior of the yield curve, credit spreads, stock prices, and employment growth. Given that the WLI growth rate leads the PMI by about 13 weeks, I substituted the WLI growth rate for the PMI criterion in condition 4 of our recession warning composite. As you can see, the results are nearly identical, and not surprisingly, are slightly more timely than using the PMI. The blue line indicates recession warning signals from the composite of indicators, while the red blocks indicate official U.S. recessions as identified by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Read the full article here.

Source: Hussman Funds 


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Zero Hedge

LooTeRS!!!

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.

...

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Phil's Favorites

Bloomberg Sensationalism and Inaccuracies Regarding "Forced Nationalization of Crimea"

Courtesy of Mish.

A few days ago a friend emailed the Bloomberg article Russia Delivers a New Shock to Crimean Business: Forced Nationalization.

I replied something along the lines of "interesting, but I am going to bounce this of Jacob Dreizin", a US citizen who provides frequent updates to me regarding Ukraine.

I also bounced the article off Pater Tenebrarum at the Acting Man blog. Pater commented ...
Russian oligarchs stealing stuff back from Ukrainian oligarchs would be my guess. I should add, the arbitrariness of this process is of course quite disturbing (regardless of the fact that Ukraine's oligarchs are a bunch of corrupt thieves). But this strikes me mainly as a case of politically motivated payback. The oligarchs all aligned themselv...



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The Big Four Economic Indicators: Real Retail Sales

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Note from dshort: With yesterday's release of the Consumer Price Index for October, I've updated Real Retail Sales for October.

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:

  • Industrial Production
  • Real Personal Income (excluding Transfer Payments)
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    To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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    EZCH - Not So EZ Year

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    OpTrader

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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. 

    Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

    To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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    Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

    By Scott Martindale

    Investors in U.S. equities seem to have embraced a new market paradigm in which upside spikes come more swiftly than the downside selloffs. Remember when it used to be the other way around? When fear was stronger than greed? The market is consolidating its gains off the early-October V-bottom reversal, and no one seems to be in any hurry to unload shares this time around, with the holidays rapidly approaching and all. After all, there are bright blue skies directly overhead giving hope and respite from the early freeze blanketing the country.

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    Stock World Weekly

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    The newest Stock World Weekly is ready. Click here for the this weekend's reading and sign in with your PSW user name and password. 

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    If you would have supposed that Ukraine had enough problems to make banning bitcoins a backburner issue, you'd have been wrong. The rationale, "to protect consumers' rights" makes little to no sense... The other one, "to keep money in the country" makes more sense. 

    Ukraine Central Bank Bans Bitcoin "To Protect Citizens" From Financing Terrorism

    Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

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    Yamana Gold call options sink

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    By Andrew Wilkinson at Interactive Brokers

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    Pharmboy

    Biotechs & Bubbles

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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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    Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

    "Hello PSW Members –

    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 jennifersurovy@yahoo.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.

    http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

    Thank you for you time!




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