Archive for August, 2009

Bank Depository Reserves Hit 3 Month High As Banks Retrench And Consumers Save

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

In a surprising turn of credit “looseness”, total seasonally adjusted depository reserves increased by $84 billion compared to two weeks ago, and are now at $856 billion, the highest level since the end of May. It appears that contrary to all rhetoric to the contrary, banks are still unable and/or unwilling to lend or otherwise dispose of the ever increasing duffel bags full of cash in the basement.

The overall Monetary Base has followed the depository reserves fluctuations dollar for dollars, indicating the pure currency in circulation has not fluctuated much if at all: a year ago the non-depository reserve monetary base was $800 billion and it has barely budged to its current level of $878 billion.

In essence, the Fed’s plan to withdraw excess liquidity will have to wait at least until such time as consumers are again stupid enough to leverage themselves up, despite having reduced credit card limits and much more stringent banks. And the $84 billion increase in reserves is simply indicating that consumers are retrenching even more: expect the consumer saving rate to increase materially at the next data disclosure.

Source H.3





Science, Stocks and Superstition

Science, Stocks and Superstition

Courtesy of Tim at The Psy-Fi Blog

biasesUnreliable Science

As we’ve seen – repeatedly – people aren’t particularly good at overcoming the behavioural biases built into our nature by evolution. There’s no real reason we should be – computing the statistical probability of an above average return on the stockmarket over a twenty year period wasn’t of much value for most of human history. This was partly because twenty years was more than the average lifespan of a proto-human but largely because no one had yet got around to inventing money or stockmarkets or stocks. Or ‘years’.

If these biases are inherent and cause us to do stupid things around finance we might expect that they’ll appear in other areas as well where humanity has only recently started to apply its higher cognitive functions. So it’s unsurprising that our basic intuitions about science are about as reliable as those we have about finance. To whit: not reliable at all.

Greek Geeks

Science has been around a lot longer than modern financial theory. The Ancient Greeks developed many concepts that aren’t out of place in the modern pantheon of university science faculties – atomic theory, planetary orbits and toga parties amongst them. Unfortunately they failed to marry their scientific insights to a stable economic system and much of their knowledge was lost for the best part of a millennium. The lesson being, presumably, that disenfranchising women and relying on slave labour is a poor way of building a stable society. Global corporations take note.

GreeksDuring that lost thousand years or so the only real legacy of Greek knowledge in the Western world was a smattering of Aristotle, who was a bloody good thinker but a bit weak on stuff like planetary motion and mathematics. Somewhere along the line Aristotle’s ideas got mixed up with Christianity and resulted in the odd position of the Catholic Church defining God’s word on the basis of the scientific writings of an atheistic Greek who died before Christ was born. We can blame Thomas Aquinas for that one.

The period known as the Renaissance – the rebirth – was marked by a remarkable rediscovery of Ancient Greek thought. Some of this came from the Muslim world, where many ideas and writings had been sustained through the European Dark Ages, and some of it from the


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August Credit Summary – Early Warnings

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Credit markets were notably weak in August with HY underperforming IG, low beta deterioration, more curve inversion, and financials weaker, and all in the face of the continued rally in stocks. In the past we have seen credit anticipate and equity confirm – certainly credit markets are off their Utopian levels while stocks maintain them.

August was a fascinating month for the markets with lots of volatility, investing seemingly a binary decision of risk-on/risk-off, and everything becoming one trade – buy risky stuff or sell risky stuff. The dollar weakness/stock strength story continues to amaze but remember our recent point on how this relationship is becoming more and more asymmetric as the month wore on – this worries us considerably as increasingly aggressive dollar selling is required to jump start stocks.

Most notably, IG12 was over 8bps wider in August and HY12 68bps wider while stocks (S&P) managed to gain around 3%. Perhaps most notably, the USD was only marginally weaker, oil as good as unch (on the rolling front month contract), VIX flat, and gold a tad lower in price. 10Y TSYs were almost 8bps lower in yield (TSY buying and stock buying as corporate debt sold off?).

ExHVOL (our preferred trade) has performed very well as it widened over 12bps on the month to around 70bps and we note that indices in general underperformed intrinsics (which widened the skews in HY but narrowed in the rest).

IG12′s curve was flatter (more inverted) as we saw intrinsics steepen up quite considerably in 7s10s (or 5s10s) while 5s7s was pretty flat.

Thanks to AIG’s remarkable rally and strength in junk, high beta credits outperformed low beta dramatically but both were considerably wider on the month. Interestingly (at least for us) the widest 5 names (CIT/AIG/ILFC/TXT/HIG) in IG12 at 07/31 were the major outperformers in August as dispersion dropped dramatically in IG and these names alone kept IG intrinsics almost 7bps tighter on the month.

CONSumers were the month’s worst performers as M, JCP, and FO were around 50bps wider. TMT was close behind with CMCSA and TWX worst as ENRG and INDUstrials were about the same but considerably wider. Financials outperformed non-financials on the month but the tails were waht helped the most as GS and MS were considerably weaker in credit (even as their stocks held up). BAC, COF, and WFC were…
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Wanted: A Soaring Dollar

Wanted: A Soaring Dollar

soaring dollarCourtesy of Tim Knight at Slope of Hope

The snare drum you hear in the background is the musical prelude to a big shift in currencies. If, as I anticipate, the EUR/USD starts to tumble (while, naturally, the dollar soars), we’ll have everything we need for equities to start falling to pieces.

One of the charts from EWI’s Short-Term Update, shown below, tells the story superbly. Notice how the slope (err, not "Slope" slope, but the regular slope), represented by the series of diagonal lines, gets decreasingly steep. This implies to me a tipping point that has either taken place or will take place in the near future.

0831-euro 

I would also add that today is the first day in a while that the big profits that showed up in my account at the opening bell stuck around for the entire day. The only short position I closed was FXP, early in the morning; otherwise, I’m still short virtually across the board.

I’ll probably do a post later tonight. I need to – what else? – catch up on my charts.

 


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WHERE WILL THE JOBS COME FROM?

WHERE WILL THE JOBS COME FROM?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

From BusinessWeek:

Name an industry that can produce 1 million new, high-paying jobs over the next three years. You can’t, because there isn’t one. And that’s the problem.

America needs good jobs, soon. We need 6.7 million just to replace losses from the current recession, then another 10 million to spark demand over the next decade. That’s 15 million to 17 million new jobs. In the 1990s, the U.S. economy created a net 22 million jobs (a rate of 2.2 million per year), so we know it can be done. Between 2000 and the end of 2007 (the beginning of the current recession), however, the economy created new jobs at a rate of 900,000 a year, so we know it isn’t doing it now. The pipeline is dry because the U.S. business model is broken. Our growth engine has run out of a key source of fuel—critical mass, basic scientific research.

 


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Dave’s Daily

MARKET COMMENT

Dave Fry’s ETF Digest, August 31, 2009

Even bears need a stimulant to get in their act going. It wasn’t a disastrous day but it wasn’t a good way to end the month given the sour China note. The new maxim may be: “when China catches a cold the rest of the world gets the flu”. Of course this would be a substitution for what used to begin “the US”. It may also be true to say, we just all have the flu, H1N1 or whatever.

My first business trip to China in the mid-1980s allowed me to witness ordinary citizens trading stocks on the street corner in front of the recently opened stock exchange. It was fun to watch and, if you’re a student of history, you’ll realize that’s the way things were done in London and the US more than a century ago.

More profound is the worries what a new bear market in Shanghai portends for markets where shockwaves are felt hardest—commodity, currency and emerging markets —all hit hard today.

Without posting it until the end of the commentary as usual, let’s look at the Shanghai CSI 300 Index right away. It’s the most popular of all the Chinese indexes. It’s important to remember that the constituents may have little to do with popular FXI (FSTSE Xinhua 25 Index ETF) but certainly the index has a psychological impact.

First the daily view with my annotations that include an RSI (Relative Strength Index), two moving averages, candlesticks (for visual effect) and DeMark Indicators. In the blue circles you’ll two occasions where the RSI recently has slipped below 30 indicating severely oversold conditions. Also, note DeMark counts reaching 9 sequential readings heralding some trend exhaustion both on the upside and downside. I’ve also drawn two orange support lines where I think we could find support to work off the oversold RSI but it won’t take much in that regard.

 

 

Read Dave’s full market comment here; below are a couple SPY charts.   

 

I promised we’d look at monthly charts today and that’s what we’ll do. That will give us some perspective.

 

 


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Yes, The Government Can!

Yes, The Government Can!

Courtesy of Mish

Here is an entertaining video by Tim Hawkins called "The Government Can"

If you need an entertaining look on how the country is going to hell in a hand basket, that’s the one. It’s sure to make you laugh, although what he talks about in reality is no laughing matter.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
 


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Spending Collapses In All Generation Groups

Spending Collapses In All Generation Groups

Courtesy of Mish

It’s no secret that boomers fearing an underfunded retirement have sharply cut spending. However, it’s not just boomers cutting back. Consumer attitudes toward debt have changed across all age groups.

A recent Gallup Poll shows just how dramatic a spending shift has taken place. Please consider Boomers’ Spending, Like Other Generations’, Down Sharply.

Baby boomers’ self-reported average daily spending of $64 in 2009 is down sharply from an average of $98 in 2008. But baby boomers — the largest generational group of Americans — are not alone in pulling back on their consumption, as all generations show significant declines from last year. Generation X has reported the greatest spending on average in both years, and is averaging $71 per day so far in 2009, down from $110 in 2008.

Self-Reported Spending

Population Share By Age Group

The chart shows Boomers and Generation X are the two demographic largest groups. Spending is down by 34.7% among boomers and 35.4% in Generation X. Spending is down by 33.7% in generation Y, the third largest demographic group. That is a remarkably consistent decline in spending.

Spending by the "Greatest Generation" is down a whopping 44% but that group only constitutes 5% of the population.

Here are some more interesting charts from the article.

Annual Incomes – Boomers vs. Generation X

Surprisingly, annual incomes are nearly identical for boomers and generation X. However, Generation Y income is dramatically less as the following chart shows.

Annual Incomes –
Boomers vs. Generation Y

Bottom Line

Baby boomers have pulled back considerably on their spending this year, but they are not alone in doing so. Gallup finds significant declines among all generations in average reported daily spending in 2009 compared to 2008. Given that consumer spending is the primary engine of the U.S. economy, it’s not clear how much the economy can grow unless spending increases from its current low levels. But spending may not necessarily be the best course of action for baby boomers as they approach retirement age and prepare to rely on Social Security and their retirement savings as primary sources of income. Indeed, the two generations consisting largely of retirement-age Americans consistently show the lowest levels of reported spending.

I can add to those thoughts. Boomers and Generation X


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RANDOM THOUGHTS BY TPC

RANDOM THOUGHTS BY TPC

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

  • That end of day ramp sure was predictable, huh?  This market almost feels like a casino where the players have the edge….
  • China down 7%, U.S. down 0.7% today.  China down 25% from the peak, U.S. down 1%.  Remember when China was the reason for the recovery?  Now U.S. investors are ignoring China as a leading indicator.  We’ve seen this before though….
  • Dr. Copper fell 4% today.  Oil off 4.5%.  The rally will fold if this trend continues….
  • Andy Xie says the Chinese bubble is still bursting.  And oh yeah, it’s all just a “giant ponzi scheme”:

 

 


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It’s not yet the end of China’s massive stimulus

It’s not yet the end of China’s massive stimulus

china bubblesCourtesy of Michael Pettis at China Financial Markets

According to a recent article on Reuters, on Saturday Lou Jiwei, the chairman of the CIC, China’s sovereign wealth fund, said at a conference on Saturday in response to a question about his expected performance: “It will not be too bad this year. Both China and America are addressing bubbles by creating more bubbles and we’re just taking advantage of that. So we can’t lose.”

In my last entry I noted that after the recent “green shoots” period, during time which it seemed hard to find anyone who was skeptical of our seeming ability to turn the corner on the crisis without actually having addressed any of the underlying imbalances, it was good to see that more and more analysts, and especially policymakers, had begun to worry again. President Hoover went down in a blaze with his “light at the end of the tunnel”, and of course one of my favorite stories of that time is his response in June 1930 to a delegation requesting a public works program to help speed the recovery: “Gentleman, you have come sixty days too late. The depression is over.”

green shootsAs I see it the more policymakers worry, the better. This crisis is far from over. Until we know how the continued adjustment in US household consumption and debt will evolve, and how this adjustment will play out in China’s own changing consumption rate – most importantly whether it will complement the fiscal and credit expansion embarked upon by Beijing or, as I believe, conflict enormously with it – the crisis won’t be over. We need policymakers to resist the green-shoots nonsense and to worry about what happens when fiscal, monetary and credit tools stop working.

Although I thoroughly disagree with the “So we can’t lose” part of Mr. Lou’s statement – I have been a trader for too long to hear those words with anything but the deepest dread, and I am sure he didn’t intend the way it read – it is nonetheless interesting to me that by now skepticism is so widespread that a major investor can even propose our inability to work through the imbalances as a reasonable investment strategy.

We need skepticism. For one thing it has caused Beijing increasing worry about the risks of continuing to extend…
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Zero Hedge

Belgian F-16 Pilot Ejects Before Fiery Crash, Gets Caught In High Voltage Power Lines

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

A Belgian F-16 fighter jet crashed in Northwestern France on Thursday, leaving one of its pilots hanging by his parachute from high voltage electricity lines, according to the BBC

Both pilots had minor injuries after they ejected from the plane, which clipped the roof of a house and crashed in a field near Pluvinger. The pilot stuck in the 250,000 volt power lines was brought down after a two hour rescue operation by French emergency ser...



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Phil's Favorites

Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

 

Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

Recent revelations about the lack of privacy protections in place at the companies involved in Facebook’s new Libra crytocurrency raise concerns about how much trust users can place in Libra. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Alfred Lehar, University of Calgary

Facebook, the largest social network in the world, stunned the world earlier this year with the announcement of its own cryptocurrency, Libra.

The launch has raised questions about the difference between Libra and existing cryptocurrencies, as well as the implications of private companies competing with s...



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Digital Currencies

Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

 

Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

Recent revelations about the lack of privacy protections in place at the companies involved in Facebook’s new Libra crytocurrency raise concerns about how much trust users can place in Libra. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Alfred Lehar, University of Calgary

Facebook, the largest social network in the world, stunned the world earlier this year with the announcement of its own cryptocurrency, Libra.

The launch has raised questions about the difference between Libra and existing cryptocurrencies, as well as the implications of private companies competing with s...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Look Out Bears! Fed New QE Now Up to $165 Billion

Courtesy of Lee Adler

I have been warning for months that the Fed would need new QE to counter the impact of massive waves of Treasury supply. I thought that that would come later, rather than sooner. Sorry folks, wrong about that. The NY Fed announced another round of new TOMO (Temporary Open Market Operations) today.

In addition to the $75 billion in overnight repos that the Fed issued and has been rolling over since Tuesday, next week the Fed will issue another $90 billion. They’ll come in the form of three $30 billion, 14 day repos to be offered next week.

That brings the new Fed QE to a total of $165 billion. Even in the worst days of the financial crisis, I can’t remember the Fed ballooning its balance sheet by $165 bi...



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The Technical Traders

Is A Price Revaluation Event About To Happen?

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Skilled technical traders must be aware that price is setting up for a breakout or breakdown event with recent Doji, Hammer
and other narrow range price bars.  These types of Japanese Candlestick patterns are warnings that price is coiling into
a tight range and the more we see them in a series, the more likely price is building up some type of explosive price breakout/breakdown move in the near future.  The ES (S&P 500 E-mini futures) chart is a perfect example of these types of price bars on the Daily chart (see below).

Tri-Star Tops, Three River Evening Star patterns, Hammers/Hangmen and Dojis are all very common near extreme price peaks and troughs.  The rea...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

India About To Experience Major Strength? Possible Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

If one invested in the India ETF (INDA) back in January of 2012, your total 7-year return would be 24%. During the same time frame, the S&P 500 made 124%. The 7-year spread between the two is a large 100%!

Are things about to improve for the INDA ETF and could it be time for the relative weakness to change? Possible!

This chart looks at the INDA/SPX ratio since early 2012. The ratio continues to be in a major downtrend.

The ratio hit a 7-year low a few months ago and this week it kissed those lows again at (1). The ratio near weeks end is attempting to...



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Insider Scoop

10 Biggest Price Target Changes For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Credit Suisse raised IHS Markit Ltd (NYSE: INFO) price target from $68 to $76. IHS Markit shares closed at $67.75 on Thursday.
  • Wedbush boosted Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc (NYSE: RH) price target from $170 to $185. RH shares closed at $169.49 on Thursday.
  • Mizuho lifted Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) price target from $46 to $50. Seagate shares closed at $52.94 on Thursday.
  • UBS raised the price target for Weight Watchers Intern...


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Chart School

Crude Oil Cycle Bottom aligns with Saudi Oil Attack

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Do the cycles know? Funny how cycle lows attract the need for higher prices, no matter what the news is!

These are the questions before markets on on Monday 16th Aug 2019:

1) A much higher oil price in quick time can not be tolerated by the consumer, as it gives birth to much higher inflation and a tax on the average Joe disposable income. This is recessionary pressure.

2) With (1) above the real issue will be the higher interest rate and US dollar effect on the SP500 near all time highs.

3) A moderately higher oil price is likely to be absorbed and be bullish as it creates income for struggling energy companies and the inflation shock may be muted. 

We shall see. 

...

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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Promotions

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Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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