Posts Tagged ‘energy prices’

That 70′s Show

That 70′s Show

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

With asset prices, sentiment, employment and housing values dropping or stabilizing at low levels, why is it that much of the fear is still centered around the spectre of inflation?  Perhaps it is reallystagflation, brought about by a resumption of climbing energy prices and a continuation of the jobless recovery, that we should truly fear. 

Stagflation, of which there is mercifully no evidence right now, could be the kill shot that ultimately drops this demi-corpse of an economy to the ground.  Looking at the uptick in energy prices this week, I am reminded of all the stuff I’ve read about stagflation and the 1970′s.  And even though the 70′s gave birth to Star Wars, Paul McCartney’s work with Wings and that Farah Fawcett poster (you know the one), we probably don’t want to repeat that stagflationary decade if we can help it.

To be clear, many inflationistas are only calling for inflation based on their read of what central banks will do to counter deflation.  Many are predicting Quantitative Easing Part II and perhaps the White House’s $30 something billion Unemployment Relief hail mary is the first sign of it. 

If you believe, as they do, that the pendulum always swings too far in both directions, then you may want to have a look at the above chart, 30 years of data on what CPI inflation does to GDP.  Pay particular attention to the 1970′s, as high energy and other prices sent the economy off a cliff until they were brought under control by a gladiator named Paul Volcker.

The message is to be watchful of energy prices.  If there is one thing American businesses and consumers don’t need right now, its a return to 2007-2008 prices at the pump.

***

OK, I know you were expecting it when you read the post title… "HELLO, WISCONSIN!" 


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CPI Negative 3rd Consecutive Month; Selective Memory; Perverse Effect of Falling Energy Prices on Imputed Housing Costs

CPI Negative 3rd Consecutive Month; Selective Memory; Perverse Effect of Falling Energy Prices on Imputed Housing Costs

Courtesy of Mish

As expected, as least as I expected, the Consumer Price Index for June shows the seasonally adjusted CPI was Negative 3rd Consecutive Month.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.1 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the index increased 1.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Similarly to April and May, a decline in the energy index caused the seasonally adjusted all items decrease in June. The index for energy decreased 2.9 percent in June, the same decline as in May, with a decline in the gasoline index accounting for most of the decrease. This more than offset an increase in the index for all items less food and energy, while the food index was unchanged for the second month in a row.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in June after increasing 0.1 percent in May. A broad array of indexes posted increases, including shelter, apparel, used cars, medical care, tobacco, and recreation. These increases more than offset declines in the indexes for household furnishings and operations and for airline fares. The 12-month change in the index for all items less food and energy remained at 0.9 percent for the third month in a row.

One Month Change in CPI-U 

12-Month CPI-U Change vs. Year Ago

Oil and the CPI

For, now the CPI (less food and energy) has been hovering near +1% for about a year. However, it is not really valid to exclude food or energy but the Fed does it to justify their inflationary policies (policies that clearly are not working now).

The jump in "all items" in the second chart reflects the rebound in oil prices in Spring-Summer of 2009 when crude soared from $35 a barrel to close to $80 a barrel.

Of course hyperinflationists were screaming every step of the way, conveniently ignoring the plunge from $140 to $35.

Selective Memories

When it comes to prices, people have selective memories. They remember every penny uptick in gasoline prices, but forget the times they drop. The same applies to most everything else, but energy is very noticeable because people are constantly filling up their tanks.

On…
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Going Nuclear: Obama’s Green Machine Is Ready to Go

Going Nuclear: Obama’s Green Machine Is Ready to Go

By Marin Katusa , Senior Market Strategist, Casey’s Energy Opportunities

Over the Easter weekend, seven nuclear reactors throughout the United States stopped operations, and natural gas prices skyrocketed by over 20%. And this was when most of the country was enjoying mild weather and businesses were shut for the long weekend. 

pastedGraphic.pdf

Now traders are out in force looking for the cheapest possible power ahead of rising demand, and the power markets are heading one way: up. 

No Homer Simpsons Allowed Here!

It is unfortunate that nuclear power plants are still linked in our minds to the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl disasters. While these were some truly horrific events, we’re failing to realize one very important fact: we’ve learnt from our mistakes. The next generation of nuclear plants are better designed and more safety measures have been put into place than what was there in the plants from the 1960s and 1970s. There is always some operational risk, but that is present in every power plant, be it coal, natural gas, geothermal, or nuclear.

Currently, the United States houses roughly 24% of the world’s nuclear reactors, and they account for about 20% of the power generated in the country. That’s one in every five homes being powered by nuclear energy. This number is a lot higher for some states, with New Jersey getting almost more than 50% of its power from nuclear energy. With renewed interest in nuclear power in the U.S. and President Obama guaranteeing loans for two new reactors this February, it’s pretty clear that the nuclear share in the energy pie is set to increase.

pastedGraphic_1.pdf

It’s Clean, It’s Green, It’s the New Obama Nuclear Machine

Though they vary in design, nuclear reactors operate on the same basic principle: the energy released by nuclear fission heats water to produce steam, which turns the turbines that generate electricity. The silver lining: no fossil fuels are burnt at any stage, so almost no greenhouse gases are produced. They are, however, expensive to build and it can take years. But once in operation, fuel costs are very low, which translates to low maintenance costs, and each plant can easily operate for up to 60 years. Running at around 90% capacity, nuclear power plants are workhorses that shut down only once every 18 months for refueling and maintenance. 

The…
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Forget $100 oil. $80 oil is a problem

As The Reformed Broker noted in the last post, and as Phil has mentioned many times, while oil and stock prices are currently rising together, increased energy prices are not typically good for the consumer. – Ilene

Forget $100 oil. $80 oil is a problem

Energy prices don’t need to rise that much before a fragile consumer-led economy could face another setback.

Oil can and graph with American dollar

By Colin Barr, Fortune

Are cash-strapped American consumers on for another date with energy price misery?

The U.S. economy remains weak and one in six Americans can’t find enough work. Yet oil prices have risen steadily this year. A barrel of crude costs $79 and change, more than double its price at the end of 2008…

That could complicate recovery in an economy that, despite the tumult of the past two years, remains as consumer-driven as ever…

What’s more, the factors behind this spike seem apt to persist for some time. They include a pickup in global economic activity fueled by massive government spending, a decline in the purchasing power of the dollar as the U.S. holds interest rates near zero, and lack of new oil supplies coming online to meet future demand…

"Any time it gets above $3, it’s worth watching," said James D. Hamilton, an economics professor at the University of California at San Diego. "When you get to that level, you start to see a change in behavior as budgets get squeezed."

Hamilton said the $3-a-gallon price is noteworthy because it’s around the level at which consumers are devoting 6% of their budgets to energy costs. Hitting that point in recent years seems to have prompted Americans to pull back…

"The price of oil played a bigger factor in the recession than people seem to be remembering," Hamilton said.

…Kopits warns that every recession since 1972 has been associated with an oil price surge that took U.S. oil consumption past 4% of gross domestic product. Today, he said, the magic number to get there is $80.

Full article here.

 


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Retail sales disappoint … again

Retail sales disappoint … again

Courtesy of Tim Iacono at The Mess That Greenspan Made

The Commerce Department reported(.pdf) that, after rising 0.8 percent in June, retail sales fell 0.1 percent in July, disappointing analysts who were expecting a gain of 0.8 percent.

IMAGE

The wildly popular "Cash for Clunkers" program saw motor vehicle sales surge 2.8 percent, but broad declines in other categories pulled overall sales lower, paced by a 2.1 percent decline in sales at home building material and garden equipment stores.

Gasoline station sales also declined 2.1 percent, but this was largely due to lower prices at the pump during the July reporting period.

Excluding motor vehicles and parts, sales fell well short of the consensus estimate of a 0.1 percent gain, down 0.6 percent in July after rising 0.5 percent the in June.

On a year-over-year basis, retail sales are now down 8.5 percent.

The fallout from the bursting of the housing bubble is clear to see in the ongoing sales decline at building material and home improvement stores as, aside from volatile gasoline station sales, this category is worse than any other on an annual basis, down 14.7 percent from a year ago.

IMAGE

Interestingly, sales at electronics and appliance stores are down 14.6 percent from a year ago, presumably due to a lagging household appliance sector rather than consumer electronics such as iPhones and iPods which still seem to be flying off of the shelves.

It’s hard to imagine how a bigger bubble than the housing bubble could ever be created as this particular bubble had so many second-order effects on the economy, the area shaded in gray in the graphic above being one of the major ones.

 

 


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ValueWalk

The Sharp Rise In Activist Investors In 2020 - New Data released

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Key data shows;

  • Campaigns carried out in H1 2020 shows an overall increase in the number of campaigns, figures look set to substantially top 2019’s total
  • In 2019, the number of campaigns increased significantly to 893 (compared to 655 in 2018). However, successful campaigns dropped by 15% and the number of unsuccessful campaigns increased by 34% (132 unsuccessful campaigns in 2018 to 185 in 2019).
  • Governance is now the new target for activism, and over the past decade, institutional investors have become more active in seek...


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Phil's Favorites

Was coronavirus really in Europe in March 2019?

 

Was coronavirus really in Europe in March 2019?

Courtesy of Claire Crossan, Glasgow Caledonian University

The novel coronavirus – SARS-CoV-2 – may have been in Europe for longer than previously thought. Recent studies have suggested that it was circulating in Italy as early as December 2019. More surprisingly, researchers at the University of Barcelona found traces of the virus when testing untreated wastewater samples dated March 12, 2019.

The study was recently published on a preprint server, medRxiv. The paper is currently being subject to critical review by outside experts in preparation for...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Was coronavirus really in Europe in March 2019?

 

Was coronavirus really in Europe in March 2019?

Courtesy of Claire Crossan, Glasgow Caledonian University

The novel coronavirus – SARS-CoV-2 – may have been in Europe for longer than previously thought. Recent studies have suggested that it was circulating in Italy as early as December 2019. More surprisingly, researchers at the University of Barcelona found traces of the virus when testing untreated wastewater samples dated March 12, 2019.

The study was recently published on a preprint server, medRxiv. The paper is currently being subject to critical review by outside experts in preparation for...



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Zero Hedge

The Sinking Titanic's Great Pumps Finally Fail

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith, OfTwoMinds blog

The greater fools still partying in the first-class lounge are in denial that even the greatest, most technologically advanced ship can sink.

On April 14, 1912, the liner Titanic, considered unsinkable due to its watertight compartments and other features, struck a glancing blow against a massive iceberg on that moonless, weirdly calm night. In the early hours of April 15, the great ship broke in half and sank, ending the lives of the majorit...



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Chart School

Dow 2020 Crash Watch - Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Like 1929 the markets have bounced. This time it is on the back of the FED $6.5T money printing.

Previous Post: Dow 2020 Crash Watch 

But can the FED blow $6T every time the market rolls down to test support.

Yes, maybe before the US 2020 elections the FED will do 'what it takes'. But post elections not so much, the year 2021 is a long way from the next election (presidential or congress) and defense of the markets may not be so supportive at $6T or $10T per market smash. The FED may hesitate, and that will be window for stocks to break lower.

The 36 month simple moving a...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Red Hot China Attempting Key Breakout, Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

China ETF (FXI) has been “Red Hot” of late? Is it about to run out of steam or will it remain on fire going forward?

This chart of FXI comes from Investors Business Daily and Marketsmith.com. It reflects that FXI is above key long-term moving averages and its RS ratings is moving sharply higher of late.

Line (1) has been support and resistance several times over the past 3-years. The rally of late has FXI ...



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The Technical Traders

Retail Traders & Investors Squeezed to Buy High-Risk Assets Again

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Yes, we certainly live in interesting times.  This, the last segment of our multi-part article on the current Q2 and Q3 2020 US and global economic expectations, as well as current data points, referencing very real ongoing concerns, we urge you to continue using common sense to help protect your assets and families from what we believe will be a very volatile end to 2020.  If you missed the first two segments of this research article, please take a moment to review them before continuing.

On May 24th, 2020, we published this ...



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Lee's Free Thinking

These Charts Show COVID 19 Is Spreading in the US and Will Kill the Economy

 

These Charts Show COVID 19 Is Spreading in the US and Will Kill the Economy

Courtesy of  

The COVID 19 pandemic is, predictably, worsening again in much of the US. Only the Northeast, and to a lesser extent some Midwestern states, have been consistently improving. And that trend could also reverse as those states fully reopen.

The problem in the US seems to be widespread public resistance to recommended practices of social distancing and mask wearing. In countries where these practices have been practi...



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Digital Currencies

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

 

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

App-etising? LDprod

Courtesy of Michael Rogerson, University of Bath and Glenn Parry, University of Surrey

Food supply chains were vulnerable long before the coronavirus pandemic. Recent scandals have ranged from modern slavery ...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

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Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

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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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