Posts Tagged ‘mortgage applications’

There’s a Slow Train Coming

There’s a Slow Train Coming

Courtesy of John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline Weekly Newsletter

Transparent clock and moving train (digital)

There’s a Slow Train Coming
A Negative 2% GDP in the Third Quarter?
Small Business Still Has Issues
Italy, Paris, Vancouver, and San Francisco
And a Forbes Cruise to Mexico

Sometimes I feel so low-down and disgusted
Can’t help but wonder what’s happenin’ to my companions,
Are they lost or are they found, have they counted the cost it’ll take to bring down
All their earthly principles they’re gonna have to abandon?
There’s a slow, slow train comin’ up around the bend.

- Bob Dylan

The question before the jury is a simple one, but the answer is complex. Is the US in a "V"-shaped recovery? Are we returning to the old normal? A great deal hinges on the answer, and this week we look at some of the evidence before us.

But first, a follow-up thought to last week’s letter. I wrote about why countries can reduce their private debt, reduce their public debt, or run a trade deficit, but not all three at the same time. If a country wants to see its government run a fiscal surplus (or small deficit) and at the same time its private citizens want to reduce their leverage (common desires throughout the developed world), it must run a trade surplus. That’s a simple accounting statement. If you did not read last week’s letter, you can get to it by going here.

That brings up the deepwater gusher in the Gulf. That it is an unmitigated disaster is an understatement. There is the possibility of the oil getting into the Gulf Stream and going around Florida and landing upon the Atlantic coast. We will be cleaning this up for years.

I am at the moment on a plane to Italy, but if memory serves me right, we run about a $300-billion-dollar trade deficit just in energy purchases. Our trade deficit has been coming down in most other categories but is fairly steady with respect to oil. And as noted above, if we want to get to a place where we are in control of our government deficit, we must reduce that trade deficit.

Oil can and graph with American dollar

Bluntly, we cannot hope…
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IS HOUSING ALREADY DOUBLE DIPPING?

IS HOUSING ALREADY DOUBLE DIPPING?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

The market was ecstatic on Wednesday in anticipation of Friday’s big job’s report.  But while the market rallied 2.5%+ there was a potentially far more important story than the census driven job’s report: the real estate data.  While the data came in “better than expected”, primarily due to the end of the home buyers tax credit, there was an underlying red flag.  As the end of Spring buying season coincided with the tax credit the buyers have literally become non-existent in the housing market.  This was clear in the most recent mortgage applications data also released on Wednesday.  Diana Olick at CNBC has done a fantastic job covering the housing market.  She had the details yesterday:

“Mortgage applications to purchase a home began to sink. Now, four weeks later, mortgage purchase applications are down nearly 40 percent from a month ago to their lowest level since April of 1997. Yes, you can argue that a larger-than normal share of buyers today are all cash, but those are largely investors.

That means real organic buyers are exiting in droves.”

And she isn’t the only one noting the red flag.  In Thursday’s missive David Rosenberg also pointed to the plummeting mortgage applications:

The good news at least is that U.S. mortgage applications for refinancing purposes rose 2.4% during the May 28th week — the fourth increase in a row and while hardly a major boom that should cause any forecast shift and it does add a bit of coinage in household pocketbooks. But the big problem is with housing demand given that the homebuyer tax credits are behind us — mortgage applications for new purchases fell 4.1% and down for four weeks running. This is where the rubber meets the road for new home sales — a fresh 13-year low.

The year-on-year trend in purchases is -34% and that is compound off a late-May 2009 trend of -20%. How bad is that? And this is with mortgage rates at 4.83%? No doubt there are scars left over from the misery of being a homebuyer following the detonation of the last bubble and attitudes towards debt and housing have been altered semi-permanently.”

housing IS HOUSING ALREADY DOUBLE DIPPING?

Is the housing market already double dipping?  That certainly appears to be the case – and exactly on cue as the government steps aside.  While the mortgage applications are no guarantee…
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Mortgage Applications Plummet

Mortgage Applications Plummet

Courtesy of John Lounsbury writing at Credit Writedowns 

David Rosenberg, Chief Economist at Gluskin Scheff, has the following graph showing the dramatic drop in mortgage applications for home purchases in the most recent report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Upside-Down-V 

It is interesting to note that Rosenberg does not show an end date for the recession on his graphs.  Most optimists show an end date in the middle of 2009.  Most realists show an end late third quarter or early fourth quarter.  Rosenberg is clearly a pessimist about the economy.

The official end date for the recession will be determined by the NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research).  The determination often comes many months after the official date defined.  In other words, the end of the recession will be post-dated.  No date has been designated as yet. 

 


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Housing’s Still In The Woods

Housing’s Still In The Woods

Courtesy of Tom Lindmark at But Then What

home prices

Anyway you slice it or try and put a happy face on it, the news on housing over the past few days has been pretty sobering. I don’t take the decline in housing starts as all that bad a development, the last thing the markets need is more supply, but the decline in mortgage applications is significant.

The industry flacks tried to tie it to the uncertainty over the renewal of the tax credit. If that’s the case then we got a glimpse of where housing is going to be when we take the training wheels away. Maybe more to the point, a survey by the National Association of Realtors no less indicates that only 6% of the buyers cited the tax credit as the primary reason for buying a home.

In my opinion, the recent spurt in buying has been driven by low rates and cheap prices. Two pretty good reasons for people to buy. But here’s the kicker. Most of the activity has been at the low end fueled by investors and first time buyers. Two thin markets and nothing upon which a boom is going to be built.

I’ll throw in one more thing that’s driving this market. Irresponsible lending. Yup, the same thing that fueled the last spurt. At least this time it appears as if some of the buyers might recognize that this road leads to lots of grief. Don’t buy the argument. Check out this and this. At least FHA appears to be running out of wiggle room fast so the bailout shouldn’t be too drastic.

Put that together with the employment figures and it’s really hard to see how this little spurt is anything more than a blip. My guess is that aside from the investors it’s comprised of a group of people that were shut out by higher prices and jumped into the market at an opportune time but their numbers are limited.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a lot of the recent investors throwing their purchases back on the market as rental rates have plummeted and the cash flow assumptions they used to justify their investments probably aren’t panning out. Prices for the low end have come back


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Zero Hedge

Nearly Half Of US Consumers Report Their Incomes Don't Cover Their Expenses

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Low-income consumers are struggling to make ends meet despite the "greatest economy ever," and if a recession strikes or the employment cycle continues to decelerate -- this could mean the average American with insurmountable debts will likely fall behind on their debt servicing payments, according to a UBS report, first reported by Bloomberg

UBS analyst Matthew Mish wrote in a recent report that 4...



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The Technical Traders

Indexes Struggle and TRAN suggests a possible top

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Nearing the end of October, traders are usually a bit more cautious about the markets than at other times of the year. History has proven that October can be a month full of surprises.  It appears in 2019 is no different. Right now, the markets are still range bound and appear to be waiting for some news or other information to push the markets outside of the defined range.

We still have at least one more trading week to go in October, yet the US markets just don’t want to move away from this 25,000 to 27,000 range for the Dow Industrials. In fact, since early 2019, we have traded within a fairly moderate price range of about 3200 points on the YM – a rotation...



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Phil's Favorites

Arrogance destroyed the World Trade Organisation. What replaces it will be even worse

 

Arrogance destroyed the World Trade Organisation. What replaces it will be even worse

As the public face of globalism, the WTO mobilised protesters. It’ll be replaced by the law of the jungle. fuzheado/Flikr, CC BY-SA

Courtesy of John Quiggin, The University of Queensland

In line with his usual practice, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has backed Donald Trump over the World Trade Organisation, criticising of China’s status in it as a “developing country”.

Critics of the int...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Apple Bullish Breakout Suggesting Tech Follows In Its Path?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is Apple sending a bullish message to the overall Tech market? Sure could be

Apple (AAPL) is working on a breakout above last year’s highs at (1), after creating a series of higher lows over the past year.

Tech ETF QQQ has been a similar-looking pattern to Apple over the past few months, as it is near old highs while creating higher lows.

Is Apple’s upside breakout suggesting that QQQ will follow in its footsteps and breakout?

Str...



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Insider Scoop

How Much Litigation Risk Is Priced Into Johnson & Johnson?

Courtesy of Benzinga

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) just can't seem to shake its talcum powder problems.

On Friday, Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles of baby powder after a bottle purchased online by the FDA tested positive to asbestos.

Last year, a jury awarded a group ...



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Digital Currencies

Five hurdles blockchain faces to revolutionise banking

 

Five hurdles blockchain faces to revolutionise banking

Shutterstock

Courtesy of Markos Zachariadis, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Blockchain is touted as the next step in the digital revolution, a technology that will change every industry from music to wast...



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Chart School

Gold Stocks Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold stocks are swinging back forth between the range, and a break out swing higher is due. Gold stocks are holding a near perfect Wyckoff accumulation pattern. All should get ready to play this sector. Yet we must recognize that gold stocks are a one of the most crazy rides at the stock market fair, so play very carefully.

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GDX PnF chart from within the video

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Important channels around the HUI.
...

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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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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

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

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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