Posts Tagged ‘saving’

The Money Market Piggybank is Shattered

The Money Market Piggybank is Shattered

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

USA Today is out with a mystery that I will help them out with…

They ask the question "Where did the $1.1 trillion that just came out of ultra low-yielding money market funds just go?"

Then they go on to point out that the average bank account’s interest rate is .75% versus the ridiculous .04% that traditional money market funds are paying, so maybe some of the $1.1 trillion went there.

Then we are treated to the usual stats about "how much gosh darn cash has been sucked into bond mutual funds" – $700 billion in the last 18 months says TrimTabs.  The growth of assets in bond funds cannot explain the money market sapping alone, because we all know that a lot of those inflows are coming from stock people that are scared and asset allocators that are hopping aboard the bond bandwagon (bondwagon?).  It’s the disillusioned stock market money that’s pumping into bond funds more than anything else.

The article also posits that investors may be skipping the money market funds and going straight for money market instruments, like buying treasuries directly.  I’m not seeing much of that at the retail level at all.

So where did a trillion dollars just go when it left the universe of over 1600 money market funds?

Easy.  Some of it may have gone to bond funds, but my bet is that an inordinate amount went toward everyday Americans paying their everyday bills.  That’s right, I believe that the investor class is finally starting to pay regular expenses and cover the bills with their money market funds, turning that New Normal maxim about the coming of higher savings rates on its ear.

I don’t have statistical confirmation of this hunch just yet (and I’m actually not sure where to get it), but this is what I’m beginning to see firsthand.  Brokerage and investment accounts are becoming a piggybank for investors who are nowhere near retirement.

They will not be buying-and-holding as the commercials have programmed them to do while their businesses and household balance sheets are on their last legs.  They will put the capital that’s been earmarked for "investment" to much better use than a $40 annual return on $10,000 in a money market fund.

With underemployment still raging and business…
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Anemic Retail Sales; Strength of Consumer Recovery Overstated

Anemic Retail Sales; Strength of Consumer Recovery Overstated

Courtesy of Mish 

Economists never expect bad news. Once again they were surprised by weak economic reports, this time by poor retail sales. Bloomberg reports Retail Sales in U.S. Fall as Consumers Boost Savings

Sales at U.S. retailers unexpectedly dropped in May, signaling consumers boosted savings as employment slowed and stocks fell.

Purchases decreased 1.2 percent, the biggest drop since September 2009, following a 0.6 percent April gain that was larger than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Demand plunged at building-material stores, reflecting the end of a government appliance rebate, and sales fell at auto dealers, in contrast to industry figures which showed a gain.

Companies reined in hiring last month, making it likely households will keep a lid on spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy. Discounters Target Corp. and TJX Cos. were among merchants reporting gains in May sales, indicating households are looking for bargains to stretch out their paychecks.

“The strength of the consumer recovery was overstated,” said David Sloan, a senior economist at 4Cast Inc. whose forecast of a 0.7 percent decline was the lowest among economists surveyed. “I don’t think things are going into a nosedive. The economy is in recovery. The outlook is still moderately positive.”

Retail sales were projected to increase 0.2 percent, according to the median estimate of 76 economists in a Bloomberg survey. Forecasts ranged from a decline of 0.7 percent to a gain of 1 percent.

The decrease in demand wasn’t broad-based, with five of 13 major categories showing decreases last month, led by a 9.3 percent plunge at building-material stores.

The decrease at building-material stores followed an 8.4 percent jump in April and a gain in March that may have reflected a surge in appliance sales propelled by a provision of the government’s stimulus package last year that provided rebates for purchases of more energy-efficient products.

Purchases of automobiles dropped 1.7 percent last month, counter to industry figures. General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. posted U.S. sales increases in May that topped analysts’ estimates as higher consumer confidence and inexpensive gasoline spurred customers to buy more sport utility vehicles.

“We’re ramping up production to meet continued strong demand for all of our launch vehicles as well as other products,” Stephen Carlisle, vice president for U.S. sales at GM, said


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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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May Jobs Report Is ‘Disappointing’

Courtesy of Econophile

From The Daily Capitalist

President Obama has now become a professional economist, because like most professional economists his unemployment forecast was wrong.

While the headline from the Wall Street Journal this morning was "Census Hiring Bolsters U.S. Payrolls," nothing could be farther from the truth. Private sector job growth in May was anemic, coming in at only 41,000. The total number of new jobs was 431,000, but temporary Census Bureau hiring accounted for 411,000 of those jobs. Note that the difference between the two numbers doesn’t add up because net government employment was less than that because state and local governments shed jobs. [I now see that the latest online edition of the Journal has re-entitled their story, "US Private Sector Added Few Jobs In May."]

The consensus among economists surveyed by the Journal and Bloomberg expected 515,000 and 536,000, respectively.

“Job growth is going to be anemic,” said Bill Gross, who runs the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California.

“Remember, it requires 150,000 to 200,000 jobs in order to reduce that unemployment rate, which is a key focus for the administration,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio’s Tom Keene on “Bloomberg on the Economy.”

These numbers are disappointing considering that April showed modest private employment growth of 218,000 jobs in April and 230,000 jobs in March. Overall the unemployment rate dropped from 9.9% to 9.7%. The broader "U-6" index dropped to 16.6% from 17.1%. This is not what was expected. It is discouraging to see the Employment-population ratio decline YoY from 59.6  to 58.7 (May 2009 to May 2010).

The U-6 report is interesting in that while it fell, it is likely that the fall was a result of people dropping out of the labor force because they can’t find employment. The civilian labor force participation rate decreased by 0.2% to 65.0%. About 6.8 million people have been out of a job for more than 27 weeks, or 46% of the unemployed. This has to be considered in light of population increases: while the population grew 170,000, 322,000 dropped out of the labor force.

Some of the BLS report highlights: manufacturing +29,000, temps +31,000, mining +10,000, health care +8,000, construction -35,000. These numbers well under the levels seen for…
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Phil's Favorites

Identifying a fake picture online is harder than you might think

 

Identifying a fake picture online is harder than you might think

If you know how photo editing works, you might have a leg up at spotting fakes. Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Mona Kasra, University of Virginia

It can be hard to tell whether a picture is real. Consider, as the participants in our recent research did, these two images and see whether you think neither, either or both of them has been doctored.

...



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Zero Hedge

Shocking Before & After Photos Reveal Awful Truth About Widespread US Crop Failures In 2019

Courtesy of Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse

Torrential rains have been hammering the heartland of America for months, and at this point vast stretches of farmland in the middle of the country are nothing but mud.  As a result of the endless rain and unprecedented flooding that we have witnessed, millions of acres of farmland will have nothing planted on them at all in 2019, and that is a major national crisis.  But most farmers were able to get seeds planted in the deplorable conditions, and now they are desperately hoping that something will actually grow.  Unfortunately, on farm after farm what is coming out of the ground looks absolutely terrible.  Even if we get ideal weather conditions for the rest of the summer, there is no way that many of t...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Wilshire 5000 Creating A Triple Top? An Important Breakout Test Is In Play!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The stock market has been on fire of late, rallying up to the edge of price resistance on several indexes. Today, we look at one of those stock market indexes: the Wilshire 5000.

The Wilshire 5000 tracks all of the stocks in the US market, so it is a broad-based index that carries significant importance when gauging the health of the overall US stock market.

Looking at the long-term “weekly” chart above, it is pretty clear that the index is at an important price juncture.

The Wilshire 5000 spent the last 25 years trading within a rising price channel (1)...



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Insider Scoop

Jefferies Upgrades Deere, Cites 'Significantly Improved Farmer Income Outlook'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Farmer buying power will remain pressured for 2019, but this will change for the better next year and will help support Deere & Company (NYSE: DE), according to Jefferies.

The Analyst

Jefferies' Stephen Volkmann upgraded Deere from Hold to Buy with a price target lifted from $150 to $190....



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Chart School

Formula for when the Great Stock Market Rally ends

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

When valuations for the boring water company or the boring electric company is trading like your Facebook, Apple, Amazon or Netflix or Google (ie FANG) you know something is wrong.

This is when a seriously over valued market is screaming at you.

Of course the reader must understand in a world where money printing goes super nuts (Zimbabwe style) the stock market may go hyper inflationary and picking a time frame for a top is never a good idea, but we are not there yet. There is no Ben Bernanke helicopter money to the masses yet (ie MMT). 

To see when water company's (and such like) are nearing the crazy FANG like valuations a review of the Dow Jones Utility Index channel shows us how history can repeat. The c...

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ValueWalk

The "Tesla Killer" Car Is Nowhere In Sight

 

The “Tesla Killer” Car Is Nowhere In Sight

By Jacob Wolinsky, ValueWalk

Here’s some catnip for the Tesla bulls on this email list: my analyst, Kevin DeCamp, a longtime TSLA shareholder and car owner, took a test drive of the Jaguar I-PACE and, while it “looks great and is fun to drive… it is lacking in a few areas where Tesla really shines.” He concludes that “Tesla may end up killing itself, but the “Tesla killer” car is nowhere in sight.”

The Tesla Killer Hasn’t Arrived Yet: My Test Drive of the Jaguar I-PACE

By Kevin DeCamp

As a long-time, devoted Tesla...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control

 

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...



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Biotech

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

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

 

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

If you’ve got the raw data, why not mine it for more info? Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Sarah Catherine Nelson, University of Washington

Back in 2016, Helen (a pseudonym) took three different direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests: AncestryDNA, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA. She saw genetic testing as a way...



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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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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

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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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.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

...

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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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