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  • China Announces A Stimulus Plan...

    * China to grow 8%? * An end for Mark-to-markets? * What will the ECB do today? * Gold at a discount.... ** China Announces A Stimulus Plan... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It's a Tub Thumpin' Thursday, because I woke up to see that my beloved Missouri Tigers had beaten #3 ranked Oklahoma last night! YAHOO! I had to hit the sack at half-time, so the outcome was in question when I went to bed. Great stuff! This was HUGE after being not ready for prime-time last Sunday against Kansas... Be gone you demons! You monkeys on our backs too! We just beat OU! Whew! A poet and I didn't know it! Well... We have the Bank of England (BOE) and the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting today. Look for rate cuts from both of them, as recessions are deepening in both camps. The BOE doesn't have many arrows in their quiver, while the ECB has held some in reserve. I doubt the ECB would go for a "huge honkin'" rate cut today, as they are normally more stick in the mud thinking... The BOE will probably move rates nearer to zero......
  • Saying "NO" To Eastern Europe...

    * Dollar continues to rally... * John Taylor buys dollars... * Canada sees a deficit! * More bailout funding... ** Saying "NO" To Eastern Europe... Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Welcome to March too! Here and a lot of the country saw March come in like a lion, which means it should go out like a lamb, right? Let's hope it begins turning in that direction before month-end! 9 days before I leave for Florida, the countdown begins! Well... The currencies continue to trade heavy under the pressure of the dollar, and the "flight to safety" in Treasuries... The euro has lost the 1.26 handle and continues to look weaker and weaker all the time. The latest move down came as a result of new that Eurozone leaders rejected a request for Eastern Europe aid... Here's the skinny on that......
  • The Trading Theme Returns...

    * U.S. data prints awful! * Eastern Europe gets 24.5 Billion euros! * More Problems for Citi... * Gold at a discount... ** The Trading Theme Returns... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! I'm going to go out on a limb and say it will be a Fantastico Friday! I don't know why, it's cold and rainy here, and we're supposed to get snow tonight... But Shoot Rudy, why not? Every day is a blessing, and Friday's are special! At least in my book! Well... Chris left me a note last night about the day's happenings, as I was "out of touch" all day. So... I guess it would be best to let Chris give us the recap on yesterday, eh? Here's Chris... "The big news on the day was the durable goods orders, which came in even worse than expected. The dollar had lost ground vs. most of the currencies up until the durable goods number came in. The bad data for the US sent the dollar back up as investors headed back to the 'safe haven' of US Treasuries. Initial jobless claims also came in well above expectations with continuing claims climbing over 5 million for the first time ever. Continuing claims have only climbed above 4.5 million twice since the data has been recorded. They hit 4.6 million in May of 1975 and again in October of 1982. These peaks were very short lived as the came at the height of these two recessions. The problem with today's numbers is that we are still at the beginning stages of our recession and the jobs numbers look to only get worse....
  • Labor Market Continues To Deteriorate...

    * Merkel leaves us wanting... * Gold soars higher overnight! * Indian rupees' worst week! * Greenspan = Very Bad Idea! ** Labor Market Continues To Deteriorate... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! It got cold here again... I can't wait for my March trip to a warmer climate! GM's Swedish unit Saab is filing for protection from creditors, so that it can reorganize into a business independent of GM... Hmmm... Everyone is jumping the GM ship... Well, it's Friday, and that means yesterday we saw the print of the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims... And once again, the rot on labor's vine was exposed... The total Claims files last week was 627K, the experts had forecast 600K... But here's the thing that really hits home... The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits has jumped to 4.99 Million, and each week and new record number is established... It certainly tells me that the labor market is still deteriorating......
  • A Retail Sales Surprise!

    * 623K new unemployment claims filed.. * G-7 begins today.. * Dealing from a position of strength.. * Valentine's Day tomorrow! ** A Retail Sales Surprise! Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! Front and center this morning, a Continental regional plane crashed near the Buffalo airport overnight, and all 48 on the plane were killed, along with 1 person in a home. Not Happy news for a Friday morning, for sure... Our thoughts should be with the familes of these people today... I want to say thank you to all who responded yesterday to me regarding my hissy fit I had yesterday morning regarding the minority objections to my opinions... The vote is in... It was a landslide in favor of me being me, and not what the few objectors want me to be. So, I will continue writing the Pfennig in the manner the majority expect... I don't want this to sound cold, but those that feel the need to send me nasty emails, could you please just unsubscribe instead?...
  • It's Not My Fault, It Must Be Yours!

    * What's $78 Billion among friends? * Currencies fade with bias to buy Gold... * Could the Carry Trade Unwind be done? * U.S. soccer beats Mexico... ** It's Not My Fault, It Must Be Yours! Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! Well... Front and center this morning, I'm going to tell you something that will surprise a few and make a few happy. I've had my say on the Bailouts, TARP, Stimulus, and spending. I've beaten them to a pulp, and some readers have expressed their contempt with me carrying on with this beating. So... Unless something cracks, I'll just leave it all as it stands, and go on with life. This all has been too much for my blood pressure to take! I'll report the facts on this stuff, and leave the commentary for people that think they "know better"... For instance, it was reported the other day that the Treasury Dept. has overpaid for stock received from TARP recipients by $78 Billion. You see, for every $100 given in TARP, the Treasury was to receive $100 in stock / assets, but when all the beans are counted, the Treasury is $78 Billion short on stock /assets... But, what the heck, what's $78 Billion among friends?...
  • Jobs Jamboree / Horror Show!

    * 598K jobs lost in January... * Currencies rally with stocks... * G-7 this weekend... * More thoughts on Gold... ** Jobs Jamboree / Horror Show! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well, Chris and I returned Saturday night and it was warmer in St. Louis than it was in Orlando Florida! Un-Be-Live-able! I know that it stayed warm there however, as opposed to here! The Money Show was good, not the best one or even close to the best one I've attended, but as I told Chris, I believe it was simply "a sign of the times"... Bad economic times that is! OK... Let's get this ball rolling, eh? The currencies had a nice rally on Friday, as the Jobs Jamboree turned out to be a horror show... But I don't think it was the Jobs Jamboree horror show that pushed the euro and other currencies higher. I think it was the stock market rally. Recall, last week, when I told you that the stocks and currencies had been trading side by side, which wasn't something we normally see, as they have different pricing mechanisms, and a low correlation to each other. But they were trading in tandem, and that carried through on Friday......
  • It’s a Jobs Jamboree Friday!

    * BOE cuts 50 BPS... * ECB keeps rates unchanged... * Initial Jobless claims hit a record! * Recession or Depression? ** Jobs Jamboree Friday! Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday, and Jobs Jamboree Friday to boot! You should have seen the crowd that gathered for my second presentation yesterday... WOW! Jason tells me that he had to turn away about 50 people that couldn't jam into the room! I guess people are still interested in what I have to say... Either that or, no one else was speaking at that time! HA! Another very tight trading range for the currencies yesterday, with a bias to buy dollars... And for once this bias to buy dollars didn't include buying Japanese yen, as yen fell 2 whole figures yesterday! You have to wonder if the words coming out of Capitol Hill that they will vote on the Stimulus package soon, has the risk takers dipping their toes back into Carry Trades, for yen is weaker and the Aussie dollar (a high yielder, even in today's zero rate environment) is stronger... It's not just a co-in-que-dink!...
  • Talking Stimulus Deux

    * Pending Home Sales surprise! * Eurozone Retail Sales slump! * Tax cuts don't create jobs... * Failure to follow through for the A$ ** Talking Stimulus Deux... Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... I'm here! The Orlando Money Show... And guess what? Looks like I brought that artic cold front that had hit St. Louis, all the way down to Orlando! It's cold here! UGH! Well, not "cold" like at home, but "cold" for here! OK... Front and center this morning, we had a stock rally yesterday after the Pending Home Sales data printed a surprise number. And since stocks and currencies have been trading together the past few days, (we talked at length about this yesterday) that meant a currency rally as well! But! Neither stocks or currencies could break on through to the other side, break on through, yeah! So... That left them vulnerable to profit taking, and that's exactly what we've seen with the currencies overnight. We'll have to wait a couple of hours to see how stocks open up......
  • Talking Stimulus...

    * A very tight range for currencies... * RBA cuts rates to historic low! * Spending that doesn't create jobs... * Gold see profit taking... ** Talking Stimulus... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! On the road again, I just can't wait to get on the road again... Yes, all my bags are packed and I'm ready to go! Won't be back until late Saturday night, and back in the saddle next Monday. And I'm leaving just in time, as yet another cold front has moved into St. Louis! UGH! Well... Let's see... What to talk about today? I could talk about the Aussie rate cut and stimulus package... I could talk about the "new and improved" stimulus package and all the "non-stimulus spending attached to it... I could talk about how it sure seems as though the euro, and then the other currencies, are taking their cues to rally from equities... Now, this is certainly a short term phenomenon because we all know that currencies have different pricing mechanisms than stocks, and a very low correlation to stocks, which is why they make excellent diversification assets, along with Gold and Silver....
  • Inauguration Day 2009...

    * Rogers and Roach... * Dollar gaps higher! * Ireland's problems... * Bad data... ** Inauguration Day 2009... Good day... Well... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! I got to enjoy a nice restful 3-day weekend. I realize not everyone got yesterday off, so I won't carry on about it. Can you believe it? The St. Louis Cardinals Football Team A.K.A. The Big Red, no wait, Chuck, they left town 20 years ago... OK, the Arizona Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl? When they were here, I never thought I would live to see the day... Front and Center this morning, I have two quotes from people I truly respect... first from Jimmy Rogers... second from Stephen Roach... If I were you, I would be worried about the U.S. dollar,' said Rogers, 66, in a speech at the Asia Financial Forum in Hong Kong today. 'The Americans are printing U.S. dollars. The Americans are going to do whatever they can to revive their economy, even if it means destroying the U.S. dollar.'...
  • Passing Out The Dollars...

    * Risk Takers return... * Bank of America gets more cash! * 30-year mortgages below 5%! * Looking for direction... ** Passing Out The Dollars... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday so far, let's keep it going, eh? It is downright cold here. I'm reminded of that one looooonnnnngggg winter I spent in Des Moines, Iowa... This artic cold was the "norm" for that winter there... I didn't need any other reason to move back to St. Louis, once the spring thaw came around! Well... Right out of the starters blocks this morning, we have a change in sentiment going on... The Risk Takers are back in the driver's seat this morning, as the markets are feeling better about things given that the remaining TARP money has been given to the Obama campers to dole out, and Bank of America came away with an emergency lifeline from the Gov't that totals about $138 Billion... $20 Billion in cash, right here, right now, with the rest spread out between liquidity access and guarantees... And... The TARP money... Given the fact that the Obama people have been itching like they just rolled around in poison ivy, to get their hands on that money... You've got to wonder... Are these guys going to do their best to out do the previous administration when it comes to piling up debts?...
  • A Jobs Disaster!

    * Retail Jobs are cut in December! * Dollar rallies on renewed Trading Theme... * Looking for the Obama bounce... * High yielders get sold... ** A Jobs Disaster! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! A grand weekend for yours truly with time spent resting, watching football, Alex play basketball, dinner with friends, and finally a wonderful dinner with my kids as we celebrated my oldest son, Andrew's, birthday. Whew! I'm at work about an hour earlier than usual this morning, as I couldn't sleep, and just decided to get up and come in... UGH! OK... Well, the big news this morning, is that the Jobs Jamboree was just awful, but "not as bad as some forecast" and therefore the dollar rallied. OK, I'm shaking my head in disgust too, but that's what the headlines reported later in the day on Friday, as the reason for the dollar rally. But let's get to the meat of the Jobs report... First of all, jobs lost in December were -525K, which was bang on the forecasts. But here's the two things I found to be very scary in the report... First of all, November's awful print of -533K was revised downward to -584K (recall, I questioned a month ago if it would reach -600K on the revision)... And here's the really scary number... -67K Retail jobs were cut in December... That's right, December! The month when retailers are supposed to be on fire!...
  • A New Year’s Jobs Jamboree Friday...

    * Will the ADP report be a good indicator? * China to slow treasury purchases? * Gold as a store of wealth... * Dealing with the devil... ** A Jobs Jamboree Friday... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday, as it is forecast to get to 50 degrees today here in St. Louis. Never mind that tomorrow's high will be 29! It doesn't take away from today! What a trading day in the currencies yesterday... Whew! It's a Jobs Jamboree Friday, so let's not beat around the bush... It's time to Jamboree! Today is the day the Gov't prints the December Jobs Jamboree, and if Wednesday's ADP report did what they said it was going to, and that is change their methodology to mirror the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) then this morning's Jobs Jamboree will be a nightmare. Of course not the kind of nightmare that the over 2.5 million people that lost jobs in 2008 had! I was once in those numbers, as our old Bank, Mark Twain Bank, was bought by a bigger bank, Mercantile Bank, and Mercantile decided after a few months to perform ethnic cleansing of Mark Twain employees... I called it "my retirement" but with a 3 year old at home and on my lap most of the day, "retirement" couldn't last too long! My point is that you don't know the emptiness and failure you feel when they show you the door... So my thoughts are always with those that lose their jobs......
  • Trillion Dollar Deficits For Years To Come...

    * CBO forecasts $1.2 Trillion Budget deficit! * And we can expect more! * ADP shows job losses mounting big time! * Brazil's real reverses course... ** Trillion Dollar Deficits For Years To Come... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! I had not realized it was Thursday until I began writing this morning! I had been buying breakfast sandwiches for the trading desk on Thursdays, and I'm sure a few people will be wondering what happened when there are no sandwiches this morning... I simply lost track of the days! UGH! Well... There are two major things on the docket for the front and center piece today, both tell us a lot, but I think I'm going to go with the announcement of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) yesterday afternoon as the lead story, and the ADP jobs report as the second story... So, let's go to the tape!...