Despite surging stock prices in April, UMich's final Consumer Sentiment print slipped to 89.0 (from 89.7 prelim and 91.0 previous) notably below expectations and the lowest since September 2015. Under the covers though, it was "hope" that really plunged, as Consumer expectations dropped to 77.0 - the lowest since September 2014. However, worst of all for The Fed is that medium-term inflation expectations tumbled back to 2.5% record lows.
In one of the least surprising highlights from the ongoing earnings season, yesterday we reported that as oil continues to rise, US shale companies are starting to resume mothballed production. And now, according to the latest Reuters production survey, in the aftermath of the failed Doha oil freeze agreement, OPEC will be the next to boost production in the coming month, expanding supplies from an already oversupplied 32.46MMb/d to 32.64MMb/d. Finally, Reuters just blasted that Saudi Arabia is boosting its exports to near-record high levels.
March's dead-cat-bounce in Chicago PMI (like January's) has died again as the business barometer drops to just 50.4 (from 53.6) missing expectations of 52.6. This barely-above-contractionary level was driven by an 11-point collapse in Order backlogs to the lowest since Dec 2015, and as MNI reports, "order patterns continued to be plagued by a lack of large orders and absence of international demand, purchasers said."
"...there clearly is a Yellen put, but over the last two meetings it's been extended to include global risk markets... I think they're acknowledging that the Fed is the world's global central banker."
Following the drastically revised-away surge in spending in January, and the savings rate surge to 2012 highs in Feb, March's income and spending data released today showed more problems for The Fed. While income grew 0.4% MoM (more than the 0.3% expectations), spending disappointed with a mere 0.1% rise (against +0.2% MoM expectations). Year-over-year spending growth slowed to 3.5% - the weakest since December and income growth slowed to 4.0% YoY leaving the savings rate at its highest since December 2012.
"America doesn’t trust you anymore. That’s the truth... and that’s not one party, that’s both" raged former Senator Tom Coburn during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs this week. As FreeBeacon reports, Coburn, making his first appearance before the Senate since his farewell speech when he retired in late 2014, pleaded with Congress to take action to reform government, quoting de Tocqueville, that an ever more centralized control reduces its citizenry "to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd."
With Japan closed, and unable for now to do more damage (or damage control), China stepped in with some modest turmoil of its own by strengthening the Yuan fix by the most since 2005, pressuring the USD weaker for the 5th day in a row. Commodities have tended to push higher on the back of this with Crude above $46.50 but Gold and Silver have surged to fresh 15 month highs (over $1275 and near $18 respectively).
Following yesterday's Yen surge in the aftermath of the disappointing BOJ announcement, the pain for USDJPY long continued, with the key carry pair tumbling as low as 106, the lowest level since October 2014 before stabilizing around 107, and is now headed for its biggest weekly gain since 2008, which in turn has pushed the US dollar to to its lowest close in almost a year as signs of slowing growth in the U.S. dimmed prospects for a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase. As a result, global stocks fell and commodities extended gains in their best month since 2010.
The mysterious ZARJPY indicator of global turmoil is flashing red once again as BofAML's Michael Hartnett warns of soaring sentiment into a potential "summer of shocks." Wall Street/Fed continues to play "cat and mouse" and (hedge fund) redemption, (central bank) repression, (market) regulation risks remain very high as the flash crash/pain trade era to continue.
Low interest rates attempt to buy time. The idea is to bring consumption forward until the economy heals on its own as capital projects are completed. But those projects never began this time. The end result is ever-higher debt that borrows more and more from the future. Unfortunately, it borrows from the future without making the future any brighter through solutions to root causes of economic ailments. At some point, the “future” becomes “today”.
Depressed oil prices, rampant corruption, and pipeline vandalism are only parts of Nigeria’s oil problem. It’s now losing a massive 400,000 barrels of crude daily to pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, an amount equal to the entire daily export capacity of its Forcados terminal. Overall damage from piracy, theft and fraud for Africa’s largest oil exporter is estimated at some $1.5 billion a month...
It has been said that history may not repeat but it sometimes rhymes. Just as the generals always seem to fight the last war people seem to prepare for the last depression. Times change and the mechanism that leads to misfortune changes with it. Looking at the past may not give us the clear answer to how to deal with the future but it can help us to determine what might happen and how to deal with it when the time comes.
Not only is Donald Trump likely to gather the most votes of any GOP Presidential nominee ever, having swept the East Coast and crushed the anti-Trump alliance between Kasich and Cruz even before it made the news cycle; but now, as Reuters reports, the GOP establishment faces an ever bigger problem. Wealthy, well-educated voters helped carry the Republican front-runner to victory this week - a demographic the famously blunt-spoken billionaire had struggled to attract in the past.