"We shall do our best then to remain as we have been: pleasantly long of equities on balance. There really is no other course of actions we can take.... Long of One Unit of Ten Year Notes/short of One Unit of the Long bond future: Friday, May 22nd we wished to sell into the strength of the bond market"
Bond yields are collapsing and US equity markets are not happy this morning. The Dow Industrials are now up only 1.2% year-to-date, and over 350 points from last week's record highs (as Trannies are down over 8% YTD).
If there were any remaining questions about China’s maritime resolve, they were answered unequivocally on Tuesday with the release of the country’s 2015 defense white paper which indicates that Beijing is set to increase its “open seas protection” after countries with “ulterior motives” have busied themselves “meddling in South China Sea affairs.” Adding insult to injury for the US, China went on to broadcast a groundbreaking ceremony for two lighthouses Beijing is building on its new islands
Having missed for a record 5 months in a row, Dallas Fed Manufacturing Outlook collapsed further in May to -20.8 (against expectations of -12.4). Thisis the 5th drop in a row (only ever seen in a recession) and 6th monthly miss in a row (never seen before) as it appears Former Dallas Fed Fisher was talking crap once again when he said "net, low oil prices were good for Texas." Despite Consumer Confidence indicating, somehow, that Texans are the most confident in a year (up from 121 to 130 in May), business survey continues to point to notable weakness with employment collapsing, hours worked crashing, and production plunged. However, on a bright note, expectations for the future jumped from -5.9 to +4.9 - hope springs etermal eh?
"The real disconnect lies in the failure of the economy to grow, as most people assumed that it would, after the Fed's quantitative easing and zero interest rates had supposedly worked their magic. But as I have said many times before, these policies act more as economic depressants than they do as stimulants. As long as these monetary policies persist, our economy will never return to the growth rates that would be considered healthy.... We prefer the ability to manipulate figures rather than allowing the figures to tell us things that we don't want to hear."
Following last month's disappointing slump to only 481K new home sales in March (now revised to 484K) which was the biggest drop in nearly 2 years driven by a collapse in Northeast transactions, according to the latest new home sales data by the Census Bureau housing rebounded back over 500K, printing at 517K thanks to a 37% sequential jump in Midwest new home sales, which rebounded from 57K to 78K, even as sales in the Northeast continued to decline and even the West saw a modest drop.
Against expectations of a '0' print, Richmond Fed Manufacturing rose from -3 to +1 in May - the first positive print since January. Despite expectations for future shipments sliding to 4-month lows and a decline in number of employees, the index itself was driven higher mainly by a huge spike in the wages subcomponent - from 9 to 20.
After a hopeful start to the year - despite the weather, the West Coats ports, and every other excuse - US Services PMI has slipped the last 2 months, back to the lowest since January. At 56.4, below expectations, this is the biggest 2-month drop since December. Input prices edged up to 9-month highs. This is the first YoY drop in the Services PMI since December. As Markit proclaims hopefully, "policymakers will be eager to see if this slower growth trend develops further over the summer months before risking any tightening of policy."
On the heels of a vote which betrayed fractures within PM Alexis Tsipras’ ruling Syriza party, a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels scheduled for today has now been postponed, according to a Greek official who did not give a reason for the cancellation. Meanwhile, there are rumors that the country will impose a levy on ATM withdrawals in an effort to encourage Greeks to use credit cards for purchases.
It appears the oil-spoofing machines are unhappy with the 'good' news this morning on orders and US housing - or perhaps they read this - but for now, WTI Crude front-month futures are back below $58.50, down over 2% on heavy volume...
Despite stagnating incomes, record low home-ownership, surging interest rates, and stalling employment data, home-prices in America rose 5.04% YoY in March - the biggest jump since August - as overseas money floods into American real estate and crushes the affordability dream for Hillary's 'everyday American'. No surprise, San Francisco and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains, with price increases of 10.3% and 10.0%, respectively, over the last 12 months. This is the highest home price index since Feb 2008.
Good news or bad news - you decide? Just remember, Stan Fischer said rate hikes were no big deal...
After dramatically upwardly revised data from last month (but following an even more dramatic downward revision to all historical data earlier in the month) - the highly noisy series of Durable Goods Orders printed -0.5% (from +5.1% in March, revised up from +4.0%). Capital Goods Orders (non-defense Ex-Air) beat expectations MoM (printing +1.0% vs 0.3%) and was revised remarkably up from the biggest drop since 2012 to a 1.5% rise in March. Core Capital Goods Orders, however, remains negative YoY for the 4th months in a row. The last time this happened was either a recession, or the Fed unleashed QE3.