If yesterday's rising PPI print suggested the Fed may continue its $10 billion a month taper at its next meeting, today's comparably rising CPI for December will likely mean that absent another payroll-like shock, the Fed will soon monetize "only" $65 billion per month. The reason: in December core consumer inflation rose by 0.3%, compared to the 0.0% change in November, and in line with expectations. Stripping away food and energy however, the increase was only 0.1%, also in line with expectations, and a decline from November's 0.2% increase. More importantly, on a Y/Y basis, core CPI was up by 1.7%, still shy of the Fed's 2% target but not too far.
Following October and November's disturbing declines in Producer Prices, which many misread as an indication that the Fed will delay tapering for a few months, today's PPI reversed the recent drop, and posted a 0.4% jump for the headline number in line with expectations, following two months of declines and the highest print since June's 0.6% sequential increase. And while the Foods PPI dropped by 0.6% in December, Energy prices jumped by 1.6% once again the highest monthly increase since June. But it was the core increase of 0.3%, the highest jump since July 2012 that caught everyone's attention. So is inflation finally seeping back in the production channel? Not really: as the BLS reported, "Nearly half of the December increase is attributable to prices for tobacco products, which climbed 3.6 percent." So bad inflationary news for smokers. For everyone else (who eats and drives hedonically) the status quo still remains.
In January 2009, the number of "officially unemployed" workers plus the number of Americans "not in the labor force" was sitting at a grand total of 92.6 million. Today, that number has risen to 102.2 million. That means that the number of working age Americans that are not working has grown by close to 10 million since Barack Obama first took office. The cold, hard reality of the matter is that there has not been an economic recovery in this nation. Anyone that tries to tell you that is lying to you. If we were going to have a recovery, it would have happened by this point. In fact, this is all the "recovery" that we are going to experience. From here on out, this is about as good as things are going to get.
It's just sad now: with every passing day bringing new (and previously unseen) cases of high frequency trading algo-generated market halts or crashes, that none of the regulators are willing to take a stand against this market scourge that we have written about for nearly 5 years now, is a clear indication that the HFT lobby is firmly in control of what were once "capital markets" and that the retail investor is once again, the sacrificial lamb. But while it was one thing for the high freak thugs to control marginal price action through momentum ignition, quote stuffing, hide not slide, flash trades, and all the other well-known manipulative techniques which seemingly are too complicated for the SEC to figure out, in equities where things get really bad is when HFTs start crashing, or at least halting, the bond market at key market inflection points such as during the most important monthly data release, the payrolls release. This is precisely what happened on Friday, when as Nanex clearly shows, a momentum ignition algo sent the ZF (5 Year T-Note future) soaring and resulting in a 5 second - an eternity in today's nanosecond age - trading halt during the actual release of the BLS report.
Just when everyone thought the infamous polar vortex is gone (if not quite forgotten, having dipped the temperatures in some part of the US to sub-Martian levels), it's baaaack. Sky News reports that America is set to be hit by another blast from the polar vortex although this time Niagara falls may not freeze, as temperatures are likely to be higher than last week's extreme conditions. "The polar plunge is expected to move south from Canada, bringing colder air and sub-zero temperatures to the US this week. Forecasters say it will sweep over the lower Mississippi Valley and Midwest on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then hit the East on Thursday. The main thrust of the cold air will follow up a couple of days later."
When in doubt... make it up.
Perhaps the only good news in today's job report is that it is now in the past, because absent from some inexplicably respected so-called pundits doing the most idiotic thing imaginable, and saying to just ignore this report, there was absolutely nothing good one could say about the lowest monthly job gain since January 2011 (driven by temp and retail workers) at least until it is revised several times over the next 3 years when we ultimately learn that today's noisy jobs print was really a gain of 500K jobs. Of course by then, there will be far bigger problem to deal with. However, while December in the past, the future still remains. And it is here that we have some good and bad news. According to the just released Occupation Outlook Quarterly (OOQ) looking at the period from 2012 to 2022 released by the BLS, in the future the US will be in a significant need of jobs, which is good for all those worried that the economy is grinding to a halt, or those demoralized from not having a job for months on end and unsure if this will ever change. That's the good news. The bad news is that as in the case of today, the vast majority of future jobs will pay absolutely miserable salaries.
The media is lying about the economy. They have been for years. Even the BLS now admits that its methodologies are either inefficient (read: DON’T work) or outright wrong.
The Fed spent over $1 trillion in 2013 (to push the stock market to all time highs) and all we got was... less jobs created than in 2012?
As was reported to mass jubilation on Wednesday, the ADP private payrolls number soared to the highest monthly change since November 2012, a 238,000 increase driven by what the report said was a 48,000 increase in construction jobs. ADP's Mark Zandi went on the record to say that “The job market ended 2013 on a high note. Job gains are broad-based across industries, most notably in construction and manufacturing. It appears that businesses are growing more confident and increasing their hiring." It appears not. According to today's BLS report in December, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the construction industry lost 16K jobs. And where it gets really funny is when one looks at construction on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, construction jobs plummeted by a whopping 216,000! However you cut it someone is obviously lying. If we cared we would ask who. However, since both data series are completely fabricated, who even cares?
So much for the recovery. Moments ago December nonfarms were revealed at just 74,000 a huge miss to expectations of 197,000 - the biggest miss Since December 2009. The drop from last month's revised 226K was the largest since December 2010. Other notables: the change in private payrolls was a tiny 87K vs expectations of 200K. Mfg payrolls added just 9K vs 15K expected and down from 31K. Average hourly earnings for all employees rose 0.1% vs. Expected 0.2%. The good news: the unemployment rate plunged to 6.7% from 7.0%... For all the wrong reasons - the number of people not in the labor force rose to a record 91,808,000. As a reason for the plunge the BLS says there was a major weather effect seen on the forced part-time series, and notes the decline in healthcare which is rare and part of the sector slowing. Thank you Obamacare. And now bring on the Untaper.
- Citigroup 165K
- Barclays 175K
- UBS 185K
- HSBC 191K
- Goldman Sachs 200K
- JP Morgan 215K
- Bank of America 220K
- Deutsche Bank 250K
Risks surrounding the looming release of the latest jobs report by the BLS later on in the session failed to weigh on sentiment and heading into the North American open, stocks in Europe are seen higher across the board. The SMI index in Switzerland outperformed its peers since the get-go, with Swatch Group trading up over 3% after the company said that it expects good results for 2013 at operating profit and net income level. At the same time, in spite of stocks trading in the green, Bunds remained better bid, with peripheral bond yield spreads wider as market participants booked profits following the aggressive tightening observed earlier in the week amid solid Spanish bond auctions, as well as syndications by Ireland and Portugal. Fake Chinese trade data failed to boost Chinese stocks, which dropped anoter 0.7% and is just 13 points above 2000 as Shanghai remains one of the world's worst performing markets since the financial crisis. The yoyoing Nikkei was largely unchanged. All eyes today will be fixed on the headline streamer at 8:30 when the latest nonfarm payrolls report is released.
According to Bill Gross the outlook for 2014 is all about inflation, and how it will impact bonds in the 1-5 maturity bucket: "I am amazed at the fascination and emphasis placed on the u-rate during employment Fridays. Bond prices will move (in some cases by points) with a minor up or down change in unemployment relative to expectations, but when it comes to the third little pig of the litter – inflation – no one seems to care. This number – the PCE annualized inflation rate – is released near the 20th of every month but you will not see CNBC or Bloomberg analysts waiting with bated breath for its release. I do. I consider it the critical monthly statistic for analyzing Fed policy in 2014. Why? Bernanke, Yellen and their merry band of Fed governors and regional presidents have told us so. No policy rate hike until both unemployment and inflation thresholds have been breached and even then “they’re not thresholds,” they’re forks in the road that may or may not lead in a different direction. If so, then 1-5 year bonds, combined with credit, volatility, curve rolldown, and a dollop of currency should float a bond investor’s boat in 2014 and avoid breaking the buck in total return space.... If PCE inflation stays below 2.0% and inflationary expectations don’t rise appreciably above 2.5%, then a 3-4% total return for 2014 is realistic. "
There are millions of people in that category. And their numbers are growing, not diminishing.