Conference Board

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Payrolls Preview - Weakness Pre-Emptively Blamed On Weather





When all else fails, pre-emptively blame the weather...

 
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Frontrunning: March 31





  • Iran, powers push for nuclear deal as clock ticks toward deadline (Reuters)
  • How DIY Bond Traders Displaced Wall Street’s Hot Shots (BBG)
  • MillerCoors Caught in a Downdraft (WSJ)
  • Saudi-led strikes again hit Yemen overnight (Reuters)
  • Even With Free Money, Merkel Still Reluctant to Spend (BBG)
  • Britain Uses Tax Breaks to Lure Digital-Game Developers (WSJ)
  • China to Insure Deposits in Move Toward Scrapping Rate Curbs (BBG)
  • As China Expands Its Navy, the U.S. Grows Wary (WSJ)
 
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Buying Euphoria Fizzles Ahead Of Make Or Break Tsipras-Merkel Talks





As previously observed (skeptically), a main reason for the surge in the DAX, and thus the S&P, on Friday was premature hope that the Greek talks earlier were a long-overdue precursor to a Greek resolution, and as we further noted yesterday, subsequent bickering and lack of any clarity as we go into today's critical "final ultimatum" meeting between Merkel and Tsipras, is also why the Dax was lower by 1.1% at last check, even if the EURUSD continues to trade like an illiquid, B-grade currency pair whose only HFT purpose is to slam all stops within 100 pips of whatever the current price may be.

 
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PBOC Cuts Reserve Requirement By 0.5%, Joins 15 Other Central Banks Easing In 2015





Moments ago the number of central banks who have eased so far in 2015, most of them unexpeted, rose by one more from 15 to 16, when in addition to Singapore, Europe, Switzerland, Denmark, Canada, India, Turkey, Egypt, Romania, Peru, Albania, Uzbekistan and Pakistan, Russia and, most recently, Australia it was China's turn to do what so many banks had said was inevitable, even if meant backtracking on all its blustery talk about limiting bad debt expansion, and cut its reserve requirement ratio for bank by 0.5% effective Thursday, to boost liquidity and support the economy.

 
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Frontrunning: January 14





  • U.S. Index Futures Decline on Commodities Slump, Growth Concerns (BBG)
  • Al Qaeda claims French attack, derides Paris rally (Reuters)
  • Charlie Hebdo With Muhammad Cover on Sale With Heavy Security Precautions (BBG)
  • How an Obscure Tax Loophole Brought Down Obama's Treasury Nominee  (BBG)
  • ECB’s bond plan is legal ‘in principle’ (FT)
  • Charlie Hebdo fallout: Specter of fascist past haunts European nationalism (Reuters)
  • DRW to acquire smaller rival Chopper Trading (FT)
  • Oil fall could lead to capex collapse: DoubleLine's Gundlach (Reuters)
 
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Existing Home Sales Revised Lower (Again), Midwest Slumps For 6th Month In A Row





While existing home sales rose 0.8% (beating the 0.5% expectation) MoM in November, once again previous data was revised lower. On an unadjusted basis however, YoY home sales rose at only 1.7% - missing expectations of 2.6% growth. The Midwest region saw existing home sales drop again - for the 6th month in a row, down over 5% in that period.

 
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Futures Soar On Swiss NIRP Stunner, "Considerably Patient" Fed





After drifting unchanged for much of the overnight session, US futures exploded higher shortly after the previously noted SNB's NIRP announcement, which took place at 2 am eastern, which made it explicit that yet another banks will herd the bouncing dead cats right into new all time stock market highs, and following the European open, were carried even higher as the global "risk-on" momentum ignition algos woke up, spiking all recently depressed assets higher, including energy as Brent rose almost 3% despite Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali al-Naimi once again saying "it is difficult if not impossible" for OPEC and his kingdom to reduce output.

 
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Should You Believe What They Tell You? Or What You See?





Sometimes I wish I could just passively accept what my government monarchs and their mainstream media mouthpieces feed me on a daily basis. Why do I have to question everything I’m told? Life would be much simpler and I could concentrate on more important things like the size of Kim Kardashian’s ass... The willfully ignorant masses, dumbed down by government education, lured into obesity by corporate toxic packaged sludge disguised as food products, manipulated, controlled and molded by an unseen governing class of rich men, and kept docile through never ending corporate media propaganda, are nothing but pawns to the arrogant sociopathic pricks pulling the wires in this corporate fascist empire of debt.

 
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Job Market Growth Hovers Near 2-Year Lows, Fed's Labor Market Index Shows





Despite the utter exuberance at Friday's payrolls data -which 'everyone' saw as nothing but indicative of escape velocity and utopia in America's near future - the Fed's new multifactor model of the US jobs market shows growth sliding to just 2.9% MoM. This is the almost the slowest growth since Aug 2012.

 
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UMich Confidence Misses By Most In 13 Months





Following the Conference Board's tumble in confidence, Bloomberg's consumer comfort index surged this morning (rather aberrationally) to highs not seen since 2007. However, while UMich consumer confidence rose from last month to its highest since July 2007, it missed expectations by the most since October 2013. It would seem the survey respondents in UMich and Bloomberg confidence are stockholders, and Conference Board respondents are not... UMich data is dominated by a surge in current conditions with the outlook flat.

 
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The Mystery Of America's "Schrodinger" Middle Class, Which Is Either Thriving Or About To Go Extinct





On one hand, the US middle class has rarely if ever had it worse. At least, if one actually dares to venture into this thing called the real world, and/or believes the NYT's report: "Falling Wages at Factories Squeeze the Middle Class." In short, it says that America's manufacturing sector, and thus middle class, is being obliterated: "A new study by the National Employment Law Project, to be released on Friday, reveals that many factory jobs nowadays pay far less than what workers in almost identical positions earned in the past. And then, paradoxically, at almost the same time, there's this from Bloomberg: "Lower-wage workers saw bigger pay gains over the past year than the highest earners, reversing the trend from earlier stages of the recovery." In short: the state of the US middle class is truly in the eyes of the beholder.

 
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The Economy Is So "Strong" It Just Cost Obama The Senate





Based on the ridiculous, seasonally-adjusted data released day after day by the various US "Departments of Truth", also known as the BLS, the Census, the Dept of Commerce, UMichigan, ADP, the Conference Board and so on, the US economy is so strong and consumer confidence is so resurgent, America is on the verge of a second golden age. Sadly, for Obama, and last night's epic rout for Democrats, it was all a lie - a lie perpetuated by a manipulated S&P500 which hit daily record highs on unprecedented central bank liquidity injections which have now terminally disconnected the "markets" from the economy, and the welfare of the vast majority of the common "folk" - and said "folk" saw right through it.

 
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Flat Futures Foreshadow FOMC Statement Despite Facebook Flameout





As Deutsche Bank observes, the Fed has been wanting to hike rates on a rolling 6-12 month horizon from each recent meeting but never imminently which always makes the actual decision subject to events some time ahead. They have seen a shock in the last few weeks and a downgrade to global growth prospects so will for now likely err on the side of being more dovish than in the last couple of meetings. They probably won't want to notably reverse the recent market repricing of the Fed Funds contract for now even if they disagree with it. However any future improvements in the global picture will likely lead them to step-up the rate rising rhetoric again and for us this will again lead to issues for financial markets addicted to liquidity. And so the loop will go on for some time yet and will likely trap the Fed into being more dovish than they would ideally want to be in 2015.

 
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The 'Other' Recession Indicator Is Flashing Red





Having disproven the "yield curve is not inverted so there cannot be a recession anytime soon" meme, we thought the following chart of a much more macro-economic-data-related indicator that appears to be a useful timing tool for suggesting recessionary conditions exist would provide some more useful context than an articially-manipulated 'market' interest rate. As Evergreen Gavekal notes, the ratio of coincident-to-lagging conference board indices has an admirable record as a recession forecaster... and is at its lowest level since Sept 2009.

 
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Here Is The Reason For The Surge In Consumer Confidence





Last month's sudden plunge (and biggest miss since Jan 2012) in Conference Board consumer confidence merely enabled an even bigger bounce this month. Consumer confidence surged to 94.5, its highest since October 2007, beating by the most since April 2013 (amid Ebola outbreaks). While the current situation was relatively flat, the surge in the headline data was purely due to a huge spike in future expectations from 83.7 to 95.0 - the highest since Feb 2011. Oddly, fewer people are likely to buy a car, major appliance, or house in the next 6 months but survey respondents expect a surge in incomes?

 
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