Consumer Sentiment

Key Events In Another Central Bank-Dominated Week

Last week it was all about central banks, when both the ECB and the PBOC unleashed a massive market rally. This week it will be about even more central banks, this time the Fed, which won't hike, and the BOJ, which may but most likely won't as the Fed and the ECB already did its work for it, sending the Yen tumbling with their actions and/or jawboning.

Yellen & Kuroda Live In A "Fantasy Fiat World Divorced From Actual Business Conduct"

Given what the Japanese have been subjected to in the past two and a half years of QQE, it is nearly criminal to suggest they need only more of it. None of it has worked as promised and stated, so what might have changed? Absolutely nothing except the arrangement of qualifiers and excuses that litter the same shared central bank speech delivered over and over of late. Kuroda says “robust”, Yellen proclaims “strong”, and both only confirm they live not of this world’s economy.

Americans' Outlook For The US Economy Plunges Near 2013 'Government Shutdown' Lows

Since February, Americans have become less and less confident about the economic future of the country. As Bloomberg reports, National Economy Expectations tumbled to 42.0 - just above Sept 2014 lows and almost as weak as during the 2013 government shutdown. 2015's weakening streak is the worst consistent drop since 2011 (which unleashed moar QE) as Americans' spending attitudes tumble the most since May.

 

Futures Flat As Algos Can't Decide If Chinese "Good" Data Is Bad For Stocks, Or Just Meaningless

The key overnight event was the much anticipated, goalseeked and completely fabricated Chinese economic data dump, which was both good and bad depending on who was asked: bad, in that at 6.9% it was below the government's 7.0% target and the lowest since Q1 2009, and thus hinting at "more stimulus" especially since industrial production (5.7%, Exp. 6.0%) and fixed spending also both missed; it was good because it beat expectations of 6.8% by the smallest possible increment, and set the tone for much of Europe's trading session, even if Asia shares ultimately closed largely in the red over skepticism over the authenticity of the GDP results. Worse, and confirming the global economy is now one massive circular reference, China accused the Fed's rate hike plans for slowing down its economy, which is ironic because the Fed accused China's economy for forcing it to delay its rate hike.

Rate-Hike Looms As The Fed's Much-Watched Consumer Confidence Bounces

Thanks, we presume, to a resurgent stock market (because almost every macro and micro fundamental data item has been a disaster), UMich Consumer Sentiment rose from 89.0 to 92.1, bouncing after 3 straight months lower. Both current situation and futures expectations rose (the former to near cycle highs). Good news right? Be careful what you wish for however, as The Fed's Bill Dudley previously noted this consumer confidence data is a must-watch for The Fed in its rate-hike decision-making.

Buying Panic Fizzles As Option Expiration Looms

In the absence of any key economic developments in the Asian trading session, Asian stocks traded mostly under the influence of the late, pre-opex US ramp momentum courtesy of another day of ugly economic data in the US (bad econ news is good news for liquidity addicts), closing solidly in the green across the board, led by China (+1.6%) and Japan (+1.1%) thanks in no small part to the latest tumble in the Yen carry trade, which mirrored a bout of USD overnight weakness. And since a major part of the risk on move yesterday was due to Ewald Nowotny's comments welcoming more QE, news from Eurostat that Eurozone CPI in September dropped -0.1% confirming Europe's deflation continues, should only be greeted with even more buying as it suggests further easing by the ECB is inevitable.

Goldman's NFP Post-Mortem: A December Rate Hike Is Now A "Close Call"

In addition to the Fed's credibility, one other privately-controlled organization that has seen its credibility completely crushed in recent months is the Goldman economic forecasting team (if not the team that "forecasts" Fed monetary policy, simply because Goldman controls the Fed and tells it what to do; as such what Goldman "thinks" the Fed will do is usually ironclad) whose Jan Hatzius "for what it's worth" forecast above trend growth for the US economy in 2014.  So, "for what it's worth", here is Goldman jobs report post-mortem (in a parallel report Goldman just cut its Q3 GDP forecast from 2.0% to 1.9%), in which the bank admits that the report was a disaster, and that as a result "we now see action at the December meeting as a close call."

Consumer Sentiment Plunges On 401K Drop

It’s no coincidence that consumer sentiment stumbled at the same time that the stock market plunged. Coming back from Summer vacations, households saw:

  • The deepest drop in 401K wealth in years
  • The most prolonged drop in years

It has been a shock because investors have been conditioned to ignore the dips; or better still, to buy the foolish dips (BTFD) because time-after-time the dips reverse within a few weeks and the market plows onward and upward. In July last year, the market tumbled 3% and then fully recovered within four weeks.

US Futures Resume Tumble, Commodities Slide As Chinese "Hard-Landing" Fears Take Center Stage

It was all about China once again, where following a report of a historic layoff in which China's second biggest coal producer Longmay Group fired an unprecedented 100,000 or 40% of its workforce, overnight we got the latest industrial profits figure which plunging -8.8% Y/Y was the biggest drop since at least 2011, and which the National Bureau of Statistics attributed to "exchange rate losses, weak stock markets, falling industrial goods prices as well as a bigger rise in costs than increases in revenue." In not so many words: a "hard-landing."

UMich Consumer Confidence Tumbles To Lowest Since October, Worst Drop In 4 Years

Despite rising modestly from the preliminary print, UMich Consumer Sentiment for September finalised at 87.2 - the lowest since October 2014. This is now the biggest 8-month drop since 2011. Inflation expectations fell modestly as "hope" fell to the lowest level since September. Household Income gain expectations continue to slide (now just 1%) back to 13 month lows.

Futures Surge On Renewed "Hopes" Of Fed Rate Hike, Sliding Yen

The market, which clearly ignored the glaring contradictions in Yellen's speech which said that overseas events should not affect the Fed's policy path just a week after the Fed statement admitted it is "monitoring developments abroad", and also ignored Yellen explicit hint that NIRP is coming (only the size is unclear), and focused on the one thing it wanted to hear: a call to buy the all-critical USDJPY carry pair - because more dollar strength apparently is what the revenue and earnings recessioning S&P500 needs - which after trading around 120 in the past few days, had a 100 pip breakout overnight, hitting 121 just around 5am, in the process pushing US equity futures some 25 points higher at last check.

Retail Sales Worst Since 2009 For This Time Of Year

The last time September Retail Sales growth was this weak was 2009, limping aimlessly out of the 'Great Recession'. With a mere 0.9% year-over-year growth, Johnson-Redbook data seems to confirm what Reuters reports is looming - the weakest U.S. holiday sales season for retailers since the recession. Consultancy firm AlixPartners expects sales to grow 2.8-3.4% during the November-December shopping period compared with 4.4% in 2014, based on analyzing consumer spending trends so far this year, noting (myth-busting for permabulls) dollars saved at the pump are being directed to personal savings or on non-retail activities.

Key Events In The Coming Post-FOMC Week

In the week following the Fed's admission it is not only market-driven but now has a 4th mandate, which is to respond to China's hard landing on a day-to-day basis, US macro events mecrifully slow down to give everyone a chance to digest what the Fed just did. Here are the highlights.