Empire Manufacturing Index

Key Events And Issues In The Coming Week

With better US labor market data, the key event in the upcoming week could well be the Yellen nomination hearing in the Senate Banking Committee. Yellen will likely deliver brief prepared remarks followed by questions from members of the committee. Yellen is expected to be relatively circumspect in discussing potential future Federal Reserve policy decisions in the hearings. Nonetheless, the testimony may help clarify her views on monetary policy and the current state of the economy. Yellen has not spoken publicly on either of these topics since the spring of this year. In addition to the nomination hearing, there will be a series of Fed speeches again, including one by Chairman Bernanke.

Goldman's 5 Questions For Bernanke

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will deliver his final semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress tomorrow (July 17), followed by questions from lawmakers. Goldman expects him to strike a similar tone to his comments at last week's NBER conference - "moar of the same." The prepared testimony (released unprecedentedly early at 0830ET) is likely to be uneventful, but here are the five key questions which he would probably cover mostly during the more interesting Q&A part of the testimony.

Spot The "Housing Recovery" Disconnect(s)

Confused about the latest disconnect between reality and propaganda, this time affecting the (foreclosure-stuffed) housing "recovery" which has become the only upside that the bulls can point to when demonstrating the effectiveness of QE now that the latest attempt at economic recovery has failed miserably both in the US and globally? Gluskin Sheff's David Rosenberg is here to clear any confusion.

Quiet Trading Day As The US Takes A Break

With the US closed today, the Shanghai Composite red after a week of partying not helped by news from China’s Ministry of Commerce showed that spending during the week-long Lunar New Year break grew at the slowest pace since 2009, and the Nikkei merely a tick-for-tick proxy of whatever the USDJPY does which in turn is a mood indicator for how any given G-7/20 statement is interpreted, the only relevant news in today's thinly traded market would come from Europe, where the EUR is once again modestly higher in overnight trading, even as Spain and Italy bonds are selling off.

Initial Claims Soar To 439K, Non-Seasonally Adjusted Surge By Whopping 104,548 In One Week

Get ready for the "it's all Sandy's fault" barrage, because the post-reelection status quo sure will desperately need it today. The latest initial claims data posted a multi-year high 104,548 surge in weekly NSA claims from 361,800 to 466,348, and even the Seasonally adjusted number soaring from 361K to 439K on expectations of a 375K print. In other words, a complete disaster for any economic data bulls. What is truly amusing is that the same Wall Street "experts" who set expectations were unable to foresee the Sandy effect that every "macrotourist" on Twitter apparently is so very aware of. Also, it is apparently also "Sandy's fault" (now that the Bush excuse is back in retirement) that the prior week's claims were revised from 355K to 361K. Basically, just as we said 3 weeks ago, ignore every negative data point: it is Sandy's fault. However, for the snapback, when there actually is good news to be had, well, "four more years." Finally, to all the Sandy apologists: is the logic here that: if Hurricane, then Fire everyone? Because that is what is implied. To summarize: a hurricane is good for GDP (lots of broken windows), but any actually negative news (surge in firings) is perfectly expected.

Empire Manufacturing Index Prints At Lowest Since April 2009

Today's horrible piece of news, which at least on the surface was supposed to send the market soaring, comes courtesy of the Empire Fed Manufacturing Index, which printed at -10.41, the lowest print since April 2009, down from -5.85, and well below expectations of -2.0. The Index print confirmed the biggest 6 month drop since records began. The components painted a dire picture for jobs, with the employment index sliding from 16.47 to 4.26, New Orders tumbling from -5.50 to -14.03, while, wait for it, prices rose, from 16.47 to 19.15. Re-stagflation here we come. Market for now seems confused - since QE is priced into infinity, it is unclear if this latest datapoint confirming a recessionary economy, QE can't be more-er infiniter. Best to not respond to this, or any other macro news at all, which is precisely what the market has done. For those who missed it, not only has Bernanke doomed the global economy to stagflation and imminent food riots, while making the richest 0.001% richer than ever, he has completely broken any linkage between the economy and the market.

And The Downtrend Returns: Inflation Disappoints As Empire Manufacturing Posts First Sub-Zero Print Since October 2011

The X-12/13-ARIMA seasonal adjustments on today's data were not quite up to snuff as both the CPI, printing at 0.0% (or 1.4% Y/Y) on expectations of 0.2%, the biggest CPI miss since January and the Empire Manufacturing index, at -5.85 on expectations of a +7.00 print, posting the biggest miss in 14 months. Notably, the number of employees declined in August from 18.52 to 16.47, while margins got crushed as Priced Paid soared from 7.41 to 16.47 as Prices Received slide from 3.70 to 2.35. And so baffle with bullshit returns, as following several weeks of better than expected, if largely seasonally adjusted, the speculation that NEW QE may be coming back is here again. In other words, yesterdays scorching retail data was good, but today's horrible NY manufacturing miss is better. At least to the complete idiocy that the market, and its "discounting mechanism" have become. Sure enough both EURUSD and gold spike on the weak news as the ghost of Bernanke's printing press is back in the room. Finally, how CPI could be unchanged when crude alone posted a 20% increase in July, and gas prices are back to doing their vertical thing, will always remain a mystery.

Key Events In The Coming Week And European Event Calendar August - October

Last week was a scratch in terms of events, if not in terms of multiple expansion, as 2012 forward EPS continued contraction even as the market continued rising and is on the verge of taking out 2012 highs - surely an immediate catalyst for the New QE it is pricing in. This week promises to be just as boring with few events on the global docket as Europe continues to bask in mid-August vacation, and prepare for the September event crunch. Via DB, In Europe, apart from GDP tomorrow we will also get inflation data from the UK, Spain and France as well as the German ZEW survey. Greece will also auction EU3.125bn in 12-week T-bills to help repay a EU3.2bn bond due 20 August held by the ECB. Elsewhere will get Spanish trade balance and euroland inflation data on Thursday, German PPI and the Euroland trade balance on Friday. In the US we will get PPI, retail sales and business inventories tomorrow. On Wednesday we get US CPI, industrial production, NY Fed manufacturing, and the NAHB  housing index. Building permits/Housing starts and Philly Fed survey are the highlights for Thursday before the preliminary UofM consumer sentiment survey on Friday.

Plunging Empire Manufacturing Index Confirms Ongoing Economic Slide, Imminent Central Planner Intervention

Recall last month's soaring Empire Manufacturing Index which jumped far above all expectations, and was the last of the "baffle them with bullshit" series? Well no more need for baffling: we are in NEW QE mode. In June the Empire Manufacturing plunged from 17.09 to 2.29, on expectations of a 12.5 print: the lowest in 7 months. Confirming the crash in the economy, New Orders, Shipments, Unfilled Orders, Inventory, Prices Paid, Prices Received, Employees and Workweek, or all the subcomponents were lower in June than in May. Gold soars as the NEW QE becomes more and more obvious on the horizon, as there has now not been an economic indicator beat in weeks. So much for the 2012 recovery. Without the central banking CTRL-P'ing, the US, or any other country, continues to be in free-fall mode. Hopefully that can kill any debate about a "virtuous cycle" once and for all.

Full Schedule Of Today's Economic Data

Busy day with the usual Thursday fare of Initial claims, as well as Empire Manufcaturing survey, PPI, and the Philly Fed, which will reflect just two things - the reflation in global capital markets courtesy of non-Fed balance sheet expansion, and soaring gas prices courtesy of the same. Average regular is now $3.821, an all time high for this day in history.

Empire Manufacturing Kicks Off Weak Q3 GDP, CPI Lower Than Expected On Gas Price Drop As Core Price Increase Continues

So much for the Empire Manufacturing index being a harbinger of an economic pick up. With virtually everyone on Wall Street expecting a positive print, with the average at +5.00, the actual number of -3.76 comes as yet another confirmation of the (f)utility of Wall Street groupthink. While it was a modest bounce from the June -7.79, this first July manufacturing indication, which coming negative means the contraction is now well into its second month, and has ugly undertones for Q3 GDP, which we expect most banks will revise their expectations lower in the aftermath of yesterday's JPM downgrade of the US economy. And while there was some good margin news with Prices Paid dropping by 13, or more than Prices Received which declined by 6 points, a far more troubling indicator this month is the collapse in the Number of Employees Index to 1.11 from 10.20, or the lowest of 2011. This is not good for July NFP numbers after the already atrocious June employment data. Elsewhere on the inflationary front, CPI missed expectations of a -0.1% drop, instead printing at -0.2%, the lowest since June 2010. The reason was the 4.4% plunge in the Energy Index, the largest drop since December 2008. That said, the core CPI was unchanged at 0.3%, higher than expectations of 0.2%, due to increases in prices for shelter, apparel, new vehicle, used cars and trucks and medical care. In other words: all the things that people need right after food and gas. We would venture to guess that in addition to S&P < 1,000, core CPI coming in negative is the other QE3 gating factor.

Raging Stagflation: Inflation Higher As Empire State Mfg Index Tumbles, Confirms Contraction

June brings us much more centrally planned stagflation.CPI increased 0.2% in May, higher than expected 0.1%, and up 3.6% Y/Y. This is the 11th consecutive increase in inflation. And so much for the CPI ex-Food and Energy which came at +0.3% on expectations of 0.2%, up from 0.2% in April: "The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent in May, its largest increase since July 2008. The indexes for apparel, shelter, new vehicles, and recreation all contributed to the acceleration, rising more in May than in April. These increases more than offset declines in the indexes for airline fare, tobacco, and personal care." More on the Chairman's failure to rein in inflation in 15 minutes: "The food index rose in May as well. The food at home index repeated its April increase of 0.5 percent as four of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased, with the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rising the most. In contrast, the energy index, which had been rising sharply, declined in May. The gasoline index decreased for the first time since last June, although the index for household energy increased. The upward trend among the 12 month increases of major indexes continued in May. The 12 month change in the all items index, which  was 1.1 percent as recently as November, reached 3.6 percent in May. The energy index has increased 21.5 percent over the last 12 months, the food index has risen 3.5 percent and the index for all items less food and energy has increased 1.5 percent. All of these figures have been rising in recent months." But the real action was in the Empire Manufacturing Index which plunged from 11.88, and forget about expectations of 12.00, printing at -7.79 in June. The contraction is now confirmed. This is the first contraction since November 2010 when QE2 began. Hint: QE3 is coming. Also, the future general business conditions index fell thirty points, reaching 22.5, its lowest level since early 2009. And the kicker: margins continued to collapse as prices paid fell less than prices received. This is what stagflation is pure and simple; it has also been Zero Hedge's keyword of 2011 since January.