Housing Market

Global Stocks, Futures Rally, Ignore Sharp Yuan Devaluation On Hopes Fed Is Right This Time

The single biggest event overnight was the PBOC's devaluation of the Yuan to the lowest since March 2011, setting the fixing at 6.5693, the highest in over 5 years and in direct response to a stronger dollar, which however if one looks at the DXY remains well below the recent highs in the 100 range, suggesting for China this is only just beggining. However, the fact that there was not more volatility in onshore and offshore overnight FX also comforted the market that at the same time as its was devaluing the PBOC was also intervening in the FX market, thus providing some assurance it would not allow runaway "risk off" sentiment prevail, nor would it promote another blitz round of capital outflows, leading to another gradual levitation in overnight risk.

Brexit Scaremongering Taken To New Level With Threat Of "Year Long Recession"

The last few weeks have seen 'Project Fear' taken to all new levels by the UK establishment as doom-mongering over a possible Brexit conjure images of post-apocalyptic movies. UK PM Cameron and Chanceller Osborne's latest op-ed tirade warns of 800,000 jobs lost and an "immediate year-long recession" if the Brits exercise their democratic right to vote for sovereignty over tyranny. Judging from the polls, which show Brexit odds tumbling, the fear-mongery is working, however, the markets disagree as forward volatility measures near 2016 highs.

Existing Home Sales Tumble In South, West Regions; Condo Sales Soar

Single-family existing home sales rose just 0.6% MoM in April with The South and The West regions seeing notable declines in sales (down 2.7% and down 1.7% respectively). What saved the headline priont was a 10.3% surge in Condo sales - among the best monthly spikes since the crisis helped by a spike in sales in The Midwest - where prices are most affordable. While headline data beat expectations, NAR's Larry Yun warned that "the temporary relief from mortgage rates currently near three-year lows has helped preserve housing affordability this spring, but there's growing concern a number of buyers will be unable to find homes at affordable prices if wages don't rise and price growth doesn't slow."

Fed Up With The Fed

Destroying our ability to discover the real cost of assets, credit and risk has not just crippled the markets--it's crippled the entire economy.

"The Peak Is Behind Us" - Silicon Valley Real Estate Bubble Has Now Also Burst

Not long ago we pointed out that the second tech bubble had officially burst, and the extent of the layoffs is increasingly significant. It's taken a few months, but the economic slowdown and downshift in the once bustling Silicon Valley jobs front has now worked its way into the real estate market... "The seemingly inexhaustible well of very high-end buyers has proven exhaustible after all. The peak is behind us, and that's becoming clearer and clearer to builders and buyers"

Futures Fizzle After Oil Fades Bounce Above $48

It has been more of the same overnight, as global stocks piggybacked on the strong US close and rose despite the lack of good (or bad) macro news, propelled higher by the two usual suspects: a higher USDJPY and a even higher oil, if mostly early on in the trading session.

Key US Macro Events In The Coming Week

After last week's key event, the retail sales number, which the market discounted as being too unrealistic (and overly seasonally adjusted) after printing at a 13 month high and attempting to refute the reality observed by countless retailers, this week has a quiet start today with no data of note due out of Europe and just Empire manufacturing (which moments ago missed badly) and the NAHB housing market index of note in the US session this morning.

Futures Flat Despite China Scare As Oil Rebounds Over $47

The main risk over the weekend was that markets, which have now dropped for three consecutive weeks the longest negative streak since January, would focus their attention on the latest batch of negative Chinese economic news released over the weekend, which missed expectations across the board, most prominently in Retail Sales and Industrial Production, and following Friday's disappointing new credit loan data, would sell off as the Chinese slowdown once again becomes a dominant concern. However, after some initial weakness, the risks were all but gone when first the USDJPY jumped on another round of deflationary Japanese economic data which led to renewed hopes of more BOJ easing and a jump in the USDJPY and thus US futures.

What Manipulation Does To The Free Market

Had the federal government held a constant measuring stick rather than "tinkering, engineering, distorting" key government calculations such as the size of the economy (GDP), the rate of inflation, level of unemployment, or size of federal deficits and federal debt...the reality we face would be plain and honest choices needed.  Instead, the responsibility of those working for "the people" has been breached via falsifying and distorting each of these (over decades).  This consistently improves the output and does not allow a true means to quantify and qualify the nations health.  Simply put, the government has continually tinkered, tampered, and distorted the accounting so as to mislead or create a falsely positive appearance. 

Former Fed Official Warns Of The Death Of The Fed Funds Market

“What this means for the Fed’s reaction function isn’t clear,” Pozsar concludes. “But our instinct tells us that we will deal with a Fed inherently more sensitive to global financial conditions, inherently more sensitive to global growth and inherently more dovish than in the past…Far be it from yours truly to worry. Still, it’s hard to take comfort in the knowledge that the Drano we’ve all come to know, though maybe not love, is now off the market.

Zynga's Headquarters Is Worth More Than The Actual Company

Shortly after it first went public, Zynga hit a market cap of $9 billion. Since then, the company which had such one time hits as Farmville and Words with Friends has seen its valuation crater, with its public stock now valued at roughly $2 billion. However, excluding the company's $1.5 billion in cash implies that its underlying operations are valued at about half a billion dollars. Which is ironic because that is less than the value of the San Francisco-company's based headquarters.

Warning Signs

Rising wages and employment costs (benefits, healthcare, etc.) are a direct input into the profitability equation. Therefore, as the economy slows and other cost-cutting measures, accounting gimmicks and share buybacks lose their ability to increase bottom line profitability, it is only a function of time before the focus returns to the cost of labor. With corporate profitability currently under pressure, overall economic activity weak and global conditions deteriorating, just how long can companies sustain employment and wage growth? The answer is not long.