A five sigma event signifies extreme conditions, or an extremely rare occurrence. To bring this discussion from sports and weather to the financial world, we can relate a 5 sigma event to the stock market. Since 1975 the largest annual S&P 500 gain and loss were 34% and -38% respectively. A 5 sigma move would equate to an annual gain or loss of 91%. With a grasp of the rarity of a 5 sigma occurrence, let us now consider the yield spread, or difference, in bond yields between Germany and The United States. As shown in graph #1 below German ten year bunds yield 0.19% (19 one-hundredths of one percent) and the U.S. ten year note yields 1.92%, resulting in a 1.73% yield spread. This is the widest that spread has been in 30 years.
With record heat (and drought) in the west and record cold (wet and snow) in the east, the global warming game-playing continues every day but the climate-gate rhetoric has increased vociferously since we first noted three weeks ago, the data that has been so relied upon to 'prove' global warming's trend was in fact manipulated. What The Telegraph called "the most extraordinary scandal of our times" - that of the "seasonally-adjusted" seasonal raw global temperature data - is about to be investigated by Congress. As Daily Caller reports, California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrbacher exclaimed "expect there to be congressional hearings into NASA altering weather station data to falsely indicate warming & sea rise."
"We think that negative snowstorm effects could potentially subtract as much as half a percentage point from Q1 growth compared with a neutral baseline, although there is still plenty of time for activity to bounce back within the quarter. In light of our analysis, we reduced our Q1 GDP tracking estimate by two-tenths to +2.8%."
- Goldman Sachs
Have we passed the tipping point for Brazil? We'll know in a few months.
UPDATE: Full SOTU Speech released - "THE SHADOW OF CRISIS HAS PASSED"
By now it is well known that The State of The Union tonight will be about President Obama's Robin-Hood Agenda. Furthermore, it is entirely clear that his proposals have no chance of becoming law. As WaPo's Marc Thiessen notes, Obama is not delusional, his move is completely and transparently political... And just as Eric Cantor suggests will merely serve to inflame the GOP. From taxes to cyber security and from community college to housing... in 50-65 minutes, all will be clear...
- Russia Loses Oil Ally in De Margerie After Moscow Crash (BBG)
- Austria's Erste denies report it has failed stress tests (Reuters)
- Sweden gets two new sightings, as hunt for undersea intruder goes on (Reuters)
- Companies Try to Escape Health Law’s Penalties (WSJ)
- Mud and Loathing on Russia-Ukraine Border (BBG)
- NOAA employee charged with stealing U.S. dam information (Reuters)
- Lower Oil Prices Seen Easing Japan’s Trade Pain (WSJ)
- Michigan becomes 5th U.S. state to thwart direct Tesla car sales (Reuters)
- Maglev Train Seen Making Washington-to-Baltimore Trip at 311 MPH (BBG)
Just wehn you thought it was safe to shower again, NOAA issues their US seasonal drought outlook and crushes dreams of wetter winter helping Californians. Hopes for heavy rain from El Nino will not be enough to change the drought situation for 60% of Californians, as MotherJones reports, NOAA forecasters warn, "While we're predicting at least a 2 in 3 chance that winter precipitation will be near or above normal throughout the state, with such widespread, extreme deficits, recovery will be slow."
Since weather has become the most crucial factor in forecasting economic growth, we thought it crucial to the future of central bank policy to note that Summer 2014 was officially the hottest one ever, according to NOAA. This of course means there is "pent-up" cold weather, which may explain the collapse in global growth expectations. However, this chatter about heat may surprise Americans (aside from those that live in the Western States) as the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S. were running cooler than normal (thus concerns about growth). According to NOAA’s records, this is the 38th consecutive August and 354th consecutive month with a global average temperature above the 20th century average.
As of today, the forecast of fall/winter rain is in doubt.
"Weather," it appears, is the new 'dog-ate-my-homework' no matter how much facts get in the way.
Moments ago, at 4:22am local time, a major 6.8 magnitude quake struck eastern Japan, off the Fukushima coast.
FLASH:M6.8 QUAKE JOLTS OFF FUKUSHIMA, JAPAN, TSUNAMI ALERT
EARTHQUAKE EARLY WARNING ISSUED FOR JAPAN, OFF FUKUSHIMA:JMA
EARTHQUAKE EARLY WARNING ISSUED FOR JAPAN, OFF FUKUSHIMA:JMA
TSUNAMI WARNING ISSUED AFTER JAPAN QUAKE: AP
Not so happy 4th of July for residents and visitors of the Outer Banks. As Bloomberg reports, Arthur strengthened off the coast of North Carolina to become the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, packing maximum winds of 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour. Officials have issued a mandatory evacuation order and a county-wide state of emergency has been declared.
As if having to pay the highest price of gas since 2008 for the Independence Day weekend wasn't bad enough, millions of traveling east coasters will now have to deal with what may develop into a hurricane as well, and will certainly result in less than perfect weather conditions as the holiday weekend unrolls. Presenting Tropical Storm Arthur. According to NBC, a hurricane watch was issued Wednesday for part of North Carolina as the first named tropical storm of the season gathered strength and threatened July Fourth celebrations along the East Coast. Negative impact to Q3 GDP? Still unknown.
Just when you thought it was safe to leave your shelter and buy a car, buy a home, buy some Caterpillar trucks, and buy a Starbucks; NOAA reports the globe just experienced the hottest May on record... With El Nino looming, we can only imagine the excuses of 'extreme weather' that will rear its ugly head once again in Q2 earnings... though of course all this will be fixed in Q3?