Trade Deficit

The Relentless Push Towards War

"The only real constant to be found in both European and US politics is war. It doesn’t seem to matter who’s in office in the US - Republican/Democrat, conservative/liberal - there’s a war machine constantly running. My concern is that there's a building risk that one day that war machine is going to bust apart."

Weekend Reading: Trumponomics – End Of 100 Days

So, here we are at the end of the first 100-days, with little progress being made toward the things that count the most with investors. With asset prices currently priced for perfection, the real risk is that of “disappointment.” It will likely pay to “err to the side of caution” for now as the risk is clearly tilted against reward for now.

Global Stocks Pause Ahead Of GDP Report; Nasdaq Hits Fresh Record High

Despite yesterday's whopping beats by Amazon and Google which sent the Nasdaq to new record highs after hours, this morning futures S&P futures are little changed ahead of the closely watched Q1 GDP report, European stocks and Asian equities are slightly lower, oil is higher after Russia said it had reached the 300kbpd oil cut per the OPEC pact, and the dollar was modestly in the red.

China Surge, Rising Oil Push Global Stocks Higher; S&P Futures Flat As Fed Minutes Loom

European stocks rebounded after a downbeat start, aided by a return to the post-Euro open momentum ignition in the USDJPY while Asian stocks rose after China shares surged 1.5%, the most since August. For now S&P futures are fractionally in the red, although we expect them to turn progressively higher as US traders get to their desks to frontrun the now traditional "post open" ramp.

February Trade Deficit Shrinks, Smaller Than All Estimates

The US Trade Balance shrank to $43.6 billion in February (the smallest deficit since October and smaller than all economists' estimates). Imports fell modestly (-1.8%) and exports inched higher (+0.2%) as it seems a notably weaker dollar did nothing to help. Notably US' trade deficit with China is down 4.9% on a year-to-date, year-over-year basis.

Rand Tumbles After S&P Downgrades South Africa To Junk: Full Text

While CDS markets had largely priced in a downgrade (with levels approaching those of Brazl), FX markets seemed surprised when moments ago S&P downgraded South Africa to junk, cutting it from BBB- to BB+, in the aftermath of last week's sacking of finance minister Gordhan by president Zuma.

Key Events In The Coming Busy Week: Payrolls; FOMC Minutes; Trump Meets Xi

The key economic releases in the US this week are ISM manufacturing on Monday, ISM non-manufacturing on Wednesday, and the employment report on Friday. The minutes of the March FOMC meeting will be released on Wednesday, while several Fed officials are scheduled to speak this week. The meeting between Trump and Xi set for Thursday and Friday at Mar-A-Lago will likely attract significant attention.