Trade Deficit

Futures Slide On Rising Dollar As Global Bond Yields Hit Fresh Record Lows

Please do not adjust your screens: that off-green color you are seeing, that is not a malfunction. Yes, for the first time in six days, global stocks are lower with the MSCI all-country world index dipping from a 6 month high dragged down by lower European and Japanese equity markets, as the USDJPY dropped to a fresh five-week low while Treasury yields continued to hit new record lows because, as Bloomberg explains, "traders assessed the outlook for the global economy."

Futures Flat Following Friday's Jobs Fiasco: All Eyes On Yellen Again

Every ugly jobs report has a silver lining, and sure enough following Friday's disastrous jobs report, global mining and energy companies rallied alongside commodities after the jobs data crushed speculation the Fed would raise interest rates this month.  “The disappointing U.S. jobs report on Friday means that a summer Fed rate hike is off the table,” said Jens Pedersen, a commodities analyst at Danske Bank. “That has reversed the upwards trend in the dollar, supporting commodities on a broader basis. The market will look for confirmation in Yellen’s speech later today.”

Why This Friday's Payrolls Report Could See A Big Miss

When the main economic event this week hits this Friday at 8:30 am EDT, when the BLS releases the May payrolls report, Wall Street consensus wil be expecting a 160,000 print, a number which will have a big impact on market expectations for a Fed rate hike at the June or July FOMC meeting. However, consensus may be disappointed for one reason: the Verizon strike could chop off as much as 35,000 workers from the headline payrolls print.

Falling Chinese Demand Could Intensify The Oil War

The days of global reliance on Chinese demand are soon coming to end as seen by the decline in growth rate, decline in imports, and increase in service sector strength. The implications have already been great as stock markets across the developed world fell into peril when China's GDP growth rate fell below 7 percent. Withdrawal symptoms may last for a while until a recovery in demand alleviates some pressure. But global financial markets will have to adjust to a developed China, and as this "new normal" sets in, it will mean softer demand for commodities. China’s slowing demand for oil will lead to heightened competition for suppliers. For now, it appears that OPEC’s loss is Russia’s gain.

The Destabilizing Consequences Of Globalization

This globalization of price - for goods, services, credit and currencies - continually creates imbalances that fuel a perpetual instability that gradually impoverishes every sector other than global capital, which being mobile, can exploit the imbalances for its own profit. Who benefits over the longer term from the permanent instability and boom-and-bust cycles of this arrangement? Only those close to the credit spigots of central banks.

World's Most Bearish Hedge Fund Manager: "I Think Something Has Changed"

"The message that I am getting from the market, the “something” that has changed is that the US dollar is no longer a strong currency. Typically the US dollar falls when its economic cycle begins to roll over. Many of the indicators that I look at show the US is either in or heading for recession."

Futures Rebound As Crude Regains $45 On Canada Fears; Turkey Hammered

While markets remain relatively subdued ahead of tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report, after several days of losses in US stocks which pushed the S&P500 to three week lows, overnight markets ignored the latest weak data out of China where the Caixin Services PMI was the latest indicator to disappoint (dropping from 52.2 to 51.8), and instead focused on crude, which rebounded from yesterday's post inventory-build lows and briefly printed above $45/bbl over uncertainty related to the impact of Canada wildfires on production and how long will last. The bounce in WTI has meant Brent briefly traded at parity with West Texas for the first time in 6 weeks. 

US Trade Deficit Tumbles As Overall Imports Plunge, Even As Oil Imports Continue To Rise

In a surprising development, the U.S. monthly international trade deficit decreased substantially in March 2016 from $47.0 billion in February (revised) to $40.4 billion in March, below the $41.2 billion expected, as exports declined by a modest $1.5 billion, a 0.9% drop to $176.62BN from $178.16BN in Feb. At the same time imports outright plunged by $8.1 billion, down 3.6% in March to $217.06BN from $225.13BN in Feb. Curiously this happened just as Canada announced a trade deficit of C$3.4 billion, the widest on record. In March, the US trade deficit excluding petroleum was $37.48 billion.

"If..."

If the world’s economies were really out of intensive care, why would ultra-radical monetary policies like helicopter money be increasingly debated at the highest level of governments? Also, how come 70% of Americans believe the US economy is on the wrong course? And why do almost half of US citizens admit they couldn’t come up with $400 to meet an unexpected need? Yes, I know why ask why? And it is what is, and a bunch of other clichés. But this isn’t normal, it isn’t healthy, and - at least in the opinion of this author—it isn’t going to end well.

Key Events In The Coming Central Bank-Heavy Week

The April FOMC gathering headlines a crowded economic events calendar this week. The post-meeting statement, released Wednesday afternoon, should continue to strike a cautious tone. There will be no press conference and updated economic and financial forecasts will not be released. Few expect the FOMC to add the “balance of risks” sentence back into its communiqué at this point. Doing so would be quite bearish for risk assets as it would definitely open the door for a June rate hike.

On Goldman's "Dubious Advice To Short Gold”

Those betting against Goldman Sach’s retail investment advice have generally been on the right side of things. The same thing is about to happen again. “Short gold! Sell gold!” said Goldman’s head commodity trader, Jeff Currie, during a CNBC “Power Lunch” interview. Currie’s advice was in response to the question “Is there any commodity you are recommending that can help our viewers make some money?” Currie’s provided several reasons for shorting gold, blatantly wrong.

Trump Reveals How Mexico Will Pay For "The Wall"

In what he assures will be "an easy decision," Donald Trump has released details of his plan to "compel Mexico to pay for the wall." In a 600 word statement, Trump proposes, in a potentially devastating move for Mexico’s economy, to block billions of dollars in payments immigrants send back home until the nation made "a one-time payment of $5-10 billion" to the U.S.

Q1 GDP To Be Revised Even Lower After February Trade Deficit Grows More Than Expected

As of this moment, the Atlanta Fed calculates Q1 GDP to be -0.7% (Bank of America has it at 0.6%). We expect this number to be promptly revised even lower following the latest disappointing trade data from the US, when moments ago the BEA reported that the US February deficit rose from $45.9BN to $47.1BN, missing the $46.2BN consensus estimate. This was the largest monthly deficit since August 2015's $50.5BN, and the number is likely only going to increase as the US is once again forced to start importing more oil with its own shale industry increasingly mothballed.

Key U.S. Events In The Coming Week

Key economic releases for the coming week include the ISM non-manufacturing report on Wednesday. There are several scheduled speeches from Fed officials this week. Fed Chair Yellen will take part in a discussion with former Fed Chairs on Thursday.

"Free" Trade, Jobs, & Income Inequality: It's Not As Easy As We Might Think

Slapping fees on imports (which by the way is illegal in treaties such as the WTO) will not solve the larger problems of reduced employment, stagnant wages and rising income inequality. To make a dent in those issues, we'll need to tackle central bank and central-state policies that have pushed finance and speculative churn to supremacy over the productive economy.