Trade Deficit

Trade Deficit Improves In November Despite Trade Slowdown, As "Exports Decrease Less Than Imports"

The US November Trade deficit printed at $42.4 billion, down from $44.6 billion in October and better than the $44.0 billion consensus expectation. However, instead of suggesting on overall improvement, the only reason the deficit improved is because as the BEA admitted, "exports decreased less than imports", in other words, both decreased. Specifically, imports fell 1.7% in Nov. to $224.59b from $228.36b in Oct, while exports fell 0.9% in Nov. to $182.21b from $183.78b in Oct. A key driver was another decline in petroleum imports which fell $262 million to a total of $10.7 billion courtesy of the drop in oil prices.

Why 'The Regime' Hates Gold

There’s only one investment we can think of that many people either love or hate reflexively, almost without regard to market performance: gold. And, to a lesser degree, silver. It’s strange that these two metals provoke such powerful psychological reactions - especially among people who dislike them. Nobody has an instinctive hatred of iron, copper, aluminum, or cobalt. The reason, of course, is that the main use of gold has always been as money. And people have strong feelings about money. From an economic viewpoint, however, money is just a medium of exchange and a store of value. Efforts to turn it into a political football invariably are signs of a hidden agenda, or perhaps a psychological aberration. So, let’s take some recent statements, assertions, and opinions that have been promulgated in the media and analyze them.

Sri Lankan Government Official Busted For "Smuggling Gold Bars In Rectum"

Amid ongoing efforts by Indian authorities to monetize (read confiscate) the citizenry's precious metals (which we most recently detailed as an utter failure here and here), it appears the current suppressed low prices for gold have reignited demand and thus smuggling. Following the biggest seizure of smuggled gold earlier this year, The Guardian reports a 42-year-old-man, claiming to be a government official, was caught smuggling$15,000 of gold bars (hidden in his rectum) after police noted him "walking suspiciously."

Global Stocks, Futures Continue Surge On Lingering Rate Hike Euphoria

Heading into the Fed's first "dovish" rate hike in nearly a decade, the consensus was two-fold: as a result of relentless telegraphing of the Fed's intentions, the hike is priced in, and it will be a "dovish" hike, with the Fed lowering its forecast for the number of hikes over the next year. Consensus was once again wrong on both accounts: first the rate hike was far more hawkish than most had expected (see previous post), and - judging by the surge in Asian, European stocks and US equity futures - the "market" simply is enamored with such hawkish hikes which will soon soak up trillions in liquidity from the financial system.

Frontrunning: December 11

  • Futures down sharply as oil hits seven-year low (Reuters)
  • Oil slides to new seven-year low as IEA warns of worse glut (Reuters)
  • But... but... they all said... Cheap Oil Gives Little Help to U.S. Spending (WSJ)
  • Disappearances in China Highlight Ruling Party Detention System (BBG)
  • China’s Credit Rebounds as Stimulus Helps Boost Loan Demand (BBG)
  • Junk Fund’s Demise Fuels Concern Over Bond Rout (WSJ)

After Vicious Rollercoaster Session, Global Stocks Flat, US Futures Stage Tepid Rebound In Illiquid Chaos

After yesterday's rollercoaster session in both the S&P and in oil, where initially stocks soared alongside oil, only to promptly tumble as stops were taken out and as the refiners' inventory strategy was exposed after the DOE's latest weekly numbers were released, it has been a quieter session so far, though maybe not for China where stocks jumped at the open only to fizzle and close at the lows in what appears to be ever less intervention by the market manipulating "National Team."

European, Asian Stocks Jump As Iron Ore Joins Oil Below $40 For First Time Since May 2009

With Draghi's Friday comments, which as we noted previously were meant solely to push markets higher, taking place after both Europe and Asia closed for the week, today has been a session of catch up for both Asian and Europe, with Japan and China up 1% and 0.3% respectively, and Europe surging 1.4%, pushing government bond yields lower as the dollar resumes its climb on expectations that Draghi will jawbone the European currency lower once more, which in turn forced Goldman to announce two hours ago that it is "scaling back our expectation for Euro downside."

European Stocks, US Futures Surge On Last Minute Hopes Of "Extraordinary Policy Easing" By Mario Draghi

Yesterday's market swoon which unwound all of Tuesday's gains on concerns about a hawkish Fed and fears about terrorism in the US, are now completely forgotten, and have been replaced with the latest daily round of pre-ECB euphoria, driven by hopes that Mario Draghi will announce even more dovish details to Europe's Q€ 2 than just a 10 bps rate cut and a boost to QE more than €10 billion, both of which have been already priced in.

US Trade Deficit Narrows 15%, Smallest Since Feb 2015 As Petroleum Imports Collapse

Against expectations of a $41bn deficit, September's trade deficit was practically in line at -$40.8bn, dramatically narrower than the revised higher (less negative) August print of $48.02bn as petroleum imports plunge to lowest since May 2004. With the smallest deficit since Feb 2015, The Fed is going to need a bigger boat to have enough debt to monetize when the looming rate hike drags the economy to the point of requiring more intervention.