What surprised even us is that far from subtracting from GDP growth, the harsh winter actually boosted consumption, in the form of utiility (mostly heating) spending, which made up the second largest increase in personal consumption in the first quarter. Because, to every economist's cries of horror, freezing weather while perhaps reducing discretionary spending actually boosts spending on such mundane, if very expensive, tasks as utilities which, to the same economists, also translates into growth.
It appears Draghi's gonna need a bigger bazooka... The last 2 days have seen the biggest drop in 5 months for the German stock market. DAX is now back at 7-week lows as EUR strengthens above 1.11 as the YoY rise in European lending has prompted fears of an early taper (and The Fed looks set to be on hold for longer) and fast money has moved on to China amid Grexit fears. Peripheral bond spreads are weak again - especially Portugal.
PIMCO Names Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke To Serve As Senior Advisor
— PIMCO (@PIMCO) April 29, 2015
The "new" Bond King joins his predecessor on the bond throne in calling German Bunds a compelling short opportunity. Just as we said last week, "when you short negative yielding bonds you have a positive carry," so why not leverage your bet 100X and get paid to wait on rising yields?
And so the Atlanta Fed, whose "shocking" Q1 GDP prediction Zero Hedge first laid out nearly 2 months ago, with its Q1 GDP 0.1% forecast was spot on. Moments ago the BEA reported that Q1 GDP was far worse than almost everyone had expected, and tumbled from a 2.2% annualized growth rate at the end of 2014 to just 0.2%, in a rerun of last year when it too "snowed" in the winter. In other words, in the quarter in which the S&P rose to unseen highs, the economy ground to a near halt.
After taking 2 days off last week, the mysterious but persistent US Treasury bond seller is back. Like clockwork as the US markert awakes, no matter what the trend overnight, Treasuries are offered in size and yields snap higher...
Update: Bonds and gold have reversed gains, stocks legged lower and Dollar is rebounding
It appears bad news is not great news when it comes to GDP. Having missed consensus by a mile, GDP's weakness has sparked a more 'normal' reaction across asset classes for now. Weakness in the dollar and stocks along with bond yields tumbling (10Y back under 2.00%) and strength in precioius metals. Crude is uncaring for now.
"Contrary to the conjecture that has been heard, it was not an organised attack or attempt at seriously injuring us, provocation or part of the much wider attempt to politically “econstruct” me in recent days. I have the impression that their goal was not to hurt us, because if they had wanted to hurt us, they had the opportunity and ‘arithmetic’ supremacy to do so. I think their aim was to force me to flee with a few light humiliating swipes. This, however, will never be known because Danae before the anti-establishment protestors [and before I could stop her], stood up and hugged me hard, turning her back towards them so that they would have to hit her before me.”
A big part of the U.S. equation is U.S. executives are looking at yields and realizing that to not borrow at these unsustainable levels could be a missed opportunity they will sorely regret. If you run a viable business and “investors” are throwing free money at you for future growth, why not leverage up and buy back some stock. This is ultimately something the Fed needs to focus on and lean against.
- Police enforce curfew in Baltimore, disperse protesters (Reuters)
- Saudi king resets succession to cope with turbulent times (Reuters)
- Euro-Area Bank Lending Increases for First Time Since 2012 (BBG)
- Riksbank Increases Bond Purchases as Key Rate Left Unchanged (BBG)
- Greek Banks Get More Funds as ECB Weighs Collateral Discount (BBG)
- Greek bank deposits drop 1.36 pct in March for sixth month in a row (Reuters)
- Sarao Remains in Jail After Failing to Pay Bail at Hearing (BBG)
London police have arrested a former currency trader in connection with what is being described as a "global" fraud worth more than £30 million.
Today we get a two-for-one algo kneejerk special, first with the Q1 GDP release due out at 8:30 am which will confirm that for the second year in a row the US economy barely grew (or maybe contracted depending on the Obamacare contribution) in the first quarter, followed by the last pre-June FOMC statement, in which we will find out whether Janet Yellen and her entourage of central planning academics will blame the recent weakness on the weather and West Coast port strikes and proceed with their plan of hiking rates in June (or September, though unclear which year), just so they can push the economy into a full blown recession and launch QE4.
When it comes to much more personal and direct attacks, Varoufakis can at least rely on his wife. As AP reports, last night while dining with his wife in the bohemian Exarchia district of Athens, "a neighborhood popular with extreme leftists and anarchists" a group of "young anarchists" barged into the restaurant telling them to leave "their area" at which point they "threw glass objects at Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and his wife" according to a finance ministry statement. According to Reuters, Varoufakis said his wife hugged him to shield him from the attack, the finance ministry said. They tried "for a few seconds to reach me without hitting her," he said in the ministry statement.
Baltimore "Purge" Continues: National Guard, Police Lockdown City, Deploy Smoke To Enforce Curfew - Live FeedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/28/2015 23:43 -0400
As 2,200 former Wal-Mart employees struggle to understand how "plumbing issues" could have possibly cost them their jobs literally overnight, and as the Labor Relations Board considers a complaint suggesting the retailer is using "clogs and leaks" as a pretense for retaliating against employees campaigning for workers' rights, a California city is set to lose 10% of its total tax revenue. Meanwhile, the plumbing mystery deepens.