New Home Sales
The week ahead brings key cyclical data in the form of the global PMIs and the all-important non-farm payrolls report for the US. For China's official PMI we are looking for a flat reading, while consensus is looking for slight moderation below the 50 threshold. Our forecasts for both the ISM and non-farm payrolls are below consensus, though – given the volatility of both numbers – not significantly so. The week brings central bank meetings in Hungary, Israel, the Philippines, and Thailand. In terms of FX, with European bank funding stress continuing to become more acute – EUR/$ 3-month cross-currency basis has now moved out to 146 bps (Figure 3) – heavy bond issuance by the likes of Belgium, Italy, Spain, and France this week, and Euro zone growth weakening sharply, we think CE-3 FX will remain under pressure. We maintain our tactical recommendation to be long RUB/HUF with a target of 8.00. Our Sunday trade idea for the upcoming week is to be long EUR/CZK. Although CZK has less exposure to rollover risk than its CE-3 neighbors (see here), it has a large export exposure to Western Europe and has sold off relatively less than its peers.
Your one stop, comprehensive summary of the main bullish and bearish events in the past week.
There is only one notable data point in today's release of new home sales, which, and this should not come as a surprise to anyone, continue to crawl along the floor with just 313,000 houses sold. The datapoint is the median home price, which tumbled from $210,900 to $204,400. This is certainly the lowest number in 2011, and is just modestly off the decade low record in October 2010. And it gets worse: the 3 month drop in median home prices is the biggest ever. Regardless: we are confident this will force the Comcast-based, housing "bottom-callers" to call yet another bottom shortly.
- German Chancellor Merkel said that all models that involve the ECB are not on the agenda tonight, however both leverage models are going to be discussed
- According to a senior EU source, IMF thinks 60% Greek debt write-down is not enough, and it should be 65% or more
- Widening was observed in the Greek/German 10-year government bond yield spread ahead of the EU leaders' summit today
- According to a draft statement from the EU heads of state, banks would need guarantees on liabilities for more direct support for access to funding. It further said that there is broad agreement on requiring banks to have capital ratio of 9%, to be attained by June 30th 2010
- There were reports that the Italian PM Berlusconi may resign
- Incoming ECB head gives euro zone pre-summit boost (Reuters)
- Fears Euro Summit Could Miss Final Deal (FT)
- Merkel Puts Rescue Fund to German Vote (Bloomberg)
- Iron ore in record slide as China demand slows (Reuters) BHP, Rio CDS Soar
- MF Global slumps 47% on unexpected loss (FT)
- Bankers fear political moves will kill off CDS (FT)
- EU Banks Warn of Credit Drought in Push for Capital (Bloomberg)
- Analysis: Obama's moves pack political rather than economic heft (Reuters)
You mean, aside from the relentless headline barrage? Why yes, in a vivid reminder of what used to happen when actual fact-based events mattered, here is a complete summary of the key events in the coming week.
Wake up as many people as you can.
The risk faced by those who are analyzing macro trends is sounding like a broken record. For those younger readers who have no idea what that means, imagine an MP3 song that will stick on and endlessly repeat a random segment of the song you are listening to until you give your device a sharp knock on the side. That's what a broken record sounded like. The world economy is on the ropes and it won't ever recover. At least not to anything resembling its recent past. Neither the gleeful housing bubble nor the free-flowing credit that enabled that side bubble to emerge will return. The resources simply do not exist to repeat that final orgy of consumption. A new reality is upon us and - while fortunately more and more people are choosing to face our predicament rather than pretend the current risks and challenges do not really exist - the absolute numbers are still small and for the most part don't inlcude any of our political leaders.
Still confused by the 500 DJIA point rally in 48 hours? You are not alone. Here is David Rosenberg guaranteeing that your confusion will be even greater when you realize that nothing has really changed, suffice to say that the record confusion has provided the best smokescreen for nothing short of a collusive global window dressing session for massively underwater hedge and mutual funds.
- ECB said to debate new 12-month loans at the October 6th policy meeting where they may discuss a rate cut
- EU may speed up ESM enactment to stem the crisis with Euro aides discussing setting up the fund in 2012 a year early.
- German IFO data higher than expected on all three readings
- CME raises margin requirements for longest dated T-Bond futures by 20%
By now only the cream of the naive, Kool-Aid intoxicated crop believes that the US is not in either a deep recession, or, realistically, depression. For anyone who may still be on the fence, here is David Rosenberg's latest letter which will seal any doubts for good. It will also make it clear what the fair value of the stock market is assuming QE3 fails, which it will, and the market reverts to trading to fair value as predicated by bond spreads. To wit: "If the Treasury market is correct in its implicit assumption of a renewed contraction in the economy, then we could well be talking about corporate earnings being closer to $75 in 2011 as opposed to the current consensus view of over $110. In other words, we may wake up to find out a year from now that whoever was buying the market today under an illusion of a forward multiple of 10x was actually buying the market with a 15x multiple." And since we are in the throes of a deep depression and a 10x multiple is more than generous, applying that to $75 in S&P earnings, means that the fair value of the S&P is... we'll leave that to our readers.
The one stop summary of the key positive and negative events in the past week.
And so the double dip confirmation resumes, with the Richmond Fed printing at -10, the lowest since June 2009, well below consensus of -5, a collapse from June's -1, and the lowest since June 2009. From the report: "In August, the seasonally adjusted composite index of manufacturing activity — our broadest measure of manufacturing — declined nine points to -10 from July's reading of -1. Among the index's components, shipments lost sixteen points to -17, and new orders dropped six points to finish at -11, while the jobs index inched down three points to 1." And more: "Other indicators also suggested additional softening. The index for capacity utilization declined eight points to -14 and the backlogs of orders fell seven points to end at -25. Additionally, the delivery times index moved down twelve points to end at -4, while our gauges for inventories were virtually unchanged in August. The finished goods inventory index held steady at 17 in August, while the raw materials inventories index added one point to finish at 19." And the final nail in the economic coffin was New Home Sales which came at 298K, down from 312K upward revised prior, and missing the consensus of 310k: the lowest in 5 months. "Housing data over the past three months indicates that there is little appetite in the consumer sector to take on the risk of purchasing a home at a time when prices are likely to decline further,’’ says Bloomberg economist Joseph Brusuelas. As Bank Of America (RIP) said yesterday, one false word out of Beranke on Friday, and we will see what could possibly be the most epic market crash ever. For those wondering why stocks surged on this horrible news: look no further than the central planners in the Marriner Eccles building who are now expected to do "the right thing" for stocks.
Two economic data points today - New home sales and the Richmond Fed index. Since LaVorgna just hiked his Richmond Fed estimate, leading the consensus to rise from -7 to -5, we would be particularly concerned about this number missing by a mile. Also, Treasury issues $95 billion in new 4 week, 52 week and 2 year debt, for net new cash of $46 billion.