Housing Starts

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Frontrunning: December 16





  • Ruble Sinks to 80 a Dollar Defying Surprise Russia Rate Increase (BBG)
  • Oil slumps near $59 for first time since 2009 on oversupply (Reuters)
  • Oil sinks, Russian moves fail to quell nerves (Reuters)
  • Fed Seen Looking Past Low Inflation to Drop ‘Considerable Time (BBG)
  • Students Among Dead as Pakistan Gunmen Kill 126 at Army School (BBG)
  • Repsol to buy Talisman Energy for $13 billion (Reuters)
  • Indonesia’s Rupiah Erases Decline After Central Bank Intervenes (BBG)
  • Anti-Islam Rally Grows as Immigrant Backlash Hits Europe (BBG)
  • Saudi Arabia is playing chicken with its oil (Reuters)
 
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"Considerably Exciting" - Key Events In The Coming Week





The biggest event of the coming week is surely the FOMC announcement on Wednesday, when as most expect, will see the Fed's language shifting from "considerable time" to "patient." But while "most" also expect this to be the preamble toward Fed hiking rates in mid-2015, some disagree.

 
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Futures Rebound, Crude "Flash Smashes" Higher As Dollar Strengthens





After the worst week for stocks in years, and following a significantly oversold condition, it will hardly come as a surprise that the mean reversion algos (if only to the upside), as well as the markets themselves (derivative trading on the NYSE Euronext decided to break early this morning just to give some more comfort that excessive selling would not be tolerated)  are doing all they can to ramp equities around the globe, and futures in the US as high as possible on as little as possible volume. And sure enough, having traded with a modestly bullish bias overnight and rising back over 2000, the E-Mini has seen the now traditional low volume spike in the last few minutes, pushing it up over 15 points with the expectation being that the generic algo ramp in USDJPY ahead of the US open should allow futures to begin today's regular session solidly in the green, even if it is unclear if the modest rebound in the dollar and crude will sustain, or - like on every day in the past week - roll over quickly after the open. Also, we hope someone at Liberty 33 tells the 10Y that futures are soaring: at 2.13% the 10Y is pricing in nothing but bad economic news as far as the eye can see.

 
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China Surges, Japan Closes Green On Horrible Econ Data; Oil Tumbles To Fresh 5 Year Lows





Without doubt, the most memorable line from the latest quarterly report by the BIS, one which shows how shocked even the central banks' central bank is with how perverted and broken the "market" has become is the following: "The highly abnormal is becoming uncomfortably normal.... There is something vaguely troubling when the unthinkable becomes routine." Overnight, "markets" did all in their (central banks') power to justify the BIS' amazement, when first the Nikkei closed green following another shocker of Japanese econ data, when it was revealed that the quadruple-dip recession was even worse than expected, and then the Shanghai composite soaring over 3000 or up 2.8% for the session, following news of the worst trade data - whether completely fabricated or not - out of China in over half a year.

 
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Case Shiller Reports "Broad-Based Slowdown For Home Prices", First Monthly Decrease Since November 2013





While the just revised Q3 GDP surprised everyone to the upside, the Case Shiller index for September which was also reported moments ago, showed yet another month of what it called a "Broad-based Slowdown for Home Prices." The bad news: the 20-City Composite gained 4.9% year-over-year, compared to 5.6% in August. However, this was modestly above the 4.6% expected. However, what was more troubling is that on a sequential basis, the Top 20 Composite MSA posted a modest -0.03% decline, the first sequential drop since February. And from the report itself: "The National Index reported a month-over-month decrease for the first time since November 2013. The Northeast region reported its first negative monthly returns since December 2013 and its worst annual returns since December 2012 due to weaknesses in Washington D.C. and Boston."

 
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American CEOs Sum Up The Economic Outlook: "Softness, Stagnant, Cautious, Challenging"





Since May, CEO confidence among America's largest companies had stagnated - even as stocks did what they do and rise, rise, rise. That changed when Bullard (now explained as "misunderstood" by the market) set fire to stocks with his QE4 hints and Plunge Protection Team rescue. However, the last 2 weeks have seen a noticable collapse once again in CEO confidence, according to Bloomberg's Orange Book index, even as stocks reach new higher all-time-er highs. As Bloomberg's Rich Yamarone notes, recent earnings calls highlight the headwinds companies face: Executives cite “softness in consumer spending,” a “challenging” climate, “fairly stagnant economy,” and “cautious” optimism. Currency valuations are front and center.

 
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You Asked For It, And Here It Is: The First GDP Downgrade Due To The Polar Vortex 2.0





BMO Capital Markets economist Sal Guatieri notes that the BMO Economics team has lowered its U.S. fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth estimate to 2.5% from 2.8% due to weaker housing starts and a view that November’s activity could get chilled by polar vortex 2. While October was relatively warm, November has been anything but. However, he does not expect the sort of massive hit that GDP suffered in the first quarter of 2014 due to cold weather.

 
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Homebuilder Hope Hammered As Housing Starts Tumble





With surging homebuilder sentiment, we suspect the disappointing plunge in Housing Starts (-2.8% vs +0.8% exp) will surprise a few but there is hope... as Building Permits rose 4.8% (vs 0.9% expectations) on the back of an 8% surge in multi-family / rental units. This is the highest level fo Permits since June 2008 (but still over 50% below peak permits levels in 2005). The only region with any increase in starts was the South.

 
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Frontrunning: November 19





  • Yellen Inherits Greenspan’s Conundrum as Long Rates Sink (BBG)
  • West African Mining Projects Take Hit From Ebola Crisis (WSJ)
  • Saudi oil policy uncertainty unleashes the conspiracy theorists (Reuters)
  • Senate Rejection of Keystone XL Measure Sets Up 2015 Showdown (BBG)
  • Ferguson, Missouri, remains on edge ahead of grand jury report (Reuters)
  • Putin Said to Stun Advisers by Backing Corruption Crackdown (BBG)
  • Italian ‘Invasion’ Has Swiss Fuming as Immigration Vote Looms (BBG)
  • Apple and Others Encrypt Phones, Fueling Government Standoff (WSJ)
 
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All Eyes On The Freefalling Yen Which Just Plunged To Fresh 7 Year Lows





Once again all eyes are on the carry-trade driving Yen, whose avalance into oblivion is picking up speed, and where the formerly unimaginable USDJPY level of 120 as presented here in September, is now looking like this week's business, with the only question how long until Albert Edwards' next target of 145 is hit leading to nuclear currency warfare between Japan, Korea, China and ultimately, the US and Europe. Unfortunately, for Japan, at this point the terminal currency collapse will do nothing to incrementally boost exports or its economy, and the former Japan finmin was on the tape warning again that the Japanese recession will persist as USDJPY over 115 is now hurting Japan, something which should by now have been clear to most.

 
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BTFTripleD Algos Engage: Futures Rebound Following Third Japnese Recession





Perhaps the biggest shock following last night's completely expected and very predictable (previewed here over a month ago) Japanese slide into triple- (actually make that quadruple) dip recession, is that it took the BTFTripleDip recession algos as long as they did to recover most of the overnight futures losses. Because after surging to 107 on a confused short squeeze kneejerk reaction, the USDJPY subsequently tumbled 150 pips to 105.50 as rationality briefly emerged, and the market wondered for a few brief hours if rewaring the destruction of one's economy is actually a prudent thing. Then, however, when European traders started walking into work, the now default USDJPY levitation on no volume came right back, and with that the correlation algo buying of E-mini futures, no doubt helped by the Bank of Japan itself taking advantage of the CME's ES liquidity rebate program. Because without confidence as expressed by the lowest and only common denominator left - global equities - there is nothing else.

 
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California Leads Housing Slowdown As Case-Shiller Home Prices Decline For 4 Months In A Row





Following misses in yesterday's Markit Service PMI, Existing Home Sales and the Dallas Fed report, and today's Durable Goods numbers, we just made it a pentafecta for misses in US econ data, when the just released August Case-Shiller data for August confirmed once again that US housing is rapidly slowing down, when the Top 20 Composite Index (Seasonally Adjusted) posted another decline in August, its fourth in a row, declining by -0.15% and missing expectations of a modest 0.2% rebound (following last month's -0.5%) decline. The best summary of the situation came from S&P's David Blitzer: "The deceleration in home prices continues... The Sun Belt region reported its worst annual returns since 2012, led by weakness in all three California cities -- Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego." But who cares what the birth (and death) place of every housing bubble is doing, right?

 
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Single-Family Housing Permits Drop To Lowest Since May, Starts Rebound Due To Rental Unit Increase





September was another month in which US single-family housing starts stagnated, and in fact declined when it comes to permits, only to see a strong rebound in both permits and starts when it comes to multi-family, aka rental housing.

 
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Frontrunning: October 17





  • Obama open to appointing Ebola 'czar', opposes travel ban (Reuters)
  • Schools Close as Nurse’s Ebola Infection Ignites Concern (BBG)
  • How the World's Top Health Body Allowed Ebola to Spiral Out of Control (BBG)
  • European Stocks Rise Amid Growing Pressure for Stimulus (BBG)
  • Putin Threatens EU Gas Squeeze Raising Stakes for Ukraine (BBG)
  • ECB to Start Asset Purchases Within Days, Says Central Banker Coeuré (WSJ)
  • Investors search for signs of end to stock market correction (Reuters)
 
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