201703.06
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Manufacturing Back To 2014

The ISM Manufacturing PMI registered 57.7 in February 2017, the highest value since August 2014 (revised). It was just slightly less than that peak in the 2014 “reflation” cycle. Given these comparisons, economic narratives have been spun further than even the past few years where “strong” was anything but. The ISM’s gauge of orders increased…

201702.21
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The Stinking Politics of It All

It is largely irrelevant, but still the political theater is fascinating. As is now standard operating procedure, whatever comes out of the Trump administration immediately is conferred as the standard for awful. This is not my own determination, mind you, but that of the mainstream, whatever that is these days. And so it is with…

201610.07
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Standards For Interpretation And Analysis Matter A Great Deal

After falling by nearly 7% year-over-year in July, the third worst drop since 2009, wholesale sales expanded by nearly 7% in August, the highest gain in almost two years. As with factory orders, however, there are seasonal effects to consider given these are unadjusted comparisons. Blended together, cumulatively wholesale sales for both July and August…

201608.01
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S&P 500 EPS Drops $2 In The Past Month; Index At New High

Earlier in April, analysts were projecting $26.69 in as-reported second quarter earnings for the S&P 500. By the week of June 22, just prior to the start of Q2 earnings season, that estimate had only declined slightly to $26.38. For the week of July 21, just a month later, with about one-third of companies reporting…

201607.12
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The Hope Trade Returns Though Severely Stunted As It Should Be

All it takes are the words “record high” and all economic or financial sins are forgiven and forgotten. The financial media cannot contain themselves whenever they get the chance to use the term, adding qualifications like “soar” and “sharply” to make sure everyone gets the message. Context need not apply because stocks are supposed to…

201512.06
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7 Macro-Drivers for Capital Markets in 2016

Global Growth Recession risks are low and growth should improve in 2016. Excess supply is especially apparent in the raw materials/commodities sectors. This state of overcapacity/supply and a strong dollar combined from 2014-2015 to create an environment of falling prices and sluggish growth in global manufacturing. The services sector continues to perform well. Continued expansion in the…

201504.30
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Crude Economics Looks To The Back End

So far, yesterday’s FOMC has not re-ignited the dreaded “rising dollar.” In fact, there hasn’t been much reaction at all as far as funding markets go. Even oil prices remain near their recent highs, with spot WTI as high as $59.40 so far this morning. That is, again, far more a reflection of this latest…

201502.15
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Macro Themes and Research Highlights

The US currency is strengthening in conjunction with the a strengthening US economy (proxied here by employment growth and surveys of businesses on hiring intentions and growth prospects). The last time we had this environment was in the 90’s. The combination of increased spending power accompanied by job growth could result in an empowered US consumer….

201501.06
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It Depends On Where You Start

It may be progress in some sense, but we have apparently shifted beyond the “unexpected” stages of the economy. Disappointing data, as with the crude oil collapse, is now being termed “temporary.” That was the case with almost all the data this week, including factory orders, all of which was disappointing and thus “temporary.” But…

201409.24
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TNT Attrition

There was a bit of a stir caused by Dutch logistics firm, TNT Express. The company has been expressing caution, if not downright pessimism about its prospects due to economic considerations. Today, it lowered its targets for growth, with the stock taking a beating in so doing. However, it is the manner of that downgrade…