201801.15
2
1

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: A Weak Dollar Stirs A Toxic Stew

Economic Reports Employment We received several employment related reports in the first two weeks of the year. The rate of growth in employment has been slowing for some time – slowly – and these reports continue that trend. The JOLTS report showed a drop in job openings, hires and quits. The Fed has been talking…

201801.10
2
2

No, No, This 2% Is Different From All Those Others

The TIPS market corollary to interest rate case impatience is overhyping any round number that might in isolation appear to confirm the bias. To reiterate the mistaken assumption: if you believe that economic growth just happens, then given how much time has passed since that was true or apparent you have to believe each long…

201801.04
2
2

Global Asset Allocation Update

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor the allocation to bonds is 50%, risk assets 45% and cash 5%. The extreme overbought condition of the US stock market persists so I will continue to hold a modest amount of cash. There are some minor changes within the…

201801.02
1
3

COT Blue: Nobody Buys a Dead Horse

FRBNY’s December 2017 Primary Dealer survey results aren’t yet published, so we will have to wait a few days for the collection of those banks’ economists to tell us what they think their own traders likely won’t do. It’s a mess in that situation, but one as old as the crisis. Nevertheless, Economists for some…

201801.02
1
2

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Housing Market Accelerates

The economy ended 2017 with current growth just slightly above trend. In general the reports of the last two weeks of the year were pretty good with housing a standout performer going into the new year. We are still trying to get past the impact – positive and negative – from the hurricanes a few…

201712.20
2
1

A (More) Rational Basis For Expectations

With UST yields backing up a little bit after the yield curve collapsed so far so fast, the combination of tax cut and reform “stimulus” juxtaposed with the constant, non-transitory mainstream message of recovery and growth has left us with yet another BOND ROUT!!! It has been somewhat if not completely reminiscent of earlier in…

201711.28
1
2

Inflation (Expectations) Corroborate Risk, Which Corroborates Inflation

On Thursday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) will report on Personal Consumption and Personal Income (as well as the difference between those two, the Personal Savings Rate). Accompanying the economic figures will be the usual estimates for consumer prices, in this case the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge the PCE Deflator. There isn’t expected…

201711.21
4
2

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: A Whirlwind of Data

The economic data of the last two weeks was generally better than expected, the Citigroup Economic Surprise index near the highs of the year. Still, as I’ve warned repeatedly over the last few years, better than expected should not be confused with good. We go through mini-cycles all the time, the economy ebbing and flowing…

201711.07
9
2

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Gridlock & The Status Quo

The good news is that the economy just printed its second consecutive quarter of 3% growth, a feat not accomplished since Q2 and Q3 2014. The bad news is that the growth spurt in 2014 was better, quantitatively and qualitatively. Those two quarters produced gains of 4.6% and 5.2% (annualized) in GDP, much better than…

201710.06
7
2

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Maximum Optimism?

The economic reports of the last two weeks were generally of a more positive tone. The majority of reports were better than expected although it must be noted that many of those reports were of the sentiment variety, reflecting optimism about the future that may or may not prove warranted. Markets have certainly responded to…