Sentiment Time

By |2018-10-16T15:49:23+00:00October 16th, 2018|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Stocks|

The one thing the globally synchronized growth narrative had going for it was sentiment. It often had that in surplus. But therein lies a major drawback; are people happy because things are getting better, or do they believe things are getting better because “everyone” says so? There’s a difference and it’s a big one. And [...]

Sentimental Inflationary Reflation

By |2018-07-17T15:36:02+00:00July 17th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Sentiment surveys such as the ISM’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index are not strictly about current levels of production. Even if they were, they still wouldn’t be as straightforward as is presented. Rather, the ISM index or any PMI for that matter is an amalgam of variables ostensibly displaying how economic agents feel these variables are [...]

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: As Good As It Gets?

By |2018-06-05T16:50:25+00:00June 5th, 2018|Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Monthly Macro Monitor, Taxes/Fiscal Policy|

In the last update I wondered if growth expectations - and growth - were breaking out to the upside. 10 year Treasury yields were well over the 3% threshold that seemed so ominous and TIPS yields were nearing 1%, a level not seen since early 2011. It looked like we might finally move to a [...]

Is RINO Related To RHINO? Definitely

By |2017-12-19T17:23:28+00:00December 19th, 2017|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

US homebuilders haven’t been this happy since the dot-com era. Not even the housing mania of the mid-2000’s had builders feeling this good about things. According to the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), the trade group that represents firms in the industry, their sentiment index registered a blistering 74 in December 2017. Predictably, that’s got [...]

The Mother Of All Bait’n Switches

By |2017-06-29T12:41:52+00:00June 29th, 2017|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Stocks|

In light of light inflation measurements, central bankers have no other choice but to step up their rhetoric. Mario Draghi took the mantle earlier this week and has been joined at various points by others. The message they are sending is one that is purposefully muddied. There isn’t left to them any other choice. There [...]

Suddenly Impatient Sentiment

By |2017-05-23T18:15:57+00:00May 23rd, 2017|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Two more manufacturing surveys suggest sharp deceleration in momentum, or, more specifically, the momentum of sentiment (if there is such a thing). The Federal Reserve’s 5th District Survey of Manufacturing (Richmond branch) dropped to barely positive, calculated to be just 1.0 in May following 20.0 in April and 22.0 in March. It follows an all-too-familiar [...]

A Second Confidence Experiment

By |2017-04-03T18:32:26+00:00April 3rd, 2017|Markets|

The ISM Manufacturing Index declined slightly for March 2017, pulling back by 0.5 points after registering a multi-year high in February. The difference between the index and troubling auto sales, for example, is another reminder of what is truly a large disparity between economic statistics and sentiment. The ISM version of a PMI is considered [...]

The Confidence Experiment

By |2015-07-29T11:50:43+00:00July 29th, 2015|Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

I typically stay away from sentiment indicators and measures of “confidence” not just because they are of dubious construction but they often don’t mean what they are taken for. In the case of consumer confidence, you get both problems simultaneously particularly at the ends of each cycle. In other words, just as “confidence” is at [...]