Chicago Fed

Nightly Recap 3-24-2010

Posted by Investing Freak on March 24, 2010
General / Comments Off on Nightly Recap 3-24-2010

Market Summary:
DOW      -52.68 (10,836.15)
S&P        -6.45 (1,167.72)
Nasdaq -16.48 (2,398.76)

Nightly News Links

US Economy:

Durable Goods Jump on Continued Strength in Aircraft (Econompic)
Orders for big-ticket manufactured goods rose for a third consecutive month in February, bolstered by strong demand for commercial aircraft and machinery. The
hope is that continued strength in manufacturing will help sustain the economic recovery.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that orders for durable goods advanced 0.5 percent last month, slightly lower than the 0.7 percent gain that economists had expected.

Chicago Fed National Activity Index (Chicago Fed) [PDF]
Chicago Fed National Activity Index is a surprisingly good forecaster of economic activity. The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is a monthly index constructed to summarize variation in 85 data series on U.S. economic activity.

New Home Sales Plunge To New All Time Record Low (Zero Hedge)
New home sales drop to a record low adjusted annual rate of 308K. All of the government’s housing stabilizing measures are now a disaster, as existing home sales inventory surges to nearly 9 months, not counting the shadow inventory, which is more than double.

World Economy:

China: Sale of residential land temporarily halted (China Daily)
The Ministry of Land and Resources has ordered a temporary ban on the sale of land for housing in a renewed measure to ease soaring real estate prices.
Yun Xiaosu, vice-minister of land and resources, said local authorities should not sell land for residential purposes until this year’s housing land supply plan is released in early April.
“Residential land supply will increase and low-income housing projects will top local governments’ agendas,” Yun said during a video-conference on Monday.

Getting Technical: Trouble Brewing in Europe (Barrons)
News that Portugal’s credit rating was downgraded by one of the major ratings agencies sent a shiver across the European Union.
The question on investors’ minds is whether this is the start of something bigger or just a contained incident. After all, Greece’s problems did not take down global markets.The stock market, however, might have the answer and it is not good. Technical death crosses — when key short-term moving averages move below longer-term moving averages — have occurred in several of the troubled markets. Most will agree that the stock market looks forward to events expected to occur perhaps nine months down the road. It is one way we can explain why stocks rallied a year ago when the financial world was in danger of collapse.  “We ain’t seen nuthin’ yet”

Have a Good Night

-K

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Nightly Recap 3-22-2010

Posted by Investing Freak on March 22, 2010
General / Comments Off on Nightly Recap 3-22-2010

Market Summary:
DOW      +43.91 (10,785.89)
S&P        +5.91 (1,165.81)
Nasdaq  +20.99 (2,395.40)

Nightly News Links

US Economy:

Chicago Fed National Activity Declines in February (Econompic)
The 85 economic indicators that comprise the Chicago Fed’s index are drawn from four categories: production and income; employment, unemployment and hours; personal consumption and housing; and sales, orders and inventories. The three month average fell to -0.64 in February from -0.04 in January.

Tomorrow, Tim Geithner Urges End to Fannie and Freddie ‘Ambiguity’ (Bloomberg)
Tim Geithner is set to deliver unwelcome to news to those who play in the public Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) casino. Private gains can no longer be supported by the umbrella of public protection, capital standards must be higher and excessive risk-taking must be appropriately restrained,” Geithner said in testimony prepared for the House Financial Services Committee that was obtained today by Bloomberg News. The hearing is scheduled for tomorrow at 10 a.m. in Washington.

The Pressure on Malls: More Store Closings (Calculated Risk)
“Our outlook for retail properties as a whole is bleak … we do not foresee a recovery in the retail sector until late 2012 at the earliest.” Over the next three fiscal years, 25 percent of our store leases will reach maturity … E-commerce is 30 percent of our corporate revenue and it’s very profitable … even in this environment. The Internet and e-commerce have become the focus on our capital investment.”

World Economy:

Global Productivity and Unemployment (Econompic)
Producing more by working less is the key to rising living standards, but in the short term there is a tension between efficiency and jobs. America and Europe have managed this trade-off rather differently. America has gone on a diet: it has squeezed extra output from a smaller workforce and suffered a big rise in unemployment as a consequence. Europe, meanwhile, is hoping to burn off the calories in the future. It has opted to contain job losses at the cost of lower productivity.

The Beginning of the End of the Eurozone As We Know It? (Naked Capitalism)
The widely-extolled idea, that the EU would find a way to muddle through the Greece crisis, looks very much in doubt. The pressure has not simply put the rescue of Greece into disarray, but appears to have led to some positions being taken that, if they hold, look likely to lead to the partial dissolution of the monetary union. This development would have far-reaching ramifications which are far from well understood, to put it mildly.

Interesting Reads:

Dear Evil Speculators (The Reformed Broker)
Dear Evil Speculators,As part of our ongoing program designed to render the US stock market completely dysfunctional, we have added an additional tax to be applied toward your investment income as part of the wildly popular Health Care Bill that we recently finagled through into law: * Individuals earning more than $200,000 a year, or couples earning $250,000 or more, would be hit with a 3.8% surcharge on investment income to help pay for the bill.You see, we are fully aware that in just the past decade, you have been slammed twice – 2000-2002 and 2007-2009 – with two of the most brutal bear markets in history – but we just don’t care.

Health Care Expenses vs. Life Expectancy (The Big Picture)
A very insightful chart comparing Countries using Life expectancy and Health care spending.

Hedge Fund Ebullio Capital: Down 86.25% In One Month (Market Folly)
By now, many of you may have already heard the startling tale of Lars Steffensen’s hedge fund Ebullio Capital Management. For the month of February 2010, they were down a whopping 86.25%. That brought their year to date total return to -95.83%. Immediately, questions swirl in one’s head such as ‘How did this happen? What kind of risk management did they have in place? How will they recover?’ Remarkably, their investor letter had quite a calm tone to it.

Have a Good Night

-K

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