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April 23, 2019 | New Home Sales Beat Expectations, Up Most Since November 2017

New home sales are up thanks to builder discounts and falling mortgage rates. The Census Department New Residential Construction report shows new home sale rose for the third month. Economists expected a pullback. New Home Sales Sales of new single‐family houses in March 2019 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000, according to […]

April 22, 2019 | Existing Home Sales Down 4.9%, Resume Slide After February Surge

Following a revised lower surge in February, Existing home sales flopped in March. The NAR reports 5.21 million sales in march at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate (SAAR). This follows February’s surge to 5.48 million sales which now appears to be a one-hit wonder. The NAR originally reported 5.51 million in February (up 11.8%) now its […]

April 21, 2019 | When All Else Fails, Change the Rules

The Tory party appears ready to do what I proposed months ago: Change the rules to get rid of Theresa May. Under Tory party rules, a leadership challenge can only happen once every 365 days. Prime Minister Theresa May survived a leadership challenge last December. However, the party is considering a rules change to allow […]

April 20, 2019 | US Love Affair With Cars Nearly Finished

At increasing rates, millennials and generation Z see no need to get a drivers license. The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article that strikes right at the heart of the auto industry: Driving? The Kids Are So Over It. About a quarter of 16-year-olds had a driver’s license in 2017, a sharp decline from nearly […]

April 19, 2019 | Housing Slump Accelerates

Starts and permits both came in well below consensus estimates, with revisions negative. Lower mortgage rates have not helped new home construction. Both starts and permits are not only well below the Econoday consensus range, but also lower than the lowest estimates. Housing starts came in far below expectations in March, at a 1.139 million annual rate […]

April 18, 2019 | Retail Sales Surge 1.6% Wiping Out Dec and Feb Losses But Bond Yields Drop

Retail sales rose 1.6% in March topping the most optimistic estimates. Let’s dive into the Census Bureau’s Advance Report on Retail and Food Services for March for more details. Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for March 2019, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, […]

April 16, 2019 | Banks Raise Loan Loss Provisions: BofA Sees No Recession But is Prepared for One

JPMorgan, BofA post record results on the back of retail divisions. BofA says it is prepared if a recession hits. Interest rates have gone up for those seeking loans. Bank profits are up because interest rates have not gone up as much for depositors. Please consider Big Banks Lean on Main Street for Profit Before […]

April 15, 2019 | Despite Record Bull Market, Pension Plans in Miserable Shape: Illinois the Worst

The amount owed to retirees accelerated faster than assets on hand despite a record bull market. The Wall Street Journal reports the Long Bull Market Has Failed to Fix Public Pensions. “Some of the states allowed themselves to get so underfunded that the higher returns aren’t helping them enough,” said Michael Cembalest, chairman of market and […]

April 14, 2019 | Japan’s Population in Record Decline: Startling Projections

Japan’s native population declined by 430,000 people in 2018, a record 0.21%. Japan is set to lose a midsize city, approximately the size of Austin Texas, every year according to a Financial Times report and stats from the IMF. ​ “The reason Japan’s population is now falling so fast is not the low birth rate but rather […]

April 13, 2019 | Einhorn Says Tesla Once Again “On Brink of Failure”

“We believe that right here, right now, the company appears to again be on the brink.” MarketWatch reports Tesla again ‘on the brink’ of failure, says Einhorn’s Greenlight hedge fund. Tesla Inc.’s “wheels are falling off,” sometimes literally, and the Silicon Valley car maker appears to “again be on the brink” of failure, David Einhorn’s Greenlight […]

April 12, 2019 | Import and Export Prices Surge on Rising Energy Prices

As with yesterday’s Producer Price Report, a surge in import and export prices is energy related. The BLS Import and Export Price monitor shows a month-over-month surge in import prices of 0.6% and export prices of 0.7%. Year-over-year prices remain subdued. Import Prices Month-Over-Month and Year-Over-Year Imports Prices for U.S. imports advanced 0.6 percent in March and […]

April 10, 2019 | No Hikes, No Recessions: Minutes of the FOMC Meeting March 19-20

FOMC minutes show greater risks to the U.S. economy from the global growth slowdown and muted inflation readings. The Wall Street Journal reports Fed Minutes: Officials See Little Need to Change Rates This Year. Minutes of the March meeting released Wednesday showed officials see little reason to continue raising rates due to greater risks to the […]

April 9, 2019 | China Looks at Banning Bitcoin Mining: What’s It Mean?

In a sign of growing government pressure on the cryptocurrency sector, China wants to ban cryptocurrency mining. Reuters reports China Wants to Ban Bitcoin Mining The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Monday it was seeking public opinions on a revised list of industries it wants to encourage, restrict or eliminate. The list was […]

April 8, 2019 | Fake News Paranoia: UK Wants to Regulate Google and Facebook Seeks Regulation

Government paranoia over “Fake News” has reached a fever pitch in the US and Europe. Proposed solutions are ludicrous The New York Times reports Britain Proposes Broad New Powers to Regulate Internet Content. Britain proposed sweeping new government powers to regulate the internet to combat the spread of violent and extremist content, false information and harmful […]

April 6, 2019 | GDPNow vs Nowcast vs Blue Chip Forecast

GDPNow’s initial estimate was the lowest anywhere. Now It’s at the top of the heap. GDPNow vs Blue Chip The GDPNow forecast started at 0.3% it has steadily risen to 2.1%. The Blue Chip Forecast went the other way. GDPNow vs Nowcast Nowcast did its usual flatline over most of the same timeline while GDP has done a […]

April 2, 2019 | Collapse in Global Trade

International trade volumes are negative year-over-year for the first time since the great recession. The Netherlands Bureau for for Economic Policy Analysis has an interesting report called the World Trade Monitor. World trade volume increased 2.3% month‐on‐month (growth was ‐2.1% in December, initial estimate ‐1.7%). Due to the US shutdown, no data on US import/export values […]

April 1, 2019 | Retail Sales Flop in February but January Revised Higher

Sales rebounded in January from a dismal December then Flopped again in February. Advance Estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services The Census Bureau released Advance Monthly Retail Sales today. Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for February 2019, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were […]

March 31, 2019 | Apple’s Not So Secret Electric Car Plans: Apple Hires Tesla’s Powertrain Head

Apple plans to directly compete with Tesla. It won’t be much competition. It will be the end of Tesla. Electrec reports Apple hires Tesla’s head of electric powertrains in effort to bring electric car to market. There has long been a debate about Apple’s secretive automotive project being only about a self-driving system for vehicles rather […]

March 28, 2019 | Illinois Ponders Taxing Internet Streaming Services and Gas Tax Hikes of $0.19

Illinois seems desperate to drive away every able body citizen who can possibly leave. Illinois is considering several bills that will without a doubt drive more businesses and individuals out of the state. One of them is likely illegal. Gas Tax Hikes Please consider Bill Seeks to Increase Illinois’ Gas Tax to Fund Road Repair. Illinois […]

March 27, 2019 | Goods and Services Trade Deficit Declines in Jan as Agricultural Exports Rise

China is again buying soybeans. US imports declined on falling demand. The trade deficit shrunk as a result. The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the Goods and Services Trade Deficit was $51.1 billion in January, down $8.8 billion from $59.9 billion in December, revised. Exports, Imports, and Balance January […]

March 25, 2019 | Yield Curve Update: 10-Year vs 1-Month Inversion Persists

The yield curve inversion persists and even widened, selectively. Every duration from 1-year through 10-years is inverted with 1-month yields. Yield Curve Inversions ​ I count 22 inversions. In some previous posts I incorrectly had the Fed Funds rate at 2.50. The Effective Fed Funds Rate today is 2.41. It has been either 2.41 or 2.40 for […]

March 24, 2019 | When Good News No Longer Matters

Many times it’s not the news that significant, but rather the stock market’s reaction to the news. If I was asked “How would the stock market future react to news that Trump was vindicated?” I would have guessed up, and perhaps hugely so. Tonight, with the stock market futures down, it seems the market already […]

March 22, 2019 | Trump Witch Hunt Over: No American Was Even Charged With Conspiring With Russia

Not a single US citizen was charged, let alone convicted, of conspiring with Russia to influence the election. Today, Robert Mueller has concluded his Trump-Russia Investigation, handing the report to Attorney General William Barr. Thanks to Glen Greenwald for the Tweet Chain of the day. It regards the witch hunt which just concluded. Tweet Chain of […]

March 21, 2019 | Where Defense Spending Dollars Go: Top Ten States

A defense report, revised in March 2019 for fiscal year 2017, shows what states benefit the most from defense spending. Please the US department of Defense report on Defense Spending by State for fiscal year 2017 as revised in March of 2019. Conducted between June 2018 and November 2018, the analysis primarily entailed an examination of DoD […]

March 18, 2019 | Decline of Globalization

The change in total global exports has now gone negative. Barron’s has an interesting article How Investors Should Navigate Globalization’s Decline. A decadeslong drive toward freer trade across borders has begun to reverse. Globalization is being overwhelmed by populism, nationalism, and protectionism. Brexit threatens to erect new trade barriers between the United Kingdom and the […]

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