Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. personal incomes fell 0.3% in March

  • U.S. consumer spending fell 0.2%.

  • U.S. jobless claims fell 14,000 last week to 631,000.

  • U.S. employment cost index rose 0.3% QoQ and 2.1% YoY.

  • Chicago purchasing managers' index rose from 30.9 to 40.1 in April,

  • Unemployment rate in the Euro area rose from 8.7% to 8.9% in March,

  • Consumer prices in the Euro area rose 0.6%

  • Canada’s GDP fell 0.1% MoM and 2.3% YoY

  • (Reuters) - Chrysler LLC will proceed with Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection now that talks with debtholders have broken down, an administration official said on Thursday.

  • (Telegraph) Lipoxen a small British biopharmaceutical company saw its shares more than double after announcing positive results for tests on a flu vaccine that it claims may work on swine flu.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Quick Overview

  • (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve refrained from increasing purchases of Treasuries and mortgage securities, saying that the economy is showing some signs of stability.

  • U.S. Gross domestic product dropped at a 6.1% annual pace, weaker than forecast.

  • Bloomberg reported the government's stress tests show that six of 19 financial institutions checked will need more capital.

  • Germany real GDP will contract 6% in 2009. For 2010, they expect real GDP to be up 0.5%.

  • Japan’s industrial output rose 1.6%.

  • Brazil cut rates to 10.25% from 11.25%

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 4.1 million barrels to 374.7 million barrels
    Supplies of gasoline fell 4.7 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil rose 1.5 million barrels.
    Refinery use fell from 83.4% to 82.7%
    Gasoline demand fell 0.5% YoY.
    Distillate demand fell 10.5% YoY.

  • The Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange pegged this year's soybean crop at just 1.249 billion bushels, down 184 million from USDA's latest estimate.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Quick Overview

  • The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of home prices dropped 18.6% from February 2008. For the first time in 16 months, the decline was not a record.

  • The Conference Board's index of U.S. consumer confidence rose more than forecast to a five-month high of 39 from 26.9.

  • YoY Japan’s retail sales fell 3.9% in March

  • Canada said that there were 11.9 million hogs April 1st, down 8.6% YoY

  • (Reuters) - U.S. regulators have told Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc they may need to raise more capital following stress testing of the two banks, The Wall Street Journal reported.

  • U.S. Senator Specter to seek re-election as a Democrat.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The capital well is running dry and some economies will wither
But our world is nothing like the late 1940s, when large families were rearing the workforce that would master the debt. Today we face demographic retreat. West and East are both tipping into old-aged atrophy (though the US is in best shape, nota bene).

Quick Overview

  • The Chicago Federal Reserve's index of national activity fell from -2.82 to -2.96 in March

Of couples and copulas
The development of the model had, ironically, changed the nature of the reality it was modelling.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Quick Overview

  • Banks stress test, Fed meeting, flood of earnings, potential Swine flu quarantines are some of the headwinds facing the market this week.

  • China and Taiwan sign agreements to allow investment across the Taiwan Strait in the latest sign of improving ties.

  • Oil could approach the record prices of last July as the global recession halts investment in exploration and energy projects the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Opec warned

  • Students at a New York City high school were confirmed to have been sickened by the same strain of swine flu that has killed people in Mexico. The World Health Organization warned that this was a health event “of international concern”.

  • China has bought 454 tonnes of gold in the past six years as its foreign-exchange reserves surged, bringing its total holding of the metal to $US31 billion.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Germany's slump risks 'explosive' mood as second banking crisis looms
"The Americans are ahead of the curve. European banks are exposed to US commercial real estate and to problems in Eastern Europe and Spain, where the situation is turning dramatic. We think the Spanish savings banks are basically bust and will need a government bail-out," said Mr Jeggli.

Quick Overview

  • U.S. durable goods orders fell 0.8% in March

  • MoM U.S. new home sales fell 0.6%.The inventory of new homes is at a 10.7 month supply.

  • China has nearly doubled its gold reserves in the last five years as it diversified its foreign exchange reserves away from US dollar assets. China now holds 1,054 tons of gold in reserve.

  • U.K. retail sales rose 0.3% MoM and 1.5% YoY

  • German business confidence rose from 82.2 to 83.7.

  • Spain's unemployment rate rose to 17.4%.

  • MoM China’s coal imports from Vietnam and Canada surged by 138.9%.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gaza farmers fear for their lives, watch as crops die
A Palestinian farmer feeds flowers to young cattle in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 23. The flower farmer, whose exports are crippled by an Israeli blockade on the Hamas-run Strip, disposed of part of his crop as animal feed.

Quick Overview

  • (Reuters) - The pace of sales of existing homes in the United States fell 3.0 percent in March to a much lower-than-expected annual rate of 4.57 million units, the National Association of Realtors said on Thursday.

  • U.S. jobless claims rose 27,000 last week to 640,000.

  • Canada's retail sales rose 0.2% in February

  • Industrial new orders in the Euro area fell 0.6% in February.

  • Euro area composite index of services and manufacturing increased from 38.3 to 40.5

  • The USDA said as of last week, 2008-2009 exports of:
    Corn rose from down 37% to down 36% YoY.
    Soybeans remained up 12% YoY.
    Wheat fell from down 19% to down 20% YoY.
    Cotton remained down 2% YoY.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quick Overview

  • MoM U.K.'s unemployment rate rose to 6.7% from 6.5%

  • YoY Japan's exports fell 45.6% in March

  • Canada’s leading indicators fell 1.3% in March

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency said U.S. home prices rose 0.7% MoM, but fell 6.5% YoY.

  • The USDA said there were 593.2 million pounds of frozen pork in inventory, down 10% YoY.

  • The USDA said there were 73.3 million pounds of frozen bellies in inventory, down 26% YoY

  • The U.S. DOE said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 3.7 million barrels to 370.6 million barrels
    Supplies of unleaded gasoline rose 800,000 barrels
    U.S. refineries operated at 83.4% of their operable capacity
    Gasoline demand fell 0.4% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 9.4%. YoY.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quick Overview

  • YoY U.K. consumer prices rose 2.9% in March

  • Investor confidence in Germany rose from -3.5 to +13.0 in April

  • Canada’s wholesale sales fell 0.6% in February

  • The USDA said:
    5% of corn was planted, down 14% YoY.
    6% of spring wheat was planted, down 21% YoY.
    11% of cotton was planted, down 14% YoY.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quick Overview

  • Americans need to sharpen their financial know-how to help them best use their money, especially during the current economic crisis, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday.

  • U.S. leading indicators fell 0.3% in March, the ninth consecutive month of decline.

  • The International Coffee Organization reduced its estimate of the 2008-2009 world coffee crop from 127.8 to 127 million bags

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel struck an upbeat note on the economy on Monday, saying the downturn may have bottomed out.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Funds try to spot the great oil rebound
Crude at $50 does not square with the failure of the big oil companies to replace reserves over the last five years, or with the lack of coal and nuclear plants to plug the gap. It takes 10 years or so to put a nuclear power station into service.
Nor is it compatible with the breakneck industrialisation of Asia. China expects to have 140m cars on its roads by 2020, up sevenfold in a decade.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bamboo shoots of recovery THE Chinese consider eight to be a lucky number because it sounds like the word meaning “prosperity”. And luck, combined with a massive fiscal stimulus, may yet help the government to achieve its growth target of 8% in 2009. Earlier this year, most economists thought such growth was impossible at a time of deep global recession, but some are now nudging up their forecasts.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Quick Overview

  • General Electric earned $2.74 billion in Q1, down from $4.3 billion YoY -- better than expected.

  • YoY Canada’s consumer prices rose 1.2% in March

  • Construction output in the Euro area fell 1.8% MoM and 11.8% YoY.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is considering increasing the ethanol blend in gasoline from 10% to 15%.

  • The USDA said that there were 11.152 million head of cattle on feed April 1, down 4.6% YoY.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Obama Orders Release of Secret Memos But Strongly Signals That He Will Block Any War Crimes Investigation It is also a curious position for the Attorney General who is saying that he will not allow people to be investigated for the commission of federal crimes despite his oath to enforce those very laws without political manipulation or interference.

Are We Organisms Or Living
There's a growing consensus among scientists that the relationship between us and the 100 trillion bacterial microbes in our bodies (outnumbering our human cells 10 to one) is a two-way street

Quick Overview

  • U.S. jobless claims fell 53,000 last week to 610,000

  • U.S. housing starts were at an annual rate of 510,000 in March, down 10.8% MoM and down 48.4% YoY

  • The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's regional index of manufacturing rose from -35.0 to -24.4 in February.

  • Canada's manufacturing sales rose 2.2% in February

  • Industrial production in the Euro area fell 2.3% in February and 18.4% YoY

  • Growth of China's GDP slowed to 6.1% in the first quarter of 2009, the weakest since 1992

  • The USDA's expects beef exports to be down 4% in 2009.

  • The USDA expects pork exports to be down 13% in 2009

  • The number of idle containerships worldwide has fallen from 1.42 million to 1.31 million TEU the first drop since September.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A 'Copper Standard' for the world's currency system?
Hard money enthusiasts have long watched for signs that China is switching its foreign reserves from US Treasury bonds into gold bullion. They may have been eyeing the wrong metal.

Why is Goldman Sachs So Scared of Mike Morgan?
MW: What is the nature of the relationship between G-Sax and the political establishment in Washington?
Morgan: If I answered that question I would need to increase the thickness of my Kevlar body suit.

Quick Overview

  • U.S. CPI fell 0.1% in March and 0.4% YoY. Excluding food and energy, prices rose 0.2% MoM and 1.8% YoY.

  • The New York Fed's regional index of manufacturing rose from -38.2 to - 14.7

  • U.S. industrial production fell 1.5% in March.

  • The U.S. DOE said:
  • Supplies of crude oil rose 5.6 million barrels to 366.7 million barrels
    Supplies of unleaded gasoline fell 900,000 barrels
    Supplies of heating oil fell 700,000 barrels.
    Refinery use fell from 81.8% to 80.4%.
    Gasoline demand fell 0.4% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 6.7% YoY.

  • Coal stocks at U.S. power plants rose 1% WoW and 17.1 YoY. Electric companies had 164.3 million short tons of coal stockpiled, compared with 162.7 million tons reported last Tuesday and 140.2 million tons the same week last year.

  • Russia’s Gazprom estimates its end-2008 reserves at 217.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent, the company said, representing an increase of 11% from 2007, when Gazprom's reserves were 196.4 billion.

  • UBS , raised its shareholdings in China Shipping Container Lines to 6.97% from the previous 4.5%.

  • Chinese manufacturers at Asia’s biggest export fair say orders are starting to recover.

  • Ukrainian industrial production fell 30.4%, the eighth consecutive decline.

  • Zinc rose to the highest level in six months on speculation demand is increasing in China.

Cross Your Fingers and Carry On I just don’t get it. Let’s assume that there is only a 10% chance that the International Energy Agency and everybody else predicting that global oil supplies will soon peak or plateau are right. That still makes peak oil about 100,000 times more likely than a smallpox outbreak in the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. retail sales fell 1.1% in March vs. expected 0.2% rise

  • Bernanke sees signs economic decline leveling out.

  • Undeterred, Somali pirates hijacked three more ships.

  • Germany joins France, Austria, Hungary, Greece and Luxembourg in banning the cultivation of GM corn, claiming that Monsanto’s MON 810 is dangerous for the environment.

  • The world could run out of oil in 20 years. This grim scenario is not the prediction of environmentalists, but of Michel Mallet, the general manager of French energy giant Total's German operations.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cash Beats Stocks for First Time in U.S. Survey
Investors had a record 45 percent of assets in cash, including money-market investments, and a record-low equity allocation of 41 percent in March, according to the survey data. Historical averages are 25 percent and 60 percent, respectively.

Obama Opposes Right for Detainees in U.S. Military Prisons to Challenge Their Detention
After seeking adopting Bush positions on unlawful surveillance last week, President Obama has adopted another controversial Bush policy: opposing basic legal rights for detainees held in U.S. military prison in Afghanistan. Some of the most egregious allegations of torture and abuse have focused on such prisons as the one at Bagram Air base. President Obama is now claiming that access to courts and review in such cases would threaten national security.

Quick Overview

  • YoY Japan’s producer prices fell 2.2% in March

  • China's official Purchasing Managers Index rose to 52.4 in March from 49.0 in February -- the first time the index has been expanding since September.

  • Industrial output in China rose 8.3% in March

  • YoY China's currency reserves grew by 16% in the first quarter. This puts China's currency reserves at US$1.9537 Trillion

  • MoM Chinese copper imports rose 14 % to a record 374,957 metric tons.

  • China, may import corn from the U.S. as prices are now competitive compared with local supplies Chinas National Grain and Oils Information Center said.

  • India ended its 60% import duty on sugar in an effort to relieve a shortage at home.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Quick Overview

  • April 11 (Bloomberg) -- China’s new lending surged more than sixfold from a year earlier to a record 1.89 trillion yuan ($277 billion) in March, adding to signs that growth in the world’s third-biggest economy is gathering pace. M2, the broadest measure of money supply, grew 25.5 percent, the central bank said.

  • MoM US air freight fell 21% in February, the lowest industry level in eight years.

  • Chinese rail cargo volume fell 4.8% in January.

  • Thousands of homes in Florida are believed to contain potentially toxic Chinese drywall, officials said.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. jobless claims fell 20,000 last week to 654,000.

  • The Commerce Department reported the U.S. trade deficit fell to $26 billion from a revised $36 billion in January.

  • Canada’s unemployment rate rose from 7.7% to 8.0% in March

  • The USDA's 2008-2009 U.S. ending stocks estimate for:
    Corn was lowered from 1.74 to 1.70 billion bushels.
    Soybeans were lowered from 185 to 165 million bushels.
    Wheat was reduced from 712 to 696 million bushels.
    Sugar was increased from 981,000 to 1.29 million tons.
    Cotton was reduced from 7.3 to 6.7 million bales.

  • The USDA's 2008-2009 world ending stocks estimate for:
    Corn was reduced from 145 to 143 million tons.
    Soybeans were lowered from 50 to 46 million tons.
    Wheat was raised from 156 to 158 million tons.
    Cotton was raised to 63 million bales.

  • The USDA reduced its guess of Argentina's soybean crop from 43 to 39 million tons

  • The USDA increased its estimate of 2009 beef production to 26.44 billion pounds,

  • The USDA reduced its estimate of 2009 pork production to 22.775 billion pounds, down 2% YoY.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Worldwide shipping rates set to tumble 74%
“We expect industry fundamentals [for bulk carriers] to deteriorate further as demand continues to remain weak and the large order book begins to be delivered,” wrote Nomura’s Andrew Lee in a note to clients. On container shipping, the outlook is similarly miserable: “International routes are loss-making and are likely to remain so,” he said.

Quick Overview

  • The Mortgage Bankers Association said mortgage applications rose 4.7%.

  • U.S. wholesale sales rose 0.6% MoM, but fell14.3%YoY

  • U.S. wholesale inventories fell 1.5% in February and down 1.7% YoY

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said:
  • Supplies of crude oil rose 1.7 million barrels to 361.1 million barrels
    Supplies of gasoline rose 600,000 barrels
    Supplies of heating oil fell 1.1 million barrels.
    Refinery use rose from 81.7% to 81.8% of capacity.
    Gasoline demand fell 0.2% from YoY
    Distillate demand fell 7.2% YoY.

  • Australia’s consumer sentiment rose 8.3% in April.
    Australia reduced its interest rate from 3.25% to 3.00%,

  • Iceland reduced its interest rate from 17.0% to 15.5%.

  • As of end of February, northeastern China's port of Qingdao has handled 1.64 million TEU during this year, up 2.2% compared to the same period in 2008, Xinhua reported.

  • Japanese machinery orders rose 1.4%.

  • (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s Prime Minister Taro Aso may unveil a 15.4 trillion yen stimulus package ($154 billion) to help revive an economy headed toward the worst recession since World War II.

  • Australia’s jobless rate rose in March to 5.7% from 5.2%.

Is Governor Zhou a closet Bernanke-ite?
..Notice to my students: learn more about how to resolve and restructure bad loans. This will be a great career option for you over the next few years.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. unemployment rose from 8.1% to 8.5% in March, pushing total job losses since the recession started 16 months ago past five million.

  • The Institute of Supply Management's index of services fell from 41.6 to 40.8 in March

  • An index of services in the U.K. rose from 43.2 to 45.5 in March.

  • Indonesia reduced its interest rate from 7.75% to 7.50%.

  • Median salary and bonuses for the CEOs of 200 big U.S. companies fell 8.5% to $2.24 million last year.

  • (Reuters) - The Obama Administration on Friday said they expect the economy to begin turning the corner by the end of the year with job growth coming some months after that.

The G20 moves the world a step closer to a global currency The world is a step closer to a global currency, backed by a global central bank, running monetary policy for all humanity.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Quick Overview

  • Chinas Purchasing Manager’s Index rose to a seasonally adjusted 52.4 in March from 49 in February

  • (Reuters) - Leaders of the G20 nations agreed on Thursday to pump an additional trillion dollars into the troubled global economy through extra funding for groups like the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

  • U.S. jobless claims rose 12,000 last week to 669,000

  • U.S. factory orders rose 1.8% in February.

  • The American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose by 1.7% in February, marking the second MoM increase in a row.

  • Russia's economy shrank by 7% in the first quarter of 2009

  • The European Central Bank reduced its interest rate from 1.50% to 1.25

  • U.K. home prices rose 0.9% in March

  • (Bloomberg) -- The Financial Accounting Standards Board, pressured by U.S. lawmakers and financial companies, voted to relax fair-value rules that Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. say don’t work when markets are inactive.
    The changes to so-called mark-to-market accounting allow companies to use “significant” judgment when gauging the price of some investments on their books, including mortgage-backed securities. Analysts say the measure may reduce banks’ writedowns and boost their first-quarter net income by 20 percent or more. FASB voted on the rules at a meeting today in Norwalk, Connecticut..

  • Shanghais February trade value fell 30.6% YoY to US$28.96 billion, the fourth consecutive month of decline, Xinhua reported

  • According to a survey by London’s Barclays Plc., almost 41%, or 436,000, of Singapore’s households will have assets of at least $1 million by 2017, compared with 39% in Hong Kong and 28% in Switzerland

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Quick Overview

  • ADP said U.S. employers cut jobs by a record 742,000 in Feb.

  • The Institute of Supply Management's index of manufacturing rose from 35.8 to 36.3 in March

  • The National Association of Realtors said its index of pending U.S. home sales rose 2.1% in February

  • Unemployment rate in the Euro area rose from 8.3% to 8.5% in February

  • Australia Feb. Building Approvals rose 7.8% MoM

  • Germany Feb. Retail Sales fell -0.2% MoM and -5.3% YoY

  • Japan's Tankan survey of business sentiment fell from -24 to a new record low of -58

  • China Purchasing Managers Index fell to 44.8 in March from 45.1

  • The global container shipping industry is showing signs of improving in the second quarter, United Arab Shipping Company told Emirates Business.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 2.8 million barrels last week to 359.4 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline rose 2.2 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil rose 300,000 barrels.
    Refinery use fell from 82.0% to 81.7%.
    Gasoline demand fell 0.2% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 9.1% YoY.