Friday, March 30, 2007

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Personal income was up 0.6% in February and U.S. consumer spending rose 0.6%.
    U.S. Core rate of personal consumption expenditures rose 0.3% in February and 2.4% YoY.
    The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index fell from 91.3 to 88.4 MoM.
    The Chicago purchasing managers index rose from 47.9 to 61.7 MoM, more than expected.
    U.S. Construction spending rose 0.3% MoM.
    The U.S. said it will impose duties on imports of coated paper from China, raising fears of protectionism.

  • Japans unemployment rate was 4.0% in February, the lowest in over eight years.
    Japans household spending in Japan was up 1.3% in February, stronger than expected.
    Japans Industrial production was down 0.2% in February, stronger than expected.
    YoY Japans consumer prices were down 0.2% in February.

  • Canada's real GDP increased 0.1% in January and 2.0% YoY.
    Canada’s Industrial Product Price was up 4.4% YoY.

  • Inflation in the euro 13 region will probably reach 1.9 percent in March, the European Union said Friday.
    The unemployment rate in the Euro area fell from 7.4% to 7.3% in February.
    Business sentiment in the Euro area rose from 109.7 to 111.2 MoM.

  • The unemployment rate in France fell from 8.5% to 8.4% MoM, the lowest in 24 years.

  • India's central bank raised interest rates to 7.75%.

  • The USDA's Prospective Plantings report expects:
    90.45 million acres of corn planted this spring, up from 78.3 million acres a year ago. (The biggest corn plantings since 1944) (est. 87.98)
    67.14 million acres of soybeans, down from 75.5 million acres a year ago. (est. 69.17)
    60.30 million acres of wheat, up from 57.3 million acres a year ago.
    12.15 million acres of cotton, down from 15.27 million acres a year ago.

  • The USDA said that on March 1, 07 there were:
    6.07 billion bushels of corn stocks, down 13% YoY.
    1.78 billion bushels of soybean stocks, up 7% YoY.
    856 million bushels of wheat stocks, down 12% YoY.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Updates resume March 31st.

Quick Overview

  • The Conference Board index of U.S. consumer confidence dropped from 111.2 to 107.2 in March, weaker than expected.

  • German business confidence rose from 107.0 to 107.7 in March, stronger than expected.

  • The U.S. military denied reports that Iran fired a missile at a U.S. ship in the Persian Gulf. The rumors sent oil prices up more than 8 percent in after-hours trading.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Bloomberg Special Report - Phantom Shares

Quick Overview

  • U.S. New home sales were weaker than expected down 3.9% from January's pace. This # is dimming hopes for a rebound in the housing market and increasing worries about the health of the economy

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Leading indicators were down 0.5% in February, six of ten indicators showing a decline.

  • U.K. Retail sales were up 1.4% in February, more than expected and the biggest jump in two years after

  • The Fed said its holdings of Treasury and agency debt kept for overseas central banks rose $10.79 billion in the week ended March 21, to $1.882 trillion.

  • Japans land prices increased 0.1% in 2006, the first increase in 16 years. Commercial land prices increased 2.3% and land in metropolitan areas increased more.

  • The USDA said there were 483.6 million pounds of frozen pork in storage on February 28, 2007, down 8% YoY.

  • The USDA said there were 732 million pounds of frozen orange juice concentrate in U.S. cold storage, down 32% YoY.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said that underground supplies of natural gas were up 17 billion cubic feet last week at 1.533 trillion cubic feet.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Agrifood Giant Nearly Rivals Carmakers On Emissions
Producing one kilo of cut veal produces as much greenhouse gas emissions as travelling 220 kilometres (137 miles) by car. However, meat from non ruminants turns out to be more environmentally friendly. One kilo of pork is equivalent to a car journey of just 20 kilometres, while a kilogramme of chicken is worth just 10 kilometres.

Quick Overview

  • The Mortgage Bankers Association said its index of mortgage application dropped 2.7% to 672.1.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said that:
    Supplies of crude oil were up 4.0 million barrels last week to 329.3 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline were down 3.4 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil were down 300,000 barrels.
    YoY Gasoline demand was up 2.1%
    YoY distillate demand was up 3.0%.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Quick Overview

  • U.S. New housing starts jumped 9% in February, following a slump in January, but still down 28.5% YoY.

  • The Bank of Japan kept interest rates unchanged at 0.50%, as expected.

  • YoY Consumer prices in the U.K. increased 2.8% in February.

  • YoY Canada's consumer prices increased 2.0% in February.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Chart of the day

The Percent of ETF's (Exchange Traded Funds) on our list of 317 funds that are up in the last 20 days.


Quick Overview

  • The National Association of Home Builders index of homebuilders' sentiment dropped from 39 to 36 in March.

  • China's central bank raised it's one year lending rate 0.27% to 6.39% Sunday, the 3rd hike in 11 months.

  • (AP)--The Yangtze River gets more than half of China's industrial waste and sewage. Europe's Danube has lost most of its surrounding wetlands. And the Rio Grande has become so shallow that salt water is seeping in, bringing ocean fish that threaten freshwater species.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Quick Overview

  • The U.S. Federal Reserve said that industrial output increased 1.0% in February, the biggest monthly gain in over a year.

  • The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index dropped from 91.3 to 88.8 in March, a six month low.

  • Informa estimates 2007-08 U.S. planted corn acreage at 87.834 million acres, above last year's 78.3 million acres.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Quick Overview

  • The producer price index rose 1.3% in February, while the core rate rose 0.4%, the Labor Department reported.

  • The U.S. Treasury said that foreign investors bought $115.0 billion of U.S. securities in January while U.S. investors bought $17.6 billion of foreign securities.

  • The New York Federal Reserve's index of manufacturing dropped from 24.4 to 1.9 in March.

  • The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's regional index of manufacturing dropped from 0.6 to 0.2 in March.

  • ExFederal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Thursday there was a risk that rising defaults in subprime mortgage markets could spill over into other economic sectors.

  • Australia's unemployment rate increased from 4.5% to 4.6% in February.

  • YoY Consumer prices in the Euro area were up 1.8% in February

  • The Swiss National Bank increased its key interest rate from 2.00% to 2.25%.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Quick Overview

  • The Mortgage Bankers Association said that its index of mortgage application increased 2.8% last week, the highest level this year.

  • Consumer confidence in Australia increased to 115.5 in March, the highest score in over a year.

  • YoY China's retail sales in the first two months rose a strong 14.7 %.

  • Industrial production in the Euro area was down 0.2% in January and up 3.7% YoY.

  • Asian soybean rust was found in a bin of soybeans that came from southeast Iowa last fall.

  • The U.S. Energy Department (DOE) said that:
    Supplies of crude oil supplies were up 1.1 million barrels to 325.3 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline were down 2.5 million barrels.
    Supplies of heating oil were down 2.1 million barrels.
    Gasoline demand was up 2.8% YoY.
    Distillate demand was up 5.5% YoY.

  • The Shanghai Futures Exchange is set to start zinc trading later this month.

  • The Brazilian government may boost the amount of ethanol it blends with gasoline to 25%.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Retail sales rose 0.1% in February, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

  • The International Coffee Organization increased its estimate of the 2007-2008 world coffee crop from 110.5 to 112.0 million bags. It reduced its estimate of 2007 world consumption from 118 to 117.5 million bags.

  • YoY China's consumer prices were up 2.7% in February.

  • Question marks continue to hang over the US mortgage market. The Securities & Exchange Commission is investigating troubled subprime mortgage lender New Century, the firm has revealed.

  • Special Report: Phantom Shares
    Bloomberg Television premieres a half hour Special Report called "Phantom Shares" on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 at 7:00pm, 9:00pm, and 10:00pm ET.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Quick Overview

Japan changed its economic growth figures for the fourth quarter to an annual pace of 5.5 %, the strongest growth in three years.

U.S. Senator John Thune, R-S.D., has urged federal officials to consider a proposal for using a 20% blend of ethanol in vehicles.

The U.S. government posted at $120 billion deficit in February, slightly larger than the deficit a year ago. For the first five months of the new fiscal year, the deficit is $162.2 billion, down 25% YoY.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Coming Entitlement Meltdown
The National Taxpayers Union reports that Medicare will consume nearly 40% of the nation's GDP after several decades because of the new drug benefit. That's not 40% of federal revenues, or 40% of federal spending, but rather 40 % of the nation's entire private sector output!

Quick Overview

  • Japans machinery orders rose 3.9 percent.

  • U.S. Initial jobless claims fell by 10,000 last week, following the previous week’s gain to a 14-month high, the Labor Department said Thursday.

  • The European Central Bank raised its interest rate from 3.50% to 3.75%.
    The European Central Bank expects real GDP growth of 2.5% in 2007 and 2.4% in 2008.

  • The Bank of England left its interest rate unchanged at 5.25%.

  • Available power reserve margins may fall below required levels in four to six U.S. regions by 2009, Merrill Lynch analyst Elizabeth Parrella wrote in a recent research report.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Quick Overview

  • The Federal Reserve said consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 3.2% in January to $2.41 trillion.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said that:
    Supplies of crude oil were down 4.8 million barrels last week,
    Supplies of gasoline were down 3.8 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil were down 1.5 million barrels.
    Gasoline demand was up 3.3% YoY
    Distillate demand was up 7.8% YoY

The yen also rises
A generally stronger yen may spread a little discomfort

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Factory orders were down 5.6% in January, the biggest monthly drop in over six years.

  • Dow-Jones Newswires reports that Brazil is considering increasing the ethanol content of their fuel from 23% to 25%.

  • Eurostat changed its estimate of 2006 real GDP growth in the Euro zone from 2.7% to 2.6%.

  • Britain’s retail sales were up 3.3% YoY.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Quick Overview

  • The Institute of Supply Management's index of U.S. services dropped from 59.0 to 54.3 in February

  • Global causes may on balance have boosted U.S. inflation, but globalization has not affected the ability of the Federal Reserve to influence U.S. financial conditions, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said.

  • Japan's unemployment rate improved from 4.1% to 4.0% in January.
    Japan’s household spending rose 0.6% in January.
    Japan's corporate spending increased 16.8% QoQ.

  • China will boost its 2007 defense budget by 17.8 % the most in five years.

  • At its Outlook Forum, the USDA said they expect 2007-2008 U.S. ending stocks of:
    Corn to fall from 752 to 637 million bushels.
    Soybeans to fall from 595 to 370 million bushels.
    Wheat to increase from 472 to 506 million bushels.
    Sugar to fall from 1.695 to 1.215 million tons.
    Cotton to fall from 8.30 to 5.80 million bales

  • The International Cocoa Organization expects a world production deficit of 103,000 tons for 2006-2007.

  • The U.S. produced 4.86 billion gallons of ethanol in 2006, up 24% YoY. U.S. ethanol demand totaled 5.4 billion gallons, a 33% YoY. According to the RFA, U.S. ethanol production capacity is 5.6 billion gallons with another 6 billion gallons under construction.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Personal incomes were up 1.0% in January, consumer spending was up 0.5%.

  • The Institute of Supply Management's manufacturing index increased from 49.3 to 52.3 in February

  • U.S. Construction spending was down 0.8% from December's pace and down 1.2% YoY.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said that underground supplies of natural gas were down 132 billion cubic feet to 1.996 trillion cubic feet. YoY supplies are down 13%.