oil prices

The Path Clear For More Rate Cuts, If You Like That Sort of Thing

By |2019-08-13T16:13:21-04:00August 13th, 2019|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

If you like rate cuts and think they are powerful tools to help manage a soft patch, then there was good news in two international oil reports over the last week. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) cut its forecast for global demand growth for the seventh straight month. On Friday, the International Energy Agency [...]

Much More Than Rate Cuts On (Dis)Inflation

By |2019-07-11T17:02:23-04:00July 11th, 2019|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Things have changed, obviously. Chairman Powell and the rest of the FOMC, the majority anyway, have come around to rate cuts. Where they were hawkish in December, noncommittal as late as May, they’ve been spooked into them over the last month or so. As it stands, the first one is less than three weeks away. [...]

When Verizons Multiply, Macro In Inflation

By |2019-06-12T16:06:28-04:00June 12th, 2019|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Inflation always brings out an emotional response. Far be it for me to defend Economists, but their concept is at least valid – if not always executed convincingly insofar as being measurable. An inflation index can be as meaningful as averaging the telephone numbers in a phone book (for anyone who remembers what those things [...]

Copper And Oil Walked Out On The Last Puppet Show

By |2019-06-05T16:07:26-04:00June 5th, 2019|Bonds, Commodities, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Where have you gone, green shoots? The Fed turned dovish, a bunch of transitory factors, and, above all, so much Chinese stimulus. That’s what got everyone through the winter. Markets were truly harsh to end 2018, a sharp slap in the face after all year the unemployment rate. One of the big ones that seemed [...]

Green Shoot or Domestic Stall?

By |2019-04-16T17:40:46-04:00April 16th, 2019|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Stocks|

According to revised figures, things were really looking up for US industry. For the month of April 2018, the Federal Reserve’s Diffusion Index (3-month) for Industrial Production hit 68.2. Like a lot of other sentiment indicators, this was the highest in so long it had to be something. For this particular index, it hadn’t seen [...]

Retail Sales In Bad Company, Decouple from Decoupling

By |2019-04-01T12:17:01-04:00April 1st, 2019|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Stocks|

In a way, the government shutdown couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment. As workers all throughout the sprawling bureaucracy were furloughed, markets had run into chaos. Even the seemingly invincible stock market was pummeled, a technical bear market emerged on Wall Street as people began to really consider increasingly loud economic risks. There [...]

Downturn Rising, No ‘Glitch’ In Retail Sales

By |2019-03-11T12:24:47-04:00March 11th, 2019|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

You just don’t see $4 billion monthly retail sales revisions, in either direction. Advance estimates are changed all the time, each monthly figure will be recalculated twice after its initial release. Typically, though, the subsequent revisions are minor rarely amounting to a billion. Four times that? Last month, the Census Bureau reported that retail sales [...]

Inflation Falls Again, Dot-com-like

By |2019-02-13T16:37:20-05:00February 13th, 2019|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Stocks|

US inflation in January 2019 was, according to the CPI, the lowest in years. At just 1.55% year-over-year, the index hadn’t suggested this level since September 2016 right at the outset of what would become Reflation #3. Having hyped expectations over that interim, US policymakers now have to face the repercussions of unwinding the hysteria. [...]