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  • Fri, Jan 17 2020
  • 4:58 PM » Wall Street hits new highs in strongest week since August
    Published Fri, Jan 17 2020 4:58 PM by Reuters
    Wall Street climbed to record highs on Friday, with major indexes turning in their strongest weekly gains since August, after strong U.S. housing data and signs of resilience in the Chinese economy raised hopes of a rebound in global growth.
  • 4:58 PM » Treasury brings back the 20-year bond to pay for the ballooning deficit
    Published Fri, Jan 17 2020 4:58 PM by CNBC
    The Treasury Department is issuing a 20-year bond for the first time in 34 years to help pay for the ballooning $1 trillion dollar budget deficit.
  • 2:40 PM » CAR on California December Housing: Sales up 7.4% YoY, Inventory down 26.5%, Lowest Inventory in "nearly seven years"
    Published Fri, Jan 17 2020 2:40 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    The CAR reported: Low interest rates boost housing market in second half of year as home prices post strong gains in December, C.A.R. reports Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 398,880 units in December, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2019 if sales maintained the December pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales. December's sales total was down 1.0 percent from the 402,880 level in November and marked the first time in six months that sales fell below the 400,000 benchmark. Still, sales were up a solid 7.4 percent from December 2018 's revised 371,410 figure. For the year 2019, annual home sales fell for the second consecutive year to a preliminary 397,910 closed escrow sales in California, down from 2018's pace of 402,640. "Despite a sales slowdown at year-end, home sales were up from a year ago as interest rates remained low. It's important to note, however, that the increase was due partly to low housing demand in the prior year," said 2020 C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick, a second-generation REALTOR® from Bakersfield, Calif. "Looking ahead, low rates should continue to provide support to the market as buyers have become more motivated to get back into the market, and home sales in California should see an improvement at the start of the year." ... "With housing supply dropping to the lowest level in nearly seven years, California experienced an unusual jump in its median price at the end of the year when the market is supposed to cool down," said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "While low rates have been fueling demand in the second...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 2:40 PM » Q4 GDP Forecasts: 1.2% to 2.0%
    Published Fri, Jan 17 2020 2:40 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From Merrill Lynch On balance retail sales cut our 4Q GDP tracking by 0.2pp to 2.0% qoq saar . [Jan 17 estimate] emphasis added From the NY Fed Nowcasting Report The New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at 1.2% for 2019:Q4 and 1.7% for 2020:Q1. [Jan 17 estimate] And from the Altanta Fed: GDPNow The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2019 is 1.8 percent on January 17, unchanged from January 16 after rounding. After this morning's housing starts report from the U.S. Census Bureau and industrial production release from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, a decrease in the nowcast of fourth-quarter real personal consumption expenditures growth from 1.6 percent to 1.4 percent was partly offset by an increase in the nowcast of real residential investment growth from 4.3 percent to 5.5 percent. [Jan 17 estimate] CR Note: These estimates suggest real GDP growth will be between 1.2% and 2.0% annualized in Q4.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 2:12 PM » Trump's Fed pick Judy Shelton faces obstacles to confirmation
    Published Fri, Jan 17 2020 2:12 PM by CNBC
    The move comes with two pressing questions - whether she could be a future chair at the central bank, and if she even will be able to serve if confirmed
  • 12:49 PM » BLS: Job Openings "Fell" to 6.8 Million in November
    Published Fri, Jan 17 2020 12:49 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Notes: In November there were 6.800 million job openings, and, according to the November Employment report, there were 5.811 million unemployed. So, for the twenty-first consecutive month, there were more job openings than people unemployed. Also note that the number of job openings has exceeded the number of hires since January 2015 (almost 5 years). From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary The number of job openings fell to 6.8 million (-561,000) on the last business day of November , the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.8 million and 5.6 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was little changed at 1.1 percent. ... The number of total nonfarm quits was little changed in November at 3.5 million and the rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent. Quits increased in retail trade (+118,000), wholesale trade (+26,000), and nondurable goods manufacturing (+19,000). Quits decreased in other services (-63,000). emphasis added The following graph shows job openings (yellow line), hires (dark blue), Layoff, Discharges and other (red column), and Quits (light blue column) from the JOLTS. This series started in December 2000. Note: The difference between JOLTS hires and separations is similar to the CES (payroll survey) net jobs headline numbers. This report is for November, the most recent employment report was for December. Click on graph for larger image. Note that hires (dark blue) and total separations (red and light blue columns stacked) are pretty close each month. This is a measure of labor market turnover.  When the blue line is above the two stacked columns, the economy is adding net jobs - when it is below the columns, the economy is losing jobs. Jobs openings decreased in November to 6.800 million from 7.361 million in October. The number of job openings (yellow) are down 11% year-over...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:49 AM » Fed's Bullard: "Material reassessment" is "big tent language"
    Published Fri, Jan 17 2020 11:49 AM by Reuters
    St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard expounded on what might comprise a "material reassessment" of the economic outlook, the Treasury yield curve, the central bank's framework review and more in a Reuters interview.
  • 11:25 AM » U.S. manufacturing output rises unexpectedly
    Published Fri, Jan 17 2020 11:25 AM by Reuters
    U.S. manufacturing output rose unexpectedly in December as a drop in motor vehicle output was outpaced by increases in production of other durable goods, food and beverages, and other products.
  • 9:45 AM » The yield curve's still weird. Fed's Bullard is okay with that
    Published Fri, Jan 17 2020 9:45 AM by Reuters
    It was more than a year ago when St. Louis Federal Reserve bank President James Bullard started raising the alarm about a U.S. bond market where interest rates seemed to show investors losing faith in the economy, a risky environment for the Fed to carry out planned rate increases.
  • 8:17 AM » US Home Prices Up 7% in December
    Published Fri, Jan 17 2020 8:17 AM by
    A record shortage of homes for sale drove prices up on a monthly and annual basis. U.S. home-sale prices increased 6.9% year over year in December to a median of $312,500 across the 217 metros Redfin tracks. Home prices were also up 1.1% month over month on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the largest increase since February … US Home Prices Up 7% in December Read More » The post US Home Prices Up 7% in December appeared first on Redfin Blog .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • Thu, Jan 16 2020
  • 3:59 PM » S&P 500 cracks 3,300 on strong bank earnings and retail data
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2020 3:59 PM by Reuters
    The S&P 500 hit the 3,300 mark for the first time on Thursday and the other main U.S. indexes also broke record highs, fueled by solid retail sales data and upbeat Morgan Stanley earnings.
  • 2:04 PM » Labor Department makes big change to the way jobs data is released, aimed at hedge funds, media
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2020 2:04 PM by CNBC
    The department said it no longer will allow computers in the lock-ups it hosts for credentialed press. The move appears to be targeted specifically at Bloomberg.
  • 2:00 PM » Student loan debt is over $1.6 trillion and hardly anyone is paying down their loans
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2020 2:00 PM by CNBC
    Since the explosion of student loan debt following the Great Recession, annual repayment rates, or the amount of existing balances lowered, have been just 3%
  • 2:00 PM » CFPB seeking applications for membership on advisory groups
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2020 2:00 PM by
    The CFPB has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it is seeking applications for membership on its Consumer Advisory Board, Community Bank Advisory Council, Credit Union Advisory Council, and Academic Research Council. For an applicant to be considered, the Bureau must receive his or her complete application packet by February 27, 2020.... Continue Reading
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 11:38 AM » U.S. Senate poised to pass new North American trade deal
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2020 11:38 AM by Reuters
    The U.S. Senate was poised to approve a new North American trade deal on Thursday, clearing the way for a revamp of the 26-year-old NAFTA that includes tougher labor and automotive content rules but leaves $1.2 trillion in annual U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade flows largely unchanged.
  • 9:53 AM » Philly Fed Manufacturing Suggests Activity Increased in January
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2020 9:53 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the Philly Fed: Current Manufacturing Indicators Suggest Growth in January Manufacturing activity in the region increased this month, according to results from the January Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. The survey's indicators for current activity, new orders, shipments, and employment were all positive and increased from their readings in December. The survey's future activity indexes remained at relatively high readings, suggesting continued optimism about growth for the next six months. The diffusion index for current general activity increased nearly 15 points this month, from a revised reading of 2.4 in December to 17.0 Manufacturers continued to report expanding employment this month. The employment index increased 3 points to 19.3. emphasis added This was well above the consensus forecast. Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index: Click on graph for larger image. The New York and Philly Fed surveys are averaged together (yellow, through January), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through December) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through December (right axis). These early reports suggest the ISM manufacturing index will likely rebound into positive territory in January.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:21 AM » Retail Sales increased 0.3% in December
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2020 9:21 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    On a monthly basis, retail sales increased 0.3 percent from November to December (seasonally adjusted), and sales were up 5.8 percent from December 2018. From the Census Bureau report : Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for December 2019, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $529.6 billion, an increase of 0.3 percent from the previous month , and 5.8 percent above December 2018. Total sales for the 12 months of 2019 were up 3.6 percent from 2018. emphasis added Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows retail sales since 1992. This is monthly retail sales and food service, seasonally adjusted (total and ex-gasoline). Retail sales ex-gasoline were up 0.1% in December. The second graph shows the year-over-year change in retail sales and food service (ex-gasoline) since 1993. Retail and Food service sales, ex-gasoline, increased by 5.5% on a YoY basis. The increase in December was at expectations, however sales in October and November were revised down.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:03 AM » US weekly jobless claims drop unexpectedly
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2020 9:03 AM by CNBC
    The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to continued strength in the labor market.
  • 8:28 AM » Futures near record on trade deal, robust earnings
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2020 8:28 AM by Reuters
    U.S. stock index futures hovered near all-time highs on Thursday on optimism over an initial U.S.-China trade deal and a positive start to the fourth-quarter earnings season.
  • 8:07 AM » Morgan Stanley beats profit estimates as bond trading revenue surges
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2020 8:07 AM by Reuters
    Morgan Stanley beat estimates for quarterly profit by a wide margin on Thursday, powered by strength in its investment management, bond trading and underwriting businesses.
  • Wed, Jan 15 2020
  • 2:34 PM » U.S. economy expands modestly but trade tensions weigh, Fed survey shows
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 2:34 PM by Reuters
    The U.S. economy expanded at a modest pace through the final six weeks of 2019 but uncertainty over U.S. trade policy continued to hurt firms, a survey conducted by the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday.
  • 2:34 PM » Trump gets dig in at Fed chief Powell during trade deal signing
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 2:34 PM by CNBC
    Donald Trump took an indirect shot at Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell when he asked former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh why he did not push harder to get the top job at the central bank.
  • 2:34 PM » Building Materials Price Growth Slowest Since 2015
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 2:34 PM by
    Prices paid for goods used in residential construction advanced 0.2% in December (not seasonally adjusted) according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Building materials prices increased 0.1% per month, on average, in 2019. The price of goods used in residential construction rose 1.5% over the year, representing a 0.4ppt slowdown from the... Read More ›
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 1:27 PM » Trump: U.S. will lift tariffs on China after Phase 2 deal finished
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 1:27 PM by Reuters
    U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he would remove all U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports as soon as the two countries completed the Phase 2 part of their trade agreement, adding that he does not expect there to be a Phase 3 pact.
  • 1:26 PM » What's in the U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 1:26 PM by Reuters
    U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed a deal on Wednesday in the White House that cut some U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for Chinese pledges to purchase more of American farm, energy and manufactured goods and address some U.S. complaints about intellectual property practices.
  • 12:51 PM » U.S., China look to reset trade relations with signing of Phase 1 deal
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 12:51 PM by Reuters
    U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will sign an initial trade deal on Wednesday that will roll back some tariffs and see China boost purchases of U.S. goods and services, defusing an 18-month conflict between the world's two largest economies.
  • 12:50 PM » Kudlow says U.S. will eye success of Phase 1 China trade deal
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 12:50 PM by Reuters
    U.S. tariffs will remain on Chinese imports while the Trump administration sees how enforcement plays out under the Phase 1 trade deal with Beijing, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday.
  • 12:48 PM » BlackRock CEO Fink: Investors not 'overzealous' on equities despite rally
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 12:48 PM by Reuters
    Even as the stock market enjoyed a sharp rally recently, many of BlackRock's clients were under-invested in equities and remained heavily oriented towards fixed-income securities, BlackRock Inc Chief Executive Larry Fink said on Wednesday.
  • 11:55 AM » Small Business Optimism Index "Dips" in December
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 11:55 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    CR Note: This was released yesterday. Most of this survey is noise, but there is some information, especially on the labor market and the "Single Most Important Problem". From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): December 2019 Report: Small Business Optimism Dips in December Small business optimism ended the year historically strong, with a reading of 102.7, down 2 points from November . .. Net job creation had faded from February's 0.52 workers per firm to September's 0.10, but is back in strong territory. Finding qualified workers remains the top issue for 23 percent reporting this as their number one problem , 4 points below August's record high. emphasis added Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the small business optimism index since 1986. The index decreased to 102.7 in December. Note: Usually small business owners complain about taxes and regulations (currently 2nd and 3rd on the "Single Most Important Problem" list). However, during the recession, "poor sales" was the top problem. Now the difficulty of finding qualified workers is the top problem.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:09 AM » Watch: Donald Trump signs 'phase one' China trade deal
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 11:09 AM by CNBC
    President Donald Trump is expected to sign the "phase one" trade deal with China on Wednesday at the White House, as impeachment trial in Senate looms.
  • 10:02 AM » Mnuchin says China trade war 'absolutely' worth it even if a phase one deal is all the US gets
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 10:02 AM by CNBC
    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday.
  • 9:20 AM » NY Fed: Manufacturing "Business activity grew to a small degree in New York State"
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 9:20 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the NY Fed: Empire State Manufacturing Survey Business activity grew to a small degree in New York State, according to firms responding to the January 2020 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index was little changed at 4.8 . ... The index for number of employees held steady at 9.0 , indicating that employment expanded for the fifth consecutive month. The average workweek index came in at 1.3, a sign that the average workweek was essentially unchanged Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that optimism about future conditions remained restrained. emphasis added This was slightly higher than the consensus forecast.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:43 AM » US producer prices barely rise in December
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 8:43 AM by CNBC
    The U.S. producer price index was expected to increase by 0.2% in December, compared with a flat reading a month earlier.
  • 8:11 AM » Fed could use negative rates if US recession strikes, Goldman Sachs chief economist predicts
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 8:11 AM by CNBC
    U.S. rate-setters could set negative interest rates in the future, despite their own current doubts about the risks of this unconventional measure, Goldman Sachs told CNBC Wednesday.
  • 8:05 AM » China's central bank injects $58 billion of loans but keeps rates steady
    Published Wed, Jan 15 2020 8:05 AM by CNBC
    Rising cash demand from companies and households for the Lunar New Year holiday, a flood of special bond issuance by local governments and corporate quarterly tax payments have all combined to drain funds from the banking system.
  • Tue, Jan 14 2020
  • 4:27 PM » Bond data back to the Black Death shows lower and even negative rates could be here to stay
    Published Tue, Jan 14 2020 4:27 PM by CNBC
    The low interest rate climate has been more rule than exception and indicative that even negative interest rates shouldn't be considered a major aberration, and may stay there - permanently.
  • 4:27 PM » Phase one trade deal could be less than market hopes: 'Tariffs have now become a roach motel'
    Published Tue, Jan 14 2020 4:27 PM by CNBC
    Investors have been waiting for details of the phase one trade deal with China, but they may already know most of what's in it, analysts said.
  • 4:27 PM » Rent Index Inches Up in December
    Published Tue, Jan 14 2020 4:27 PM by
    In December, inflation-adjusted residential rents increased 0.1 percent over November's reading, after essentially no growth in October and November (Figure 1). The average monthly growth rate of the real rent index stood at 0.11 percent in 2019, compared to 0.10 percent in 2018. NAHB constructs a "real" rent index to indicate whether inflation in rents is faster or slower than... Read More ›
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 1:59 PM » The stock market has never been this big relative to the economy, signaling it could be overvalued
    Published Tue, Jan 14 2020 1:59 PM by CNBC
    The ratio between U.S. equities and gross domestic product is at an all time-high and the ratio of equity value to the economy is at the 90th percentile.
  • 1:59 PM » Wells Fargo's new chief pledges more cost cuts as profit slumps
    Published Tue, Jan 14 2020 1:59 PM by Reuters
    Wells Fargo & Co's profit slumped 55% in the fourth quarter as new boss Charles Scharf set aside another $1.5 billion for legal costs related to the bank's sales scandal and promised "fundamental changes."
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