Home Builders: Pressures Mount As Interest Rates Rise

The Pressure The optimism continues to build in financial markets over the prospect for finalizing the “Partial” or “Phase One” deal on the U.S. vs China Trade War. That optimism translates into slightly higher growth expectations which in turns translates into higher interest rates. Even the Fed Fund Futures stay below 50% odds for another … Read more

Reserve Bank of Australia Paves the Way to A Rate Cut and Currency Markets Yawn

For weeks and longer I read key pundits write about the need for rate cuts in Australia. I was quite skeptical: I even concluded in February that a rate cut was NOT imminent. In a move that surprised me, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe effectively promised an imminent rate cut in … Read more

How to Understand the Inverted Yield Curve and Its Relationship to Recessions

The Federal Reserve’s program of monetary tightening has been fighting the bond market since the process began about 3 years ago. Over that period, the Fed has painstakingly tried to hike rates in a way that would avoid roiling markets. Unfortunately for the Fed, long-term rates on U.S. Treasuries failed to cooperate and barely budged … Read more

The Fed-Related Chart That Most Concerns the Stock Market

An on-going debate rages about whether or how fast the Fed should hike rates in 2019. Some even question the need for a rate hike in December. Indeed, the market has priced in a “only” a 65% chance of a rate hike next month. I say only because before the October sell-off and November’s weakness, … Read more

Australian Dollar: Another Strong Jobs Report Paints A Bullish Hue

It has been a while since I took note of the impact of economic numbers on the Australian dollar (FXA). For most of this year, I have instead been a lot more focused on what the Australian dollar, combined with the Japanese yen (FXY), might be saying about risk attitudes in financial markets. Today, I … Read more

Above the 40 (June 13, 2018) – A Fed Buzzkill Ends Ambitions for An Overbought Market

AT40 = 66.1% of stocks are trading above their respective 40-day moving averages (DMAs) (ended 1-day overbought) AT200 = 55.5% of stocks are trading above their respective 200DMAs (a 4-month high) VIX = 12.9 Short-term Trading Call: bearish Commentary Flipping short-term bullish was fun while it lasted…all of two days. The Federal Reserve hiked interest … Read more

A Wavering Economic Backdrop Suggests A Top for the Australian Dollar

Australia just celebrated setting a (modern era) world record for the longest string of quarters without a recession. Yet Australia’s economic backdrop appears to be wavering. This week’s labor force survey could provide a critical point of relief or pile on yet more concern. Iron Ore’s Latest Plunge I begin with iron ore – Australia’s … Read more

Silver Speculators Stand Firm Despite Poor Price Action

Last week I registered my surprise at silver speculators rushing to increase net long contracts to near multi-year highs. This move happened ahead of what was expected to be a parade of Fed-speak clearing the path for a March rate hike. The surge stood out even more given gold’s surge did not bring net long … Read more

The U.S. Dollar Fails To Benefit From Expectations for An Earlier Fed Rate Hike

Perhaps the shift was not large enough. Perhaps it was the magnetism of the 50-day moving average (DMA). After the Federal Reserve released the minutes from its last meeting on monetary policy, the U.S. dollar index (DXY0) promptly weakened. The dollar closed the day marginally lower after trading for a small gain in the morning. … Read more

Turkey’s First Rate Hike In Nearly 3 Years Fails to Stem Lira’s Losses

“The slowdown in aggregate demand contributes to the fall in inflation. Yet, exchange rate movements due to recently heightened global uncertainty and volatility pose upside risks on the inflation outlook. The Committee decided to implement monetary tightening to contain adverse impact of these developments on expectations and the pricing behavior.” – The Central Bank of … Read more