Although not recently, I have put forth the idea that couples before they "decide" to have a baby, get a license first. The logic being, in most communities you have to get a license to own and dog or cat-obviously the responsibilities of raising a child are thousands of times greater than pet ownership.
The licensing process there would have several tests:
3)Family structure test
Of course, when I have raised this idea, most folks think I'm nuts and it will never happen. Yet, with the Zika virus, countries around the world are advising their female populations to not conceive for months-in El Salvador's case for 2 years until viable solutions to the Zika virus can be found. It has been recently found that the Zika virus stays in men's sperm for months after symptoms of the disease are gone. I don't think the maximum time has been found.
However, with governments advising their populations not to breed, isn't that-through the back door-initiating my policy suggestion at least with regards to test "4"?
In the recent past, I gave it about 20 years for my view to become the norm. With the Zika virus and other accelerating government intrusions into the personal lives of its subject populations- my view is already in part being adopted. As single payor (socialized medicine) become more widely adopted, governments will push further into regulating the behavior of its populations-mostly to reduce health costs.
The other part of that view, is if a woman did get pregnant, without a license, she would be forced to get an abortion. A second offense would lead to sterilization. Men equally as reckless would be sterilized after the 2nd offense.
Those that oppose abortion, will ultimately lose the debate as abortion is needed to rid the world of "gork" babies cause by Zika, any number of other diseases, and eventually conception without license. It will simply be in the public interest.
Yes, bed sales and dental visits are good leading economic indicators for consumer spending. SCSS and TPX both missed and/or guided softly. XRAY, which is being bought out-I'm going by memory-sales were down y/y-not a good sign for dental activity.
With the sell off in stocks, going on some months now net/net, I would expect wealth affect induced spending to slow down. It will be very interesting how auto sales will come in for Feb and March.
PCTI has been a real champ in recent weeks-RSI should be over 70 and the stock is still cheap.
Along the gold/silver theme. TAHO has not done well with gold up $150 off its Dec low. Because, they didn't and because I did sell alot of "trading shares" of other gold companies, I'm adding "core" shares of TAHO confident that mgt knows what it is doing with the buyout and that the dividend is secure.
You are welcome! I enjoy the process of "getting an insight" to buy on the cheap, before the consensus momentum players pile in.
RR car loadings of oil were down 17% y/y-which implies oil production is down 17% y/y for those oil basins that are served by RR.
As far as how to play higher oil, just about any oil stock would do as long as you "know" they go bankrupt first. I did buy some WPX yesterday at $4.55 given the news earlier in the day, but I am way behind on researching being confident on 7-8 companies to buy and at what price.
Of course, there is plenty of research to choose from. I do know of the small caps I follow, PDCE and BBG have well hedged books for 2016.
As always, my main "key" is what the FED does, so I sort of "handcuff' myself to buy/sell until Friday-after the FED has released weekly data after Thursday's close.
Yellen, was net/net more dovish today with expressing concerns for:
3)Financial conditions less supportive to GDP growth
4)More room for labor markets to improve
5)Strong $ hurting net exports
"4" is the "key" in my view as the FED seems obsessed with labor data. Various research on "daily withholding tax receipts" suggest the FEB jobs report will be soft. With that in mind, it is my current plan to add "trading shares" of gold/silver companies before that report-hopefully gold backs up, beforehand, to the $1130 area-200 day moving average and a 50% retracement of recent run from $1045 low-to get the best prices.
Not yet. In today's data oil imports were down to 7.1 mbpd, but noted was the 4 week average of 7.7 mbpd which was up 5% from last year. Again, it seems very odd that oil imports would be up y/y when we are swimming in oil inventories. Later today I will get RR car loadings for oil. A possible explanation is that refiners "see" lack of supply-perhaps because of much lower US production-so want to have enough oil for the "summer" driving season. Yet, with so much oil in inventory there would seem to be more than enough. It that is the case imports should be much lower in the 4-5 mbpd range.
Commentary from AVX and VSH CC also suggest that 4G infrastructure spend in China, S.K. and India have picked up. Although not a direct benefit, but $G expansions are generally good for scanners sales, perhaps some services and antennas.
With NA spend to be up in 2016 lead by T, the backdrop for PCTI is getting better at the margin. In addition, with the DXY down today in the 96 range, technology, especially micro tech cap could catch a bid and a falling $ is good translating international sales back to earnings-a headwind removed.
FED's own labor market conditions index was .4-the lowest since 3/15. It was also the 2nd lowest since 6/12 or about a 3.5 year low. It is quit clear, despite much "happy talk" labor markets are indeed weakening with more to come.
The big question is, when will the FED reverse course to keep industrial recession, wealth markets recession from transmitting their weakness into a self-reinforcing negative loop into the services sector resulting in job losses in the monthly BLS report?
The market is starting to "forecast" the reflation trade. The DXY double topped around 100.50 on 12/3. The CRB and BCON commodity indexes bottomed on 1/20 as did both WTI and Brent oil. Copper bottomed on 1/15 and gold did its double bottom in Dec/15. Since then, Dec/Jan, DXY is down, M2 has gone from 3.9% annualized growth (for the week end 1/4) to 8.8% (for the week end 1/25), interest rates are lower, PBOC has added massive amounts of liquidity since 1/1, BOJ eased with NIRP and the FED has turned "dovish" with commentary by some of its members.
So is the commodity washout done? I think so. Has oil bottomed? I have yet to finish my research on that, but it is close. Has the reflation trade started with the recent run in gold/silver its predictor? Still have to wait on China for that as a sudden devaluation of the Yuan would initially be deflationary, but central bank responses of easing would mark the bottom.
For now, the FED is in the game-progress against deflation is being made. Once oil turns, especially if the DXY gets below 95-the reflation trade will be on.
RR car loadings of oil have been down 15-25% y/y for months-implying oil production in those areas are down 15%-25%. Oil imports, which averaged 6.5-7.5 million bpd most of last year are now in the range of 7.5-8.3 mbpd since December.
All the while US production, as estimated by the EIA has only done down from 9.6 mbpd peak in May to 9.2 mbpd in recent weeks.
The above data points don't jive. Is EIA estimating too high production or are they over counting US imports of oil?
Falling and quite quickly falling rig counts suggests if there is error, the error is in EIA estimates of production.
If this is so, and the US is "forced" to import more oil to "feed" its refineries, then oil has made its low as the psychology will do a big reversal. Wednesday will be another data day, so I may wait until then, but I am getting convinced we are within days of oil making a sustained advance-perhaps $60 by the end of the year.
"Market" is seeing through the "fraud" of the BLS department with many macro-econ economists downgrading their estimates of US GDP growth for 2016. Of course, S&P 500 earnings coming down as well as is the Dow 30. Since gold hit my short term target of $1190ish, I harvested some gains on some gold/silver positions today.
Bottom line, it is all up to the FED and how fast or how slow they are going to add liquidity to the financial system. In recent weeks, M2 annualized growth-over a 10 week moving average-has gone up from 3.9% to 8.8%-with M2 up over $200 billion in the last 3 weeks. Still, the FED has to do more as the balance sheet remains largely flat and the monetary base is near a 27 month low. Beyond weekly data, evidence of FED injections-unless Yellen et al announce a 180 degree reversal to ease-will be the DXY moving lower week after week. First below 95, then below resistance of 92.50.
If the FED is slow, look for continuing downward pressure on stocks-with an ultimate bottom of around 1550-1600. If the FED keeps adding $30-$50 billion in liquidity every week for the next several months, then 1820ish may hold.
Later this week import prices come out and will show again the US is importing 3% (X-fuel) deflation, hence with FF at .25-.5% is in real terms 3.25-3.50% with the 10yr at 1.75% the yield curve is inverted-increasing the odds for recession.
PCTI is up about 10% since its lows made late Dec due to tax loss selling-while much of the rest of the market has been tanking. Commentary from T, VZ, and others suggest wireless infrastructure spending will be up in 2016 vs 2015-generically good for PCTI.
So, please short, I'd like to buy more under $4.50.
Retail jobs up 58,000, a 4 year high, while WMT, Macy's and many, many others are closing stores, the retail environment is very tough and internet venue is taking market share from retail stores. I don't think so.
Mfging jobs hit a 14 month high, yet factory orders have been down 14 months in a row. However, I do believe that temp jobs were down 25,000 because temp jobs are a precursor to permanent jobs.
Bottom line, BO's BLS department has been over stating jobs for years-very similar to the Johnson administration's manipulation of macro-econ data back in the 1960s.
The problem becomes the FED's response, tightening monetary policy-to all this false data-when the FED should be easing aggressively.
Now I am worried again about the S&P 500 holding 1820ish-the 1/15 and 10/14 intra-day lows.
M2 up $58 billion, 10 week annualized rate now up to 8.8%. This getting into the area, if sustained, the FED needs to add to liquidity to:
1)Get DXY down
3)Ease the debt service burden of weak currency and commodity based countries and companies
4)Move inflation expectations up-steepening the yield curve-good for financials which could lead the market higher
Still, the FED has to sustain this recent 10 week M2 trend for months. In addition, it would be better from the balance sheet to expand vs being flat in recent months and expand the monetary base, which is down 8% y/y.
Even though S&P 500 sales and earnings estimates are coming down, 1820 should hold as the double top of 100.40 on the DXY looks to be the top. Expect stocks to churn until the DXY gets below 95 and then 92.50-then stocks move higher. Gold will encounter resistance at 1190 or so-the 10/14 high. The move off the double bottom of $1045 is the move before the move. If the FED keeps up its M2 pace, then gold after consolidating will go through $1200 on the next run.
Play book going as planned-Dudley came out today with commentary:
1)Conditions have tightened since Dec rate increase
2)Additional $ strength could have "significant consequences"
This shows the FED is finding "religion" in that they have to get the DXY down-Euro hit 4 month high vs the $ and the US 10yr hit a one year low yield of 1.79%.
Gold up and crossed the 200 moving average as that market is anticipating FED easing and a lower DXY. ISM services came in at a 2yr low as the mfging recession "gear" and the wealth "gear" are grinding the services "gear" weaker.
Still, above and beyond talk and anticipations, the FED has to add massive amounts of liquidity in the forms of: M2, monetary base and its balance sheet.
Both Bernanke and Stanley Fischer (today in Fischer's case) have suggested, in the last week, that negative interest rates are a potential FED tool and "working better than expected", respectively.
I offer up the notion that the FED is "preparing" the markets for negative interest rates should macro-econ data continue to be soft. I submit that unless the FED gets M2 growing at 10% annualized or so, expands the monetary base and balance sheet at 3%+ annual rates to add the $ liquidity the world needs and gets the DXY below 92.5, that macro data will continue to be soft.
Along this theme the Treasury announced today that 1stQ issuance will be $85 billion higher-from $165 billion to $250 billion-vs its prior estimate of last November. I suspect part of the increase is the slowing economy-lower tax revenues and increased safety net spending-and the budget deal down by Ryan and BO. If i remember correctly, the OMB, in the last couple weeks, took the estimate of FY16 budget deficit up by $130-$150 billion.
Bottom line, fiscal policy has turned "stimulative"- but there will be an increase in treasury issuance. Couple that with all the "new" treasury sellers-OPEC, Russia, China, Japan, other troubled countries and sovereign wealth funds and you have alot of selling pressure to bond prices down and interest rates up. Once the soft macro-data-world and US-turns more neutral to positive, I expect US long (10yr and 30yr) interest rates to jump 50 BPS later in the year. If is enough to slow down housing, the FED would have another reason to ease-if they haven't already by then.
Currently, $5.5 trillion of government debt around the world have negative interest rates-or about 23% of world GDP. 13 country's 2yr note yield below 0, 10 country's 5yr yield below 0.
The Dow Jones Utility average broke out, to the upside on 1/29-which has been a good indicator, historically, that US interest rates are headed even lower.
The "market" is getting to my view, that the US has been importing deflation, of around 3%, so interest rates must go lower, as should the DXY to reflect the macro-economic weakness and the anticipation the FED will have to ease.