All the improvement in the ISM was from seasonal adjustments. The non-seasonally-adjusted data was at its lowest since January. And I do consulting work in the O&G space - everyone I know is waiting for the next leg down in oil prices (crude began its slow death march right around this time last year). The small decline in rig count is bad news, as domestic production remains at near all-time highs for this cycle.
This has never happened outside of a recession. Last month, YoY factory orders dropped 8% (non-adjusted), the most since the financial crisis, and the previous months were revised dramatically lower. Better keep your powder dry…
If they raise rates at all this year, it will be, as you say, a face-saving measure, but it will also help bring about the very recession they are concerned about. We've had two straight years of negative GDP growth in the first quarter of the year. Do you really think it prudent to raise rates right before the first quarter of next year?
You can lose a lot of money by listening to Bill Gross. Paul McCulley, who was Bill's right hand man at Pimco for years, was always the brains behind that operation. But McCulley is off being a semi-retired hippie now, and Bill is on his own, left to bloviate about things he doesn't understand. I agree that the Fed has done immeasurable damage through its policies over the past few years, but now they've painted themselves into a corner. All choices are bad at this point, no matter what they do.
If the labor participation rate had held steady from the previous month, the jobless rate would have climbed to 5.7%. Instead, the number of Americans not in the labor force soared by 640,000 to a record 93.6 million (resulting in a labor participation rate of 62.6%, the lowest since September of 1977). This was a horrible jobs report, no matter how you slice it.
As of July 1st, the GDPNow Forecast for Q2 ticked up to 2.2% from the previous estimate of 2.1%. This update reflects data from today’s construction spending release and the ISM Manufacturing Report.
I was ready to buy another round of 30Y Treasurys on Friday, but my yield target was 3.30% (25 bps over my last purchase), and we only got to 3.25%. I was also confused by the strange lack of safety trade before the weekend. It's called complacency, as everyone seems to think the central banks will be able to bail everyone out of trouble, no matter what. That strategy of course works...until it doesn't.
I’ve been in and out of 30Y Treasurys three times in the past five years, and to echo stu’s point regarding yields, each of those mini-cycles had lower highs and lower lows (the recent high was around 3.96% in December of 2013, and the low was 2.25% in late January of this year). I think we’ll be stuck in a range of around 2.0-4.0% for another decade (or more), while experiencing a lot of volatility along the way.
Extreme indebtedness in the US has resulted in average real GDP growth of only 1.8% annually since the year 2000, the year our combined debt (public and private) surpassed 275%, a significant threshold that’s been widely discussed in academic papers. For the 100 years prior to 2000, real GDP growth in the US averaged around 3.6% annually. For the record, our combined debt is currently around 340% of GDP, compared with 440% in the Euro currency zone, and 655% in Japan. This debt overhang is sucking oxygen out of global growth, which will likely doom us to many more years of low growth, low credit demand, and low interest rates. We’ve yet to see the secular low in bond yields…
It wouldn’t surprise me to see rates go up another 50-60 basis points for this particular cycle. But with an economy averaging sub-2% real GDP growth (as we’ve averaged for the past 15 years), it’s not sustainable. It will be a buying opportunity, and I’ll be buying on every 25 bps rise.
As of June 25th, the GDPNow forecast for Q2 was bumped up to 2.1%. There are only 5 updates left (all in the month of July) for the current quarter. Street consensus remains around the 2.7-2.8% level for this quarter.
"Ah...Star Wars! Nothing but Star Wars! Gimme those Star Wars...don't let them end! Ah...Star Wars! If they should bar wars.. please let these Star Wars stay-ay!..."
Oh, I’ll never trust the Fed. By the way, I ran across an article from 2010 at CNN’s website with the following headline: “Economists: Fed won’t raise rates until 2012”. Think about that. The whole thing is such a farce, you have to laugh…
What data are you looking at? Durable Goods were down 1.8% in May, down 5% YoY; durable goods ex transports and core capex are both down YoY for 4 months in a row, flashing recessionary red. And US Manufacturing PMI slipped to 53.4, the weakest factory output number in a year and a half (since October 2013). Read the words from the Markit report: “The survey results will add to further worries about the damaging impact of the strong dollar, and encourage the Fed to be cautious in terms of the timing the first interest rate hike. While a September rise still looks likely, given the ongoing strength of the service sector, any further deterioration in the data are likely to push the first hike into next year.”
Wait, last week you told us the Fed lies and will never raise rates. This week you're back to trusting them? :)
Since you've been negative regarding Walgreens management for years, I assume you see these changes as a net positive for the company going forward?
I remember seeing an interview with Lacy Hunt back in the fall, when one of the talking heads asked him when exactly the Fed would raise rates in 2015. He was dismissive, saying, “They’re not going to raise rates next year.” I remember thinking, hmm, that’s kind of a bold prediction. Fast forward to yesterday, where we get the following note from Goldman’s Jan Hatzius, pushing his prediction of the first rate hike from September to December:
"…in large part this reflects the fact that seven FOMC participants are now projecting zero or one rate hike this year, a group that we believe includes Fed Chair Janet Yellen. We had viewed a clear signal for a September hike at the June meeting as close to a necessary condition for the FOMC to actually hike in September, but the committee did not lay that groundwork today."
And this is what the always witty Zero Hedge has to say about December:
“December? We give Goldman 3 months, or some time in September, when the Fed realizes the US economy will be covered in 6-12 inches of GDP crushing snow deep in the winter and as a result the rate hike will be delayed once again to some time in 2016.... And so on. And so on….”
Meanwhile, all the other financial “journalists” at Janet Yellen’s press conference yesterday asked only softball questions about the economy. The WSJ reporter, Pedro da Costa, who dared pose tough questions to the high priestess at the last FOMC presser (regarding the investigation into the 2012 leak), was not given a press pass for yesterday’s meeting. It’s called “access journalism”, and the other reporters are scared that they too will lose their access to sources at the Fed if they rock the boat. Cowards.
Jeff Gundlach has mentioned several times lately that the long bond wants the Fed to raise short-term rates, in order to reduce inflation expectations. The bond market is starting to think the Fed's easy money policy is going to result in inflation, thus long-term rates are creeping up. If the Fed had actually raised rates at this meeting, long-term rates would have likely declined.
As of June 16th, the GDPNow forecast for Q2 remained unchanged at 1.9%. While Monday’s industrial production release bumped the nowcast up to 2.0%, yesterday’s disappointing housing starts data moved it back to 1.9%.
I used to get angry and frustrated by the Fed, but now I just try to profit from their fecklessness. Take a look at how the Fed’s 2015 GDP forecast has changed just over the past six months (and this has happened every single year for the past five years, as they are habitually over-optimistic):
Dec. 2014 meeting: 2.6 – 3.0%
March 2015 meeting: 2.3 – 2.7%
June 2015 meeting: 1.80 – 2.0%
Someone reading my posts here for the past year would have had a better handle on 2015 GDP than listening to the Fed! How can the Fed be so wrong, every single year, regarding something so fundamental?
By the way, does anyone think any of the “journalists” at the Yellen press conference will have the guts to quiz her about the investigation regarding the possible illegal leaks in 2012?