Since the last FOMC meeting on Nov 3rd, interest rates have gone higher (6 mo high in 10 yr yield, 7 mo high in mortgage rates), some Congressional members want to end the Fed’s dual mandate, Ron Paul was named Chairman of the Domestic Monetary Policy subcommittee that will oversee the Fed, they’ve heard criticism from all parts of the world with their print money answer to every problem and Bernanke spoke again on 60 minutes defending their actions. Therefore, I believe the FOMC statement will try to be as low key and uneventful as possible. The Nov NFIB small business optimism index was 93.2, a touch above expectations of 92.3 and the best since Dec ’07. Most categories did rise.
Nov Retail sales rose .8% headline and 1.2% ex auto’s, both above expectations of .6% and .6% respectively. Ex auto’s and gasoline saw a sales gain of .8%, also better than expected. Declines in auto’s, furniture, electronics and building materials were more than offset by clothing, sporting goods, health/personal care, food/beverages, department stores and online retailing. Bottom line, sales were solid, particularly ex electronics where we saw confirmation from that with the earnings from Best Buy. The question though that today’s figures don’t answer is at what margin the sales were made in the context of a highly promotional environment and what influence higher cotton prices in particular helped to lift clothing sales which rose a large 2.7% m/o/m.
Nov PPI rose .8% headline and .3% ex f&f, both above expectations of .6% and .2% respectively. The headline gain was due to a 4.7% rise in gasoline, a 1% gain in food and a 1.7% jump in passenger car prices which comes after a 3% drop in Oct which was solely due to hedonic adjustments to the new 2011 models. Inflation in the pipeline was also very evident as intermediate goods prices rose 1.1% m/o/m and is now up 6.3% y/o/y. Crude goods, the 1st stage of production, saw prices rise 12.8% y/o/y. Bottom line, commodity inflation is becoming apparent in wholesale prices and the extent of the spillover into consumer prices is the only question with either the consumer eating the rise or company margins instead or the likely outcome, a combination of both.
Spain sold 12 month and 18 month bills at yields well above the auctions of a month ago. The 12 month bill was priced to yield 3.45% vs 2.36% in Nov and the 18 month bill yielded 3.72% vs 2.66% in Nov. S&P revised the credit outlook for Belgium to negative from stable. The Dec German ZEW 6 month economic outlook was slightly better than expected and the current condition component rose to the highest since July ’07. UK CPI rose 3.3% y/o/y, the highest since May and has been 3%+ for 11 straight months.
Let’s imagine the following scenario: You have a Jumbo mortgage with Bank of America. You are a good customer, do your banking with BofA, and you have never missed a payment. In fact, you always send your mortgage in on time. But this fraudclosure mess has you curious. You wonder who actually holds your note,…Read More
Here is the latest oddity out of Florida: Homestead-exemption tax break, intended for resident homeowners who actually live in their Florida homes, is instead accruing to the banks that are repossessing homes via foreclosure. The Orlando Sentinel has the details: Local governments across the state are losing revenue because banks are getting the homestead-exemption tax…Read More
Be sure to check out WikiRebels – The Documentary. It is a rough-cut of the first in-depth documentary on WikiLeaks and the people behind it. Swedish Television reporters Jesper Huor and Bosse Lindquist investigate.
“Exclusive rough-cut of first in-depth documentary on WikiLeaks and the people behind it!
From summer 2010 until now, Swedish Television has been following the secretive media network WikiLeaks and its enigmatic Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange.
Reporters Jesper Huor and Bosse Lindquist have traveled to key countries where WikiLeaks operates, interviewing top members, such as Assange, new Spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson, as well as people like Daniel Domscheit-Berg who now is starting his own version – Openleaks.org!
Where is the secretive organization heading? Stronger than ever, or broken by the US? Who is Assange: champion of freedom, spy or rapist? What are his objectives? What are the consequences for the internet?”
VIDEO Part I
Hey, its Monday night, and I am sure everyone has lots on their minds — The Nasdaq reversal, the all time high in Apple (AAPL), the coming economic data, the year end markets. What’s on your collective minds — Ron Paul and the Fed, Gold Foreclosure, Litigation, Putbacks? Its open thread time — whatever the…Read More
It seems that lots of news sites are all atwitter over Goldies’ $430 target on Apple. My view is that you are much better off forming your own opinion than relying on someone else’s Video is here: Goldman $430 Target on Apple: Yawn
http://www.AlphabetPhotography.com – On Nov.13 2010 unsuspecting shoppers got a big surprise while enjoying their lunch. Over 100 participants in this awesome Christmas Flash Mob. This is a must see! This flash mob was organized by http://www.AlphabetPhotography.com to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Special thanks to Robert Cooper and Chorus Niagara, The Welland Seaway Mall,…Read More