Saturday 31 January 2015
Mention is often made that one should wait for confirmation of a particular move in
futures before making a commitment, either way. Last week, it appeared evidence was
mounting that November could be a possible low for the correction since late 2011.
Then, we run across this graph from goldchartsrus.com which shows an inordinate
build-up of short positions in silver by what we would call “smart money,” “insiders.”
These large traders do not make such overtly strong commitments to the short side
without expectations that things will go their way. If anything can be said about the
market manipulators, mostly the elite’s central bankers/Wall Street/Fed, it does not
really matter as to accurate identity, for they hide their source[s] very well. What matters
is the outcome from the effort, and to date, there has been a lot of “smashing” success in
taking both silver and gold lower, at will, and with no opposition.
We will rely on the proverbial picture being worth 1,000 words and not add anything
further to the ominous implications that this chart portends, and it is why the probability
for a lower low has to be respected as a highly possible event. The breed of faction behind
these kind of moves make them for good reason and with near “slam dunk” assurances.
Crude oil’s express elevator decline is an example of what can happen when those in
control decide to move a market. These days, almost every market is undergoing some
degree of manipulation to the extent that “free markets” are nonexistent. It should come
as no surprise that the troika US/CIA/Fed is directly behind most events whose outcomes
are typically destructive. If not directly involved, then the named trio, acting individually
or in concert, are indirectly involved as in the case of crude oil. An argument can be made
that the Saudi’s are purposefully punishing all opposition to their market by taking the
price of crude to levels that cannot be economically sustained by other world producers.
In particular, the US shale industry is being targeted as payback against the US for all the
past draconian measures taken against the Saudis, and the Saudis may well be taking
direction from China, or at least acting in concert with China as the “takedown” of the US
and its petrodollar are being driven into oblivion. Things are getting nasty, in the process,
and the US/Fed are acting more and more like cornered rats.
The elites have become terrified that everything they have been doing and working
toward, as in their New World Order, is at risk, something unthinkable until they started
messing with Putin and Russia. Putin has been a game-changer against the
moneychangers, and things have really gone south for the elites ever since Obama has
been directed to impose unimposing sanctions on Russia. It has been Europe that is
suffering the most as a result of lost business and greater economic hardships imposed by
unelected, non-representative, US-led sycophant bureaucrats from the EU in Brussels.
It will be one of the world’s greatest ironies if Alexis Tsipras, Greece’s newly elected Prime
Minister from the upstart Syriza Party, becomes a huge factor in upsetting the EU’s money
apple cart and helping bring down the European Union, failed organization that it has
been. PM Tsipras is telling Germany, and the rest of the EU, that Greece does not want
their stinking loans anymore. The previous loans have destroyed Greece, its economy,
and ruined the lives of so many Greek citizens suffering under German/EU austerity.
Greece is a microcosm of all that is wrong with the unelected organizations, IMF, BIS,
EU, lending money created out of thin air, overburdening sovereign countries to the
point where each country can no longer survive under such onerous imposed debt
burdens. As other nations watch how Greece is giving the financial finger to Germany
and the EU, as politely and as pointedly as possible, there could be a domino effect that
would be disastrous and cause the breakup of the EU, which will happen anyway.
None of these events are directly correlated to the price of gold and silver, and these are
just a few of a myriad of events occurring around the world that are keeping a lid on the
PMs prices, for now. While all of the fundamental considerations are very valid, they
are not what is driving gold and silver. Ukraine, as an Obama false flag, sanctions against
Russia, the collapse of crude oil, the growing solidarity of the BRICS cartel, and now
Greece are all factors driving the destructive ways of the US/CIA/Fed as they fight for
survival. It will get uglier, and the first chart above may be a harbinger of what is yet
waiting in the wings.
The Concentration Of Traders Chart may influence silver over the next several months.
The timing of unfolding events is impossible with so many developing surprises, like
Greece. The reading of the charts is irrespective of specific news and/or events, but the
current prices do reflect all that is going on. We mention “anything can happen,” [crude
oil as a most recent example] a few times here because the charts do not show a likely or
immediate change in trend, so one has to go with “what is” as the charts currently show.
With a new recent low just two weeks ago, there is no way silver can be viewed as
being in anything other than a down trend with the possibility of still lower prices to
come. Even with lower prices as a possibility, silver [and gold] is artificially being
suppressed. When you reflect on the increasingly faster pace of events unfolding,
almost all negatively, owning silver and continuing to buy more and more is one of
the best ways to protect oneself from the financial failure that is certain to come.
Price should not matter, any more. You either have silver and gold or you do not.
If you do not, you are at grave financial risk when the US collapses economically,
and it will as the Fed’s fiat [worthless] “dollar” is increasingly under attack.
We have refrained from putting a time frame on when silver and gold will finally
break free from the manipulative forces, but 2015 could be a defining year. It
remains to be seen, but events are unfolding at such an increased level and so
unpredictably that this could be the year. We did not say this in 2013 nor in 2014,
and it may take going into 2016, but be prepared, or you will not be spared.
Silver’s direction has a greater degree of clarity than gold, at least in the charts. The
narrower range at resistance, 2 weeks ago, said sellers were protecting that price level
and preventing buyers from extending the range higher. Last week’s decline had greater
ease of downward movement, noted by the larger bar. This keeps silver on the defensive,
and caution is warranted.
The chart comments cover what else needs to be said.
The volume and price activity, since November 2014, has a more positive bias, but the
trend has not turned up, and caution is advised. This does not imply to exercise caution
in continuing to buy physical gold, and silver, as much as one reasonably can. Price will
not stay down here for much longer, nor may there be the degree of availability, either.
Best not to be penny wise and pound foolish.
As the chart comments imply, gold is not an easy read, nor should it be, given how it is in
the middle of a TR [Trading Range], where the level of knowledge is at its lowest when it
comes to making an informed decision. With a greater level of ambiguity in gold, the
somewhat more certainty of the silver charts may be a swaying factor, here.
The message is mixed on the daily. An area of apparent resistance held to push price
lower, last week, yet the activity is holding half-way retracement areas which is to be
expected in an up trending market, and less so in the current gold market.
A clearer analysis NMT. [Needs More Time].
Keep buying the physical, and do not fret over what you paid on previous purchases.
Physical gold and silver are being bought for a specific purpose, and price is not the
objective…security is. Remember: “if you do not hold it, you do not own it” has proven
to be true in too many cases. For sure, do not keep any gold or silver in a bank under
any circumstances, including and especially retirement accounts.
Michael Noonan is the driving force behind Edge Trader Plus. He has been in the futures business for 30 years, functioning primarily in an individual capacity. He was the research analyst for the largest investment banker in the South, at one time, and he managed money
in the cash bond market for a $5 billion pension fund using Peter Steidlmeyer’s Market Profile.
Proficient in Gann, Elliott Wave, Market Profile, etc, Mr Noonan no longer uses any of those technical procedures. Instead, his primary focus is on developing market activity, relying solely on the information generated by the market itself, such as the interaction between price and volume, and how they relate to important price levels in the market structure. He incorporates proven market principles, such as knowledge of the trend, supply and demand, along with disciplined rules for to find developing high probability trade opportunities.
Potentially dangerous RSV taking over from flu in NM
A trove of emails between the Public Utilities Commission and the state’s largest utility was released Friday as state and federal investigations focused on the close and complex relationship between the regulator and company.
The curtain hasn’t fallen on Vidiots quite yet.
On matters of policy, Ms. Lynch called capital punishment “an effective penalty” and said she disagreed with Mr. Obama’s statements that marijuana was no more harmful than alcohol. She called the National Security Agency’s collection of American phone records “certainly constitutional, and effective.”
– From the New York Times article: Criticism of Holder Dominates Hearing on Loretta Lynch, Attorney General’s Possible Successor
Eric Holder made a career out of protecting and coddling financial oligarchs (his 1999 memo essentially invented “Too Big to Jail”). This was such a lucrative decision for Mr. Holder, that it allowed him to climb all the way to the top of his profession. The dividends that supporting this man ultimately paid to Wall Street criminals were priceless. Not only were they bailed out despite wrecking the U.S. economy, they have since funneled all of the wealth gains since 2008 to themselves, while remaining above the law. This truly remarkable heist is what both Barack Obama and Eric Holder will be remembered for by history. Congratulations guys.
When Eric Holder announced his resignation, many of us breathed a sigh of relief thinking it can’t get much worse, but not so fast. The authoritarian streak and rampant cronyism of the Obama administration is a well oiled machine. You didn’t think you’d get off that easily did you? Enter Loretta Lynch.
I’ve touched upon Mrs. Lynch’s record previously, in the post, Wall Street Journal Reports Obama’s Attorney General Nominee Has Been Involved in $904 Million in Asset Forfeitures. Here’s an excerpt:
As a prosecutor Ms. Lynch has also been aggressive in pursuing civil asset forfeiture, which has become a form of policing for profit. She recently announced that her office had collected more than $904 million in criminal and civil actions in fiscal 2013, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Liberals and conservatives have begun to question forfeiture as an abuse of due process that can punish the innocent.
Naturally, that was just the tip of the iceberg. What we have learned from her ongoing confirmation hearing is that she’s a lover of NSA spying and the death penalty, while disagreeing with the statement that “marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol.”
I wonder if she has much personal experience to base this opinion on, or if it’s just more of the same we “know what’s best for you plebs, despite the fact that we have no idea what we are talking about.”
Meet the new Attorney General, same as the old. From the New York Times:
Ms. Lynch had steeled herself for tough questioning from a new Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee, particularly on her views of President Obama’s immigration policy. But the questioning was mostly cordial, and, most important, the Republicans on the committee who hold the key to Ms. Lynch’s confirmation — she needs three of their votes to proceed to a vote by the full Senate — showed little opposition.
Of course it was cordial. Other than perhaps immigration, she basically espouses complete and total neo-con principals.
On the issue of immigration, Ms. Lynch said she found it “reasonable” that the Justice Department had concluded it was lawful for Mr. Obama to unilaterally ease the threat of deportation for millions of unauthorized immigrants. Mr. Holder similarly endorsed that view.
Democrats see some Republicans, such as Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and Jeff Flake of Arizona, as possible confirmation votes. Mr. Flake said he had made no decision on Ms. Lynch but had come away with a favorable impression and expected that she would be confirmed.
On matters of policy, Ms. Lynch called capital punishment “an effective penalty” and said she disagreed with Mr. Obama’s statements that marijuana was no more harmful than alcohol. She called the National Security Agency’s collection of American phone records “certainly constitutional, and effective.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat on the panel, said she had given “a flawless performance.” Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, called her testimony “among the most accomplished and impressive that I’ve seen as a member of this committee.”
Oh, but there’s more. As if you needed proof that Ms. Lynch shares Eric Holder’s financial oligarch coddling tendencies, the International Business Times reports that:
WASHINGTON — In advance of her nomination hearing, Loretta Lynch did what every cabinet nominee is required to do: fill out a questionnaire listing all her media interviews so lawmakers can evaluate her candor. But the questionnaire U.S. attorney general nominee Lynch submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee has a notable omission. Lynch failed to include an interview in which she defended the controversial settlement she orchestrated with the bank HSBC.
The bank was accused of knowingly allowing Mexican drug cartels to launder money and of allowing violations of economic sanctions against countries including Iran, Libya, Sudan and Cuba. Lynch, then the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, allowed the bank to avoid prosecution in 2012 by paying a $1.9 billion fine and submitting to a monitor for five years to oversee compliance. Critics slammed the deal as an example of the Obama administration’s pattern of going easy on the financial industry. In the Dec. 11, 2012, interview she did with CBS News, Lynch endorsed the settlement and dismissed criticism of the deal as “shortsighted.”
Lynch’s boss at the time of the HSBC deal, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, who was then head of the Department of Justice’s criminal prosecution division, resigned after a scathing Frontline piece that highlighted Justice’s failure to try any of the banks tied to the recession and the risky trades that led to it. It was during a discussion of HSBC before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Attorney General Holder famously said some banks — although not HSBC specifically — were too big to prosecute.
Well there you have it. This woman, like Eric Holder, will be an unmitigated disaster for freedom in America.
That’s what “liberal” looks like in today’s America.
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Monetary policy has proven the Forex market’s top driver the past six months. That puts this week’s NFPs a market-forecasted RBA rate cut in the spotlight.
When is ‘in-line’ a source of fundamental strength – when the economy/market/asset is already positioned as a leader.
The Bank of England (BoE) interest rate decision may have a limited impact on GBP/USD as the central bank is widely expected to preserve its current policy at the February 5 meeting.
The Australian Dollar may launch a rebound if the RBA opts against a rate cut and maintains neutral guidance at its upcoming policy meeting.
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Fundamental Forecast for Dollar:Neutral
When is ‘in-line’ a source of fundamental strength – when the economy/market/asset is already positioned as a leader. That was the case with the Dollar this past week. Both the FOMC rate decision and US 4Q GDP resulted in status quo outcomes that cemented positions of strength. In turn, the reaffirmation would secure the US Dollar’s seventh consecutive month of advance. That is a record run for the currency going back to the true end of the Gold Standard in the 1970s. An advantage for growth, yields and safety will offer strong support for the Greenback over the medium term. However, this is far from an infallible fundamental backdrop. Should data rein rate hike speculation in or risk aversion undermine speculative interest in dollar-assets, the currency could face a healthy correction.
Amongst the fundamental themes that have leveraged the most strength from the Greenback over the past six months, the relatively hawkish bearing for the Fed has arguably proven the most productive driver. These past weeks have furthered that view. Following the introduction of QE in the Eurozone and a tangible dovish shift from the BoJ, BoE, RBNZ and BoC; the US data reinforced the Fed’s contrast. The FOMC rate decision refused to offer the dovish tone stimulus dependents were hoping for. Meanwhile, the GDP figures cooled while keeping a pace of healthy expansion and a range of Fed officials shaped support for a timely hike.
Moving forward, monetary policy speculation will remain a rudder for the Dollar. However, given the Fed is already sporting a significant premium over its major counterparts – swaps are pricing in 41 bps worth of hikes over the next 12 months and its closest peer in the BoE is looking at 6 bps – this theme may require significantly more fuel to generate gains. That is not to say that there isn’t untapped potential on this theme. Considering Fed Fund futures are still projecting a rate hike towards the very end of the year and a pace thereafter much slower than the FOMC itself expect, there is still potential in this current. It is just requires a stronger jolt to convince the skeptics.
We will confront a few high-profile event risk items that may try their hand at moving the market in the week ahead. On Monday, the Fed’s preferred inflation indicator (the PCE) for January is due. The headline, year-over-year figure is expected to slow to a five-year low 0.8 percent on the back of energy prices; but the FOMC has already tempered the impact a short-term slowdown could have had on the market with a focus on core and ‘medium-term’ time line. Subsequently, the data could carry a greater impact from an upside surprise rather than a downside. Through the week, Fed speak will help build a consensus of where the Committee stands on timing. Bullard, Mester, Rosengren, Lockhart and Kocherlakota are on tap.
Top event risk is the week-ended January NFPs. The net change in payrolls isn’t nearly as important as the ‘qualitative’ figures. The jobless rate has already touched past year milestones for rate hikes – a few years ago, then Chairman Ben Bernanke tied a first rate hike to an unemployment rate of under 6.5 percent. It is currently 5.6 percent. Perhaps the inflation aspect of the labor data is the lynchpin. Wage growth has struggled to catch traction. A particularly weak showing here, on the other hand, could reinforce the more distant timeline the market has on hikes and instead lead to a downgrade in FOMC forecasts at the March meeting.
Monetary policy is the engaged fundamental driver at the moment, but it is important for Forex traders not to take their eyes off of systemic investor sentiment. In the ‘risk on’ position, progress is slow and struggles to draw in the entire market. However, should full scale ‘risk aversion’ strike, conviction will span the financial system. As momentum picks up, the Dollar will see its haven appeal swell. Yet, in the early stages of such a dynamic shift, the same yield curve appeal the currency cultivated these past months could lead to capital outflow. Should sentiment turn, the Greenback’s bearing will depend on how hot the fire is.
I have always been a “realist”, scoffing at every numbscull idea I have ever hear. I’ve always believed in hard work and the honest buck, while the rest of the world laughed. I have watched as those business that had pursued excellence in their prod…
As a debate swirls over whether a widely used guardrail system is safe, more than 30 states have been waiting for the results of crash tests before deciding whether to continue to use the guardrails or, possibly, have them removed.
Now those tests have been completed by the manufacturer, Trinity Industries. Some earlier tests were described by federal officials as unremarkable, but the eighth and final test, conducted on Tuesday, appeared to be different. While federal officials would not draw conclusions until a full analysis is completed, a review of the test video shows that there may have been more extensive damage to the car than in earlier tests. One guardrail safety expert said that the test suggested the system posed a risk to a carâ€™s occupants.
The Federal Highway Administration ordered in October that crash tests be conducted after a federal whistle-blower case found that Trinity had defrauded the government by not informing the agency of design changes it made to the guardrails in 2005. The guardrail system, called the ET-Plus, may jam when hit from the front, causing the metal rail to spear the passenger compartment instead of snaking away from the vehicle.
In Tuesdayâ€™s test outside San Antonio, a 1998 Geo Metro traveling about 60 miles an hour was driven into an ET-Plus guardrail. The car spun out, and the driverâ€™s-side door struck a bent piece of the metal guardrail, according to video of the test shot from a San Antonio news stationâ€™s helicopter.
There appeared to be substantial damage to the driverâ€™s-side door, which collapsed inward and, in the aftermath, hung open, revealing the test dummy. There was also damage to the front of the car.
Federal officials said that they needed to analyze the results of the test before drawing any conclusions, and that could take several weeks.
But Dean Sicking, a guardrail expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who participated in the recent federal fraud case against Trinity, said after viewing the video that the guardrail had â€œclearly failedâ€ the crash test. The damage to the door, he said, indicated that the guardrail would have posed a serious injury risk to the occupants of the vehicle.
A sequence from video footage of a crash test in San Antonio on Tuesday, in which a compact car collided with a Trinity ET-Plus guardrail head. The car spins out and the metal guardrail bends to form a sharp â€œelbow,â€ which the vehicle then strikes on the driverâ€™s side. In the aftermath of the crash, substantial damage to the driverâ€™s-side door is visible.
â€œWhen you take an elbow into the door at the speeds this is at, itâ€™s a no-brainer â€” itâ€™s a failure,â€ said Mr. Sicking, who has been critical of the ET-Plus.
More than 30 states have banned the ET-Plus and Trinity has halted sales pending the outcome of the tests. Federal officials estimate that 200,000 of the guardrails have been installed nationwide.
A 1999 crash test video by the Texas Transportation Institute shows how rail heads, or end terminals, are meant to push guardrails away from a car on impact
Publish Date October 12, 2014.
Jeff Eller, a spokesman for Trinity, said in a statement that â€œuntil all the data is completely analyzed, it would not be appropriate to comment or speculate on individual aspects of any test.â€
Federal officials said they believed the guardrail did not penetrate the vehicle. Still, the large dent in the driverâ€™s side door may raise concerns since the federal testing guidelines say that â€œdeformations of, or intrusions into, the occupant compartment that could cause serious injuries should not be permittedâ€ and that fragments or other debris from the device should not â€œshow potential for penetrating the occupant compartment.â€ Mr. Sicking said that in his view such potential was evident in the video.
Jane Mellow, a spokeswoman for the Federal Highway Administration, said the agency would not disclose details from the test, but it would evaluate the data.
â€œAlthough we donâ€™t consider todayâ€™s test to be unremarkable, we have not reached a conclusion on the extent of the damage to the driver-side door,â€ Ms. Mellow said on Tuesday.
Several cars at All Stars Auto Sales in Cypress, Tex., are under recall, like some of the Chevrolets, but they have not yet been fixed. Credit Michael Stravato for The New York Times
Buying a used car in the United States can be a dangerous proposition â€” if the vehicle has an unadvertised safety defect.
This month, Carlos Solis died after the airbag in a used car he bought last year from a Texas dealer exploded, sending a piece of metal into his neck. Mr. Solis, 35, was not aware when he bought the vehicle that its airbags could be defective and had been recalled, according to a lawsuit filed by his family on Friday.
A New York Times review of other vehicles listed online by the dealer, All Stars Auto Sales in Cypress, Tex., shows that close to half of those cars have also been recalled for safety defects but have not been repaired.
The Texas dealer is not an exception. Federal laws do not require used-car dealers to repair vehicles with safety defects before putting the cars back into public use. Nor are dealers required by law to disclose to customers that a vehicle is the subject of a recall. Legislation to address the issue has languished in Congress.
With no progress in legislation, consumers are left on their own to check whether a used vehicle has been recalled for a safety defect, by running their vehicle identification numbers through the federal safety database or on an automobile manufacturerâ€™s website, or by purchasing a vehicle history report from a vendor like Carfax.
â€œWhen you look at a vehicle, you donâ€™t see whatâ€™s inside,â€ said April Strahan, a lawyer representing Mr. Solisâ€™s two teenage children. â€œAnd this particular problem, the airbag inflater explosions, is a hidden danger and something that your usual consumer wouldnâ€™t even fathom, much less worry about.
â€œThe dealer should not only have notified Mr. Solis,â€ she said. â€œThe dealer should have fixed it.â€
After a year of record recalls over faulty Takata airbags and General Motors ignitions, used cars recalled for defects continue to be sold to unwitting buyers.
And deaths are mounting. Another suspected victim of an airbag rupture in Florida, Hien Tran, 51, did not know that the used 2001 Honda Accord she bought from a dealer a year earlier had open recalls, according to her family. She died after her Takata-made airbag ruptured in an accident in September, sending metal shards into her face and neck, local authorities say.
Mr. Solis died on Jan. 18 after the Takata airbag in his 2002 Honda Accord deployed in an accident and ruptured, Honda acknowledged on Friday. It was the sixth death worldwide linked to the faulty airbags. A piece of metal from his airbag struck him in the neck, according to police records. His passenger, an 11-year-old girl, was not injured.
The dealer continues to sell cars with defects. Of the 33 used cars listed on All Stars Auto Salesâ€™ online inventory, 15 have open recalls. Two of those â€” a 2005 Honda Accord and a 2006 Ram pickup â€” are under recall over Takataâ€™s airbag defect but have not been fixed, according to a search of the carsâ€™ vehicle information numbers in a federal database.
At least five more cars in the dealerâ€™s inventory, including a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and a 2005 Pontiac Grand Am, are under recall for defective ignition switches but have not been fixed, according to the database. A sixth car with a faulty ignition switch, a 2006 Chevy Impala, is marked on the dealerâ€™s website as sold. Other defects in cars listed in the inventory include problems with the crankshaft and brake lights.
A dealer representative who declined to identify herself said she could not talk about individual sales. She confirmed that the online inventory was up to date. She referred questions to her manager, who could not be reached.
The Accord that All Stars Auto Sales sold Mr. Solis had two previous owners, both registered in Texas, according to a vehicle history compiled by Carfax. The original owner sold the vehicle in 2011, according to the Carfax report, the same year Honda first recalled that model over defective airbags.
A Honda spokesman, Chris Martin, said the automaker had sent multiple recall notices to previous owners, starting in 2011. And though the car was later included in a new recall, in June of last year, Honda had not yet mailed a recall notice to Mr. Solis, Mr. Martin said.
Mr. Martin said dealers and potential car owners could check for outstanding recalls on any car by obtaining a report from a service like Carfax. Since 2011, â€œthere was never a time when the vehicle involved in the Texas crash was not publicly listed as under recall,â€ he said.
In Congress, lawmakers have introduced bills that would require used car dealers and rental companies to fix recalled cars before they were put back into public use. But those measures, which auto dealers oppose, have stalled. Most major rental companies, though, now say that they voluntarily fix recalled vehicles.
Used car dealers contend that not all recalls require immediate attention and new laws would cost companies and consumers unnecessary time and expense.
â€œAs a best practice, we would recommend that our dealers disclose and repair cars with open recall,â€ said Steve Jordan, chief executive of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association. â€œBut from a legislative perspective, we have historically opposed any measure that would require it.â€
Another problem, Mr. Jordan said, was that used car dealers could not themselves repair an open recall and so would have to wait to have their cars serviced at rival dealerships authorized by the automakers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it will again push for Congress to prohibit used car dealerships from selling vehicles with an open recall and the rental of vehicles with an open recall.
Loctite, which makes super glue, is a little-known company hoping to lift awareness of its brand.
About a month after advertising on television for the first time, the makers of the free mobile game Heroes Charge decided at the last minute that they wanted to make a much bigger splash: a commercial during televisionâ€™s biggest advertising event, the Super Bowl.
UCool, the tiny studio in Silicon Valley that produces the app, announced on Friday that it was paying $2.25 million for a 15-second spot during the fourth quarter of the game on Sunday. Because the start-up decided only a few weeks ago to buy the ad, it did not have time to find a Madison Avenue agency to produce it and created the spot â€” featuring its red-haired Emberstar character â€” itself.
â€œIt is not as easy as opening up the telephone book or Googling â€˜best ad agencyâ€™ and getting it started,â€ said Benjamin Gifford, the company vice president for user experience. â€œThose agencies might not think that we are being serious.â€
UCool is one of 15 first-time advertisers that will compete for attention on Sunday against the usual lineup of deep-pocketed brands peddling beverages, snacks, cars and technology. Super Bowl XLIX features the most newcomers since the burst of the dot-com bubble at the turn of the century.
A still from the ad by Avocados From Mexico, an advertising arm for the avocado industry.
â€œA lot of these brands are not in the cultural conversation, so itâ€™s an immediate jump-start,â€ said Jay Russell, executive creative director at the ad agency GSD&M, which is behind the spot for Avocados From Mexico, another first-time advertiser for the game. â€œGood or bad, you will be known.â€
For those companies, the risks and rewards can be especially high. The $4.5 million that it costs for 30 seconds of commercial time can represent more than 15 percent of a small companyâ€™s entire media budget for the year, according to KantarÂ Media, a research firm owned by the advertising conglomerateÂ WPP. If the spot succeeds, the marketer stands to gain instant attention and acclaim. If it flops, the marketer has most likely wasted a huge chunk of money.
This yearâ€™s first-timers include a mix of little-known brands seeking to use the Super Bowlâ€™s giant stage â€” the game routinely draws more than 110 million viewers who pay keen attention to the ads â€” to build awareness. Those advertisers include Heroes Charge; Loctite, a maker of superglue; Jublia, a treatment for toenail fungus; Wix.com, a website-building service; and Mophie, a maker of smartphone accessories.
â€œWe want to make this brand famous,â€ said Pierre Tannoux, the director of marketing at Henkel Adhesives International, whose Loctite brand is spending more money for 30 seconds of commercial time than what it usually spends on ads for the year. The contents of the ad are a secret until game day.
Eric Mason, director of communications at Wix, echoed the sentiment. â€œWeâ€™re one of the larger companies that people havenâ€™t really heard of yet,â€ he said. â€œWe wanted to go to the big stage to let people know who we are.â€
Also advertising in the game for the first time are more prominent brands that decided to try to break through the annual marketing blitz this year. Those include Carnival Cruise Lines, Skittles candy and Always feminine products.
â€œFor us, the goal of being in the Super Bowl is about changing the conversation about cruising,â€ said Ken Jones, vice president for corporate marketing at Carnival Corporation, which created four ads and asked consumers to vote for their favorite. â€œWe want to reach people who have never cruised at all.â€
Some marketing experts said that the stampede of new advertisers was possible because several stalwarts decided to sit on the sidelines. Many automakers, for example, including Volkswagen, Jaguar and Lincoln, did not buy time this year. (The game last year featured 11 car brands, according to Kantar Media.)
Carnival Cruise Lines is one of the more prominent brands advertising for the first time this year.
Some analysts cited the lackluster market for television ads. Although spots in this yearâ€™s game sold out, it took much longer than in years past. NBC, which is broadcasting the game, announced only on Wednesday that it had sold out. By contrast, Fox, which showed the game last year, said all its ad time had sold about two months before kickoff.
â€œIt was a challenging ad sales marketplace. I wonâ€™t diminish that,â€ said Seth Winter, executive vice president for ad sales at NBC Universal News and Sports Group. â€œThis was not the easiest exercise I have been through.â€
Asked whether the quality of the ads would suffer this year because of the low production value that often comes with first-time advertisers, Mr. Winter said that the group had reviewed storyboards and did not expect the entertainment factor to decline.
The game on Sunday features the most newcomers since 2000. Called the â€œDot-com Super Bowl,â€ that Super Bowl featured 19 first-time advertisers and is considered a symbol of the free-spending excess of the period. Several of those marketers no longer exist, like the pet supply site Pets.com, whose ad featured a sock puppet dog crooning the Chicago love song â€œIf You Leave Me Now.â€ (Pets.com closed 10 months after running that spot.)
Over the last few years, the number of first-time advertisers at the Super Bowl has steadily climbed, with new entrants accounting for about 23 percent of last yearâ€™s ad roster, according to Kantar.
Chobani, the Greek yogurt brand, was new to the Super Bowl last year. Its 60-second spot featured a 1,400-pound bear ransacking a grocery store in search of a wholesome, natural snack.
Peter McGuinness, the companyâ€™s chief marketing officer, said that the ad, along with other related digital and social media promotions, significantly bolstered awareness of the brand. Before the game, about a third of Americans had heard of the company; after the game, awareness increased to 40 percent and sales surged 20 percent, he said.
Mr. McGuinness said that Chobani was not returning this year, opting instead to run more promotions throughout the year. But, referring to the Super Bowl spot, he said, â€œI wouldnâ€™t have not done it.â€
Indeed, most brands do not return to the big game the year after they make their debut at the Super Bowl. Two exceptions are Squarespace, the website-building service, and WeatherTech, a maker of automotive floor mats, both of which advertised last year. â€œIt is high stakes, high stress, but the returns when you do it right are so vast and almost always worth it,â€ said David Lubars, chief creative officer at Omnicomâ€™s BBDO, which is working on several spots for the game.
The new chairman of Mattel Inc. said the problems plaguing the toy maker were largely its own fault, mere days after its chief executive abruptly resigned.
San Francisco’s tech boom has sent real estate values soaring and priced many longtime residents out of the city. […] most San Franciscans aren’t mad at the tech industry about the city’s lack of affordable housing, according to a survey of likely voters. Nearly a year removed from the peak of highly publicized protests of tech buses and demonstrations in front of the homes of tech executives, the survey found that more than two-thirds of San Franciscans want city leaders to encourage the industry to expand. San Francisco has the nation’s fastest-growing gap between the income of its wealthiest residents and its poorest, according to a 2014 study from the Brookings Institution. […] at least in political terms, the tech industry appears to enjoy a level of support any office-holder would love to have. In March, an EMC Research survey of likely voters found that 29 percent of respondents said it was “extremely important” or “important” to “limit the growth of the technology sector.” Venture capitalist Ron Conway, one of the top campaign contributors in Lee’s first mayoral run, has been mining the tech community for money for Lee’s re-election effort. On Wednesday, the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee, the local Democratic Party’s governing body, overwhelmingly passed a resolution that Campos co-authored, calling for Airbnb and its competitors to pay back taxes to the city. […] insiders say it will help build momentum for a November ballot measure seeking to require collection of back taxes and place further limits on short-term rentals.
Fed Officials Trying to Send Signals to the Bond Market
James Bullard on Friday noted that the Bond Market was far too dovish in relation to where the Fed is in regard to raising rates in June, and this might be the understatement of the year so far. For example the U.S. 2-Year Bond Yield is 0.45 or 45 basis points, think about this for a moment. Even if the Fed fund`s rate finishes the year at 50 basis points which is well below the Fed`s most conservative forecasts, and we use a conservative annual inflation rate of 1% (I know oil has dropped but there are more inflation categories than just the energy component). Moreover, the overall annual inflation rate is well above 1% right now, and you factor in that this bond is paying a 2-year risk premium for tying up one`s capital with all kinds of inflation risks over that 2-year time frame, this has to be the stupidest investment of all time.
2-Year U.S. Bond Yield is 45 Basis Points
To buy the 2-Year Bond when the Fed has practically stated that after two FOMC meeting`s they are liable to raise rates at least 25 basis points at the earliest (think April) and June at the latest so that is 25 basis points right there added to the Fed Fund`s rate, and needs to be added to the 2-Year Bond calculation so the current Fed target rate is 0.00 – 0.25 with the daily rate on 1/29 of 0.11 or 11 basis points, so add the June 25 basis rate hike to the current daily rate of 11 basis points and you get a 36 basis point starting point for borrowing money, add an annual inflation rate of 1%, and we are at 136 basis points for evaluating the 2-Year Bond given this rather charitable and conservative analysis.
Read More: European Bond Market: Bubble of all Bubbles!
June Rate Hike Telegraphed to Markets
Remember this June rate hike by the Fed has been pretty well telegraphed to market participants, and nothing changed in the latest Fed Statement in fact it became even more hawkish with language changes in the statement released this week. Therefore whether one completely takes out the inflation component leaving a 36 basis point starting point, a 45 basis point yield on the 2-Year is beyond absurd. It is an example of just how much risk taking and froth there is currently in the bond markets due to so much cheap money sloshing around the financial system right now. The only way an investor can make money with a negative real rate of return if you factor in the inflation rate is by using an insane amount of leverage on these very low borrowing costs. Low borrowing costs aren`t enough to make this trade work, it takes huge scale to make this a ‘worthwhile trade’ in a negative real rate scenario that this trade offers up to the risk taker.
Leverage & Bond Market Instability in Overcrowded Trade
Therein lies the problem for the Federal Reserve and Central Banks around the world, they have enticed investors to chase yield at negative real rate scenarios with huge leverage to make such a low yield vehicle trade profitable and worth doing. This is going to cause massive instability to the financial system when this trade ends like we all know it will because the numbers involved are nonsensical to say the least.
Unemployment Rate 5% in 2015
Just on Friday one of the most dovish members of the Federal Reserve, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams said the U.S. will see real GDP growth around 3 percent in 2015, and that the unemployment rate will touch 5 percent by the end of the year. Where do traders think that leaves the Fed Funds Rate? The U.S. 2-Year Bond is currently pricing in no rate hike for all of 2015 and 2016, and no inflation whatsoever, in fact a negative rate of inflation over the next two years.
The Tulip Lunacy in the Bond market is just off the charts stupidity at its finest, go ahead and buy the 2-Year Bond this upcoming week, I am sure this Bond will be good in four months when the Fed hikes rates 25 basis points, maybe if you are lucky there is a greater fool than you, but from the stampede that is sure to follow on the exit of this trade at these prices in the bond markets, you better be first!
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The deal provides a substantial increase in salary for pilots, though some union members have criticized it for failing to match the terms offered by Delta Air Lines.
About 66 percent of the voters favored the new contract and 34 percent opposed it, according to the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American pilots. Nearly 95 percent of eligible pilots voted, the union said. The airline has 15,000 pilots.
â€œIn effect, the pilots of American Airlines made a business decision,â€ said the union president, Keith Wilson.
The new contract includes an immediate 23 percent increase in pay and annual increases of 3 percent in the next five years, the airline said in a statement.
W. Douglas Parker, the chief executive of US Airways, who now runs the airline, had the initial backing of pilots and flight attendants from American Airlines for his plan to combine the carriers, promising better contracts for all. At the time, American was in bankruptcy and had forced cuts in pay and benefits on its workers.
The vote is a step forward in merging American Airlines and US Airways into a single operating airline. Still, the union said it would now seek to address what it sees as shortcomings in the contract, including work rules that determine how many hours pilots can fly.
Let’s take a brief walk into financial reality for a moment.
At the time of this writing, the United States government’s official debt is nearly $18.1 trillion.
Now, let’s look at who the biggest owners of that debt are:
1) Taxpayers of the United States.
If you’ve held a job in the Land of the Free, 15.3% of your salary has gone to fund Social Security and Medicare.
Each of these programs holds massive trust funds that are supposed to pay out beneficiaries, both present and future.
Conveniently, the trust funds are required by law to buy US government debt.
And given that every single US taxpayer is an ultimate beneficiary of these trust funds, that ranks the people of the United States as among the biggest holders of US debt.
How sustainable is this? Not very.
The 2014 trustee reports for both Medicare and Social Security indicate that nearly ALL of the trust funds are sliding towards insolvency.
This isn’t some wild conjecture. The people in government who manage these trust funds are flat out telling us that they’re about to go bankrupt.
Let that sink in for a bit… then ask yourself: how long can two insolvent programs continue to be among the largest owners of US government debt?
2) The Federal Reserve
Now that we know Social Security and Medicare cannot continue to buy Treasuries indefinitely, we turn our attention to the Fed, which as of today, holds over $2.4 trillion in US government debt.
The Fed is essentially the lender of first resort to the US government and has singlehandedly managed to mop up the vast majority of government debt over the last several years.
Problem is, the Fed has to print money to do this. And the Fed has created so much money over the last few years that it’s now borderline insolvent.
The Fed’s capital now stands at just 1.27% of its total assets. To be clear, this is a razor thin margin of safety.
No other central bank in the world (except Canada, curiously) would be able to post such a pitiful number and still pretend to be credible.
But make no mistake, there is a level of monetary expansion that’s too far. And the Fed is already getting close to this danger zone.
Bottom line, the Fed is not going to be in a position to write blank checks to the US government indefinitely without becoming insolvent and causing an epic currency crisis.
And when that happens, where else can Uncle Sam go? Who else will buy his debt?
More specifically, your retirement account.
According to Internal Revenue Service estimates, there’s close to $5 trillion in individual retirement accounts in the Land of the Free.
This is money that taxpayers prudently set aside for retirement, hopefully cognizant that Social Security isn’t going to be there for them.
Devoid of any other easy lender, $5 trillion is far too irresistible for such a heavily indebted government to ignore.
I’ve long warned that the government could easily nationalize a portion of all IRAs.
It would be so simple for them to do– just a single executive order and a couple of phone calls.
They’ll probably wait for some market crash, and then sell it to Americans like this:
“For your own protection, we will henceforth require banks to invest your retirement savings in the safety and the security of US government bonds.”
These bonds, of course, are so safe that they fail to pay an interest rate that even keeps up with inflation, effectively guaranteeing that you’re going to lose money.
It started happening last year.
In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama announced his MyRA program.
MyRA is basically an IRA that invests directly in… you guessed it… government bonds.
He pitched it as an easy for Americans to save for retirement “with no risk of losing what you put in”.
Step two came when both the President and Treasury Secretary embarked on a blitzkrieg-style marketing campaign to pump the program, pledging that they would aggressively push businesses to sign up their employees.
Now comes step three.
Find out more in today’s podcast where we talk about the obvious, looming threats to your retirement security, and the structures you can build to do something about it.
(click image for link to pdetailed podcast)
If you have an IRA, you need to know this.
I’ve also put together a free report about safeguarding your IRA; it’s a scaled down version of a premium report that I sent to our Sovereign Man: Confidential members recently, but it contains a lot of valuable information.
You can download it here:
* * *
Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.
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Now comes the tough part for Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen.
The Gold market has remained pinned in a range by the US Dollar’s strength for some time now. The dollar remains the safe-haven currency yet the US economy may forsake a stronger export trade due to the higher priced US goods. The Euro Zone and the US will have run their printing presses, but will the currencies at some point become devalued where countries like China will not want to hold US assets. For now, we are in a range, but the Gold market is notorious for sharp unexpected breakouts. This consolidation formation on the chart could turn either way. The US GDP disappointed perhaps extending the Fed’s timeline on tightening to September. The Gold has also moved with the crude oil. The crude has been oversold as the OPEC nations said that they do not care if oil goes down to $20. That was of course, not the case. They simply wanted to give US oil producers a squeeze perhaps. The crude may have bottomed here and may be on its way up. While the interest drawing products may be more beneficial with higher interest rates, the stimulus generated at this time should be supportive to Gold. Russia’s Gold reserves have ncreased to about 38.8 million ounces as of January. Gold accounts for about 11 % of Russia’s foreign reserves. Global demand for Gold should increase to 4,127 metric tons this year according to analysts at HSBC. Gold backed ETP’s may increase 50 tons this year according to the HSBC analysts. The central banks could add 400 tons this year after adding 300 tons last year. Chinese have a tendency to buy Gold in the month of January and the Shanghai Gold Exchange sold about 61 tons in January so far. Withdrawals for 2014 may have come to around 2,100 tons. There is now a Memorandum of Understanding between the Shanghai Exchange and the World Gold Council. Their mandate is primarily to facilitate the international Gold trading in China. Projections for growth in demand of the metal are quite lofty. The Shanghai Free Gold Exchange is operational. The Chinese Central Bank is considering boosting their Gold reserves. They have a small Gold reserve amount in comparison to the US 70 % in Gold reserves. Shanghai imported about $15.98 billion of Gold so far this year. Since Gold bullion was permitted in China (2004) the demand has risen from 10 tons to 397 tons last year according to the World Gold Council. They anticipate by 2017, that Gold demand may reach 500 tons. The World Gold Council believes according to one of their reports that the Chinese sentiment is that the US may devaluate the US Dollar driving up the price of Gold eventually. The Dutch Central Bank has shipped 122.5 tons of Gold out of the US back to Amsterdam. They hold a total of 612.5 tons in reserve. This year is expected to remain a year of consolidation for the Gold market, yet some expectations may warrant an increased demand for Gold. Gold supplies are estimated at about 163,000 tons above ground at present according to the World Gold Council. The World Gold Council reports that the US is the number 1 country in terms of Gold holdings at 8,133.5 metric tons. The ICE Exchange announced that it may offer one kilo bars (32.15 troy ounces) of Gold contracts to boost both volume and potential deliveries. The start date may be February 2015. The CME Exchange may launch a Gold contract that may be deliverable in Hong Kong and the price may be fixed to the Hong Kong bullion as of January 26th. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange lowered the margin to an initial of $4,400 from the $5,940 for the 100 troy ounce Gold contract!
The Real GDP for Q4a:2014 came in at 2.6 % while the previous reading was 5.0 %! Expectations were more for 3.0 % so the sluggish data may tempt the Fed to stay patient until September. Consumer spending which makes up 70 % of the GDP continues to stay strong increasing 4.3 %. Consumer spending remains a strong signal that the economy may be on solid footing perhaps more so than inventories. The Initial Jobless Claims for the week of January 24th was down 43,000 new claims to 265,000 while the previous reading was 307,000. The US labor numbers balance some of the unsteadiness generated by Greece’s new elected officials taking office and perhaps some of the conflict stemming from the Ukraine. Earnings are coming into play and many US Companies blame the strong US Dollar for slack sales abroad. When the dollar is trading high, the US products are just that more expensive which cuts into production numbers. The strong dollar simply devalues other currencies. The most deeply affected currency at this point may be the ruble where the US companies really feel the impact. Some companies today are using currency hedges to fight the fluctuations and protect their risk. The FOMC announcement for the January 27-28 Fed policy meeting kept the Federal Funds Rate target level at 0 – 0.25 %. The Fed sees the economy as improving with stronger jobs data and a lower unemployment rate. Inflation is set to decline going forward yet as the market improves they do expect it to rise to the target 2 % over time. While they continued to use patience, “considerable time” had been scratched from their rhetoric. They still are reinvesting the debt or mortgage-backed securities and referring to them as accommodative financial conditions. The 10 voting Fed members all supported the policy statement. Stagnant wages still were of a concern to the policy members. The average hourly wages did gain 1.7 % over 2014. Fed Chairperson Janet Yellen insists that she is not rushing to raise the rates. It is thought now that any tightening may occur perhaps June to September 2015.
The newly elected Greek officials began their negotiations on a bailout package with the Euro leaders, yet Greece is talking write-downs. The finance ministers are willing to extend courtesies to their Greek counterparts but do not forgive the debt accumulated. They are negotiating a 240 billion bailout, yet the troika do not really want to write off the 320 billion debt owed to them. Greece is waiting for the next tranche of 7.2 billion euros which would be the last installment. Greece is expected to run out of money by June. The Syriza party won the election in Greece on Sunday leaving a great deal to speculation. When the new leader promised to end the austerity while maintaining the European Union relationship, the market anxiety subsided. Greece is into Germany for about $40 billion in debt that Germany will not so easily forgive. German banks hold about $181 million of the debt. Greece’s gross debt amounts to about $320 billion according to the International Monetary Fund. The new leader wants to write down the debts while the countries owed have a different take on the matter. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had thrown down the gauntlet stopping privatization plans. The country stands by its anti-austerity movement. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde reported that the fund would continue to support Greece. The new leader is under scrutiny by Standard & Poor’s credit agency which could downgrade the country before he can make the changes necessary to turn the fate of the country. The Greek leader, in the meantime will try to secure new loans while trying to write down the debt of previous loans. An emergency meeting in the Euro Zone is scheduled for Monday. The European Central Bank President Mario Draghi did not disappoint with his extensive 1.1 trillion euro stimulus plan! The cheap euros allow investors to buy higher yielding currencies and perhaps to invest in riskier assets as well. His lofty asset purchasing program may buy public and private securities up to about 60 billion euros a month until September of 2016. The ECB did keep their main refinancing rate at 0.05 % as expected. One of the main concerns of the ECB has been deflation, so the ECB may attempt to spur the annual inflation model back up to its target of just below 2 %. This was extreme easing as it surpassed all expectations in terms of size and time frame. The easing may not begin until March 1st and it is difficult to say whether the optimism would be upon the onset of the plan only or continue thru the stimulus plans. So far this year, the Euro Zone manufacturing increased to 52.2 in January from the previous reading of 51.4. The services sector increased to 52.3 while the previous reading was 51.6. The cheaper Euro FX will make Euro Zone exports more appealing advancing their productivity. US Treasuries are still benefiting from the safe-haven status of the US economy. The Fed may be seeking a time for which to tighten while Peru, Canada, Denmark, Turkey and India all had rate cuts. The US will remain more than likely a safe-haven in terms of assets in debt instruments and currency. Deflation is the concern that most investors will be focused on. Buying government bonds will be key in fending off deflation. Global growth is projected at 3.5 % for this year and 3.7 % for next year according to the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook report. The IMF does suggest that countries remain with accommodative monetary policies in light of the current balance of economic factors. The International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde believes that the US Fed may begin to tighten mid-year rather than the latter part of the year. The US is remaining a front runner in maintaining its recovery.
The central bank of Russia cut their benchmark rate to 15 % down from the 17 %. This drove the ruble down further against the US Dollar. The move to spur lending and productivity comes just as new sanctions are being considered. Russia has already engaged a free floating interest rate that put about $88 billion into the system to support the ruble. The US and EU may be ramping up the black list of pro-separatist individuals. Russia insists that military action on the part of the Ukraine government may just prompt an “inevitable further escalation of the conflict”. Russia and many oil producers may feel the slide in energy prices more readily than other countries as the sanctions of the US and UK bite as well. OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri remarked that the oil may have hit the floor. In the US, energy companies may have lost about 25 % of their earnings in the fourth quarter. US and EU leaders threatened new sanctions against Russia after a missile attack killed 30 civilians in the Ukraine. The Standard and Poor’s credit agency had downgraded Russia’s rating to junk on Monday. US President Obama and British Prime Minister Cameron agreed to hold the sanctions firm on Russia until the conflict subsides. Russia may be downgraded to sub-investment grade contingent on the cease fire talks. The World Bank projects Russia’s economy to contract by 2.9 % in 2015. It may be likely that Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency may downgrade Russia to below investment grade within the next three months. Russia is experiencing capital outflows which may motivate the government to currency restrictions. The outflows amount to around $151.5 billion last year. The sanctions do not allow Russians to refinance debt or rollover debt therefore threatening the stability of the Ruble. The Ukraine’s credit rating was cut last month to CCC- and may be near a default. They need $15 billion on top of the $17 billion already received from the IMF. They should receive their next tranche at the end of January. The Ukraine recently has drafted 50,000 people to build their troops, so the talks may not have extremely high hopes. Russia, on the other hand, was accused of sending about 9,000 additional separatists rebels. The Ukrainian President has retained NATO’s support during the conflict yet has fallen prey to the economic struggle of a country in conflict. Russia is also suffering the consequences of a country laden in uncertainty as only a fifth of the bonds offered at its debt auction were sold. Investors are seeking stability and a country engulfed in conflict cannot offer safety in assets. Russia and the Ukraine seem drawn into a war that only escalates. The options at this point seem futile. NATO has the interest of the Ukraine at hand and Russia seems even more isolated at this juncture. They signed the Minsk cease-fire agreement, yet the conflict seems worse than ever.
The Real GDP for Q4a:2014 came in at 2.6 % while the previous reading was 5.0 %. The GDP Price Index was 0.0 % while the previous reading was 1.4 %. The Employment Cost Index for Q4:14 is at 0.6 % while the previous reading was 0.7 %. The Chicago PMI Business Barometer Index for January 2015 is 59.4 while the previous reading was 58.3. The Consumer Sentiment Index for January is at 98.1 while the previous reading was 98.2. Farm Prices for January were -1.0 % while the previous reading was 1.0 %. The Initial Jobless Claims for the week of January 24th was down 43,000 new claims to 265,000 while the previous reading was 307,000. Continuing Claims decreased 71,000 with a one week lag time to 2.385 million. Pending Home Sales Index for December was – 3.7 % to 100.7 while the previous reading was 0.8 %. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index for the week of January 25th was 47.3 while the previous week was 44.7. The Fed Balance Sheet of Total Assets for the week of January 28th were -$12.9 billion while the previous reading was -$3.1 billion. The Reserve Bank Credit was $1.1 billion while the previous reading was $5.4 billion. The Money Supply for the week of January 19th was at $6.9 billion while the previous reading was $67.5 billion. The MBA Purchase Applications for the week of January 23rd Composite Index was -3.2 % while the previous reading was 14.2 %. The Purchase Index was -0.1 % while the previous reading was -3.0 %. The Refinance Index was -5.0 % while the previous reading was 22.0 %. The FOMC announcement for the January 27-28 Fed policy meeting kept the Federal Funds Rate target level at 0 – 0.25 %. The Fed sees the economy as improving with stronger jobs data and a lower unemployment rate. Inflation is set to decline going forward yet as the market improves they do expect it to rise to the target 2 % over time. While they continued to use patience, “considerable time” had been scratched from their rhetoric. They still are reinvesting the debt or mortgage-backed securities and referring to them as accommodative financial conditions. The 10 voting Fed members all supported the policy statement today. The Advanced Durable Goods New Orders were – 3.4 % while the previous reading was -0.7 %. The Durable Goods excluding transportation was – 0.8 % while the previous reading was -0.4 %. S&P Case-Shiller HPI for November 20 city SA was at 0.7 % while the previous reading was 0.8 %. The 20-city NSA was at -0.2 % while the previous reading was -0.1 %. The PMI Services Flash Level for January was 54.0 while the previous reading was 53.6. New Home Sales Level for December were 481,000 while the previous reading was 438,000. Consumer Confidence for January was at 102.9 while the previous reading was 92.6. The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index level change for January was 6 while the previous reading was 7. Redbook Store Sales for the week of January 24th were 3.2 % while the previous reading was 3.0 %. The State Street Investor Confidence Index for January was at 106.7 while the previous reading was 112.1. The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey for January Business Activity Index was -4.4 while the previous reading was 4.1. The Production Index was 0.7 while the previous reading was 15.8. The Non-Farm Payrolls for December came in at 252,000 while the previous reading was 321,000. The Unemployment Rate is at 5.6 % while the previous reading was 5.8 %. The Average Hourly Earnings is -0.2 % while the previous reading was 0.4 %. The Average Work Week is 34.6 hours while the previous reading was 34.6 hours. The Private Payrolls is at 240,000 while the previous reading was 314,000.
The safe-haven properties of the Gold are perfect for those times of uncertainty and/or conflict in the world! The Gold (April) contract is in a sell mode if it stays below $1307.70. A key consolidation area may be $1300.00 to $1250.00 for the moment. $1272.50 may be the comfort level. The range may be $1300.00 to $1250.00 for now. The Gold market is being pinned by the strong US Dollar, but as everything cycles, the dollar too may tip!
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IF A MARKET REACHED ITS DAILY PRICE FLUCTUATION LIMIT, A ‘’LIMIT MOVE”, IT MAY BE IMPOSSIBLE TO EXECUTE A STOP LOSS ORDER. WHEN INVESTING IN THE PURCHASING OF OPTIONS, YOU MAY LOSE ALL OF THE MONEY YOU INVESTED. WHEN SELLING OPTIONS, YOU MAY LOSE MORE THAN THE FUNDS YOU INVESTED. STRATEGIES USING COMBINATIONS OF POSITIONS, SUCH AS SPREAD AND STRADDLE POSITIONS MAY BE AS RISKY AS TAKING A SIMPLE LONG OR SHORT POSITION. A PERSON CONTEMPLATING PURCHASING A DEEP-OUT-OF-THE-MONEY OPTION (THAT IS, AN OPTION WITH A STRIKE PRICE SIGNIFICANTLY ABOVE, IN THE CASE OF A CALL, OR SIGNIFICANTLY BELOW, IN THE CASE OF A PUT, THE CURRENT PRICE OF THE UNDERLYING FUTURES CONTRACT OR UNDERLYING PHYISCAL COMMODITY) SHOULD BE AWARE THAT THE CHANCE OF SUCH AN OPTION BECOMING PROFITABLE IS ORDINARILY REMOTE. YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT IN THE EVENT YOU LIQUIDATED THE LONG SIDE OF A BULL CALL SPREAD AND STILL MAINTAINED THE SHORT OPTION POSITION, THEN YOUR RISK WOULD BE UNLIMITED. A PERSON CONTEMPLATING PURCHASING A DEEP-OUT-OF-THE-MONEY OPTION (THAT IS, AN OPTION WITH A STRIKE PRICE SIGNIFICANTLY ABOVE, IN THE CASE OF A CALL, OR SIGNIFICANTLY BELOW, IN THE CASE OF A PUT, THE CURRENT PRICE OF THE UNDERLYING FUTURES CONTRACT OR UNDERLYING PHYISCAL COMMODITY) SHOULD BE AWARE THAT THE CHANCE OF SUCH AN OPTION BECOMING PROFITABLE IS ORDINARILY REMOTE. FOR CUSTOMERS TRADING OPTIONS, THESE FUTURES AND/OR FOREX CHARTS ARE PRESENTED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THEY ARE INTENDED TO SHOW HOW INVESTING IN OPTIONS CAN DEPEND ON THE UNDERLYING FUTURES PRICES; SPECIFICALLY, WHETHER OR NOT AN OPTION PURCHASER IS BUYING AN IN-THE-MONEY, AT-THEMONEY, OR OUT-OF-THE-MONEY OPTION. FURTHERMORE, THE PURCHASER WILL BE ABLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT TO EXERCISE HIS RIGHT ON AN OPTION DEPENDING ON HOW THE OPTION’S STRIKE PRICE COMPARES TO THE UNDERLYING FUTURE’S PRICE. THE FUTURES CHARTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO IMPLY THAT OPTION PRICES MOVE IN TANDEM WITH FUTURES PRICES. IN FACT, OPTION PRICES MAY ONLY MOVE A FRACTION OF THE PRICE MOVE IN THE UNDERLYING FUTURES. IN SOME CASES, THE OPTION MAY NOT MOVE AT ALL OR EVEN MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION OF THE UNDERLYING FUTURES CONTRACT.THIS MATERIAL IS CONVEYED AS A SOLICITATION FOR ENTERING INTO A DERIVATIVES TRANSACTION. THIS MATERIAL HAS BEEN PREPARED BY A DANIELS TRADING BROKER WHO PROVIDES RESEARCH MARKET COMMENTARY AND TRADE RECOMMENDATIONS AS PART OF HIS OR HER SOLICATION FOR ACCOUNTS AND SOLICIATION FOR TRADES. DANIELS TRAIDNG, ITS PRINCIPALS, BROKERS AND EMPLOYEES MAY TRADE IN DERIVATIVES FOR THEIR OWN ACCOUNTS OR FOR THE ACCOUNTS OF OTHERS. DUE TO VARIOUS FACTORS (SUCH AS RISK TOLERANCE, MARGIN REQUIREMENTS, TRADING OBJECTIVES, SHORT TERM VS. LONG TERM STRATEGIES, TECHNICAL VS. FUNDAMENTAL MARKET ANALYSIS, AND OTHER FACTORS) SUCH TRADING MAY RESULT IN THE INITIATION OR LIQUIDATION OF POSITIONS THAT ARE DIFFERENT FROM OR CONTRARY TO THE OPINIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS CONTAINED THEREIN. EXAMPLES OF HISTORIC PRICE MOVES OR EXTREME MARKET CONDITIONS ARE NOT MEANT TO IMPLY THAT SUCH MOVES OR CONDITIONS ARE COMMON OCCURRENCES OR ARE LIKELY TO OCCUR. HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE MANY INHERENT LIMITATIONS, SOME OF WHICH ARE DESCRIBED BELOW. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY ACCOUNT WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE PROFITS OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN. IN FACT, THERE ARE FREQUENTLY SHARP DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS AND THE ACTUAL RESULTS SUBSEQUENTLY ACHIEVED BY ANY PARTICULAR TRADING PROGRAM. ONE OF THE LIMITATIONS OF HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS IS THAT THEY ARE GENERALLY PREPARED WITH THE BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT. IN ADDITION, HYPOTHETICAL TRADING DOES NOT INVOLVE FINANCIAL RISK, AND NO HYPOTHETICAL TRADING RECORD CAN COMPLETELY ACCOUNT FOR THE IMPACT OF FINANCIAL RISK IN ACTUAL TRADING. FOR EXAMPLE, THE ABILITY TO WITHSTAND LOSSES OR TO ADHERE TO A PARTICULAR TRADING PROGRAM IN SPITE OF TRADING LOSSES ARE MATERIAL POINTS WHICH CAN ALSO ADVERSELY AFFECT ACTUAL TRADING RESULTS. THERE ARE NUMEROUS OTHER FACTORS RELATED TO THE MARKETS IN GENERAL OR TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ANY SPECIFIC TRADE PROGRAM WHICH CANNOT BE FULLY ACCOUNTED FOR IN THE PREPARATION OF THE HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS AND ALL OF WHICH CAN ADVERSELY AFFECT ACTUAL TRADING RESULTS. EXAMPLES OF HISTORIC PRICE MOVES OR EXTREME MARKET CONDITIONS ARE NOT MEANT TO IMPLY THAT SUCH MOVES OR CONDITIONS ARE COMMON OCCURRENCES OR ARE LIKELY TO OCCUR. STRATEGIES USING COMBINATIONS OF POSITIONS, SUCH AS SPREAD AND STRADDLE POSITIONS MAY BE AS RISKY AS TAKING A SIMPLE LONG OR SHORT POSITION. YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT IN THE EVENT YOU LIQUIDATED THE LONG SIDE OF A BULL CALL SPREAD AND STILL MAINTAINED THE SHORT OPTION POSITION, THEN YOUR RISK WOULD BE UNLIMITED. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER SUCH TRADING IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES. YOU SHOULD READ THE “RISK DISCLOSURE” ACCESSED AT DANIELSTRADING.COM. DANIELS TRADING IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH NOR DOES IT ENDORSE ANY TRADING SYSTEM, NEWSLETTER OR SIMILAR SERVICE.
A commodity broker for 25 years. Contributed commentary to the publication “Consensus”. Guest speaker for Market Commentary on Tiger Financial News Network Radio between 2001 and 2006. Has conducted educational workshops and webinars for FX Street, Fox Investments, Man Financial and New World Trading. Contributor to Market Technicians Association.
HOUSTON â€” Oil prices suddenly spiked more than 8 percent on Friday, in the biggest one-day price move for the volatile commodity in nearly three years. But most energy experts said it was too soon to say whether any meaningful shift was underway.
Traders and energy experts said the sudden move up â€” after oil prices had plummeted by more than 50 percent since June â€” could be explained by various factors, including reports that the Islamic State terrorist group was advancing in an offensive near Iraqâ€™s northern oil fields.
The sharp rise came in the final 45 minutes of the trading day, with the West Texas Intermediate benchmark rising just over $3.71 to $48.24 a barrel. The global Brent benchmark rose to above $50 â€” still a long way from the $100-a-barrel levels energy executives have grown accustomed to in recent years.
The rally came shortly after the Baker Hughes service company reported that the nationâ€™s rig count had dropped by 94, or 7 percent, in the last week, the largest single-week drop since the late 1980s. That leaves 1,223 rigs in operation, the lowest number in three years, and energy executives say another 300 rigs could be decommissioned in the next few months as service contracts expire.
A drop in oil production normally happens several months after rigs are decommissioned, but the Baker Hughes report was another sign that oil companies were responding fast to the global oil glut by slashing their spending.
Chevron, the nationâ€™s second-largest oil and gas producer after Exxon Mobil, reported on Friday that it was dropping its 2015 exploration and production budget by 13 percent. It was the latest in a string of company reports over the last few weeks suggesting that as much as $100 billion in petroleum investments would be cut worldwide this year.
â€œMy gut says the oil price has been artificially low, and I think this is a logical correction from that overreaction,â€ said Joel Moser, the chief executive at Aquamarine Investment Partners. â€œIt would not surprise me at all that this may reflect a bottom.â€
In the past few years, as online shopping exploded and smartphones became the norm, the showrooming phenomenon — consumers using their phones to comparison shop in stores — seemed poised to gut the revenue of offline retailers.
But now a recent report from BI Intelligence finds that retailers have discovered “reverse showrooming,” or “webrooming,” which is when consumers go online to research products, but then head to a bricks-and-mortar store to complete their purchase.
Reverse showrooming is actually nothing new. Since the early days of online shopping, more people have researched their shopping online than have actually bought there.
In the report, we examine the numbers behind showrooming and reverse showrooming, what’s driving each trend, and what the different showrooming behaviors look like. We also look at what in-store advantages retailers have, and what they are doing both to capture in-store sales from reverse showroomers and to drive up purchases across channels.
Here are some of the key points from the report:
In full, the report: