U.S. stocks fell, after a ninth straight quarterly gain as weaker U.S. data on hiring and manufacturing reinforced investor concerns that economic growth is be slowing.
Oil rose today on news that Crude production dropped this week for only the second time this year. A combination of Greek default fears rising and considerably weaker than expected data has sparked a surge in gold prices this morning. The U.S. Dollar has fallen fractionally and is in trading sideways, but is expected to recover.
March ISM Manufacturing tumbled, missing expectations, to its lowest since May 2013. It is even uglier, looking at the data, with the lowest New Orders since Jan 2014. US Manufacturing data has missed 5 of the last 7 months and dropped for 5 months in a row, which hasn't happened since 2008.
Iran and world powers pressed ahead with talks for an outline agreement to end the 12-year standoff over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. However, diplomats saying there are major obstacles that must be overcome before any announcement of an agreement can be made.
Needless to say, investors are very concerned about a positive outcome regardless of bullish analysts opining differently.
Here is the current market situation from CNN Money
North and South American markets are mixed today. The Bovespa is up 2.37% while the IPC gains 0.67%. The S&P 500 is off 0.65%.
$NYA200R chart below is the percentage of stocks above the 200 DMA and is always a good statistic to follow. It can depict a trend of declining equities which is always troubling, especially when it drops below 60% - 55%. Dropping below 40%-35% signals serious continuing weakness and falling averages.
Crude oil prices continue to push higher. Following the earlier drop in US crude production this week and PEMEX oil rig fire, we now have more substantive headlines from Switzerland:
*IRAN TAKES PAUSE IN TALKS, NO DOCUMENT SEEN TODAY: TASS
*TASS CITES UNIDENTIFIED EUROPEAN DIPLOMAT ON IRAN TALKS
Of course, one wonders who really wants a deal now... with over-supply already a problem, any sanctions-lifting would boomerang back to US Shale firms and further destabilize the illusion of recovery in America.
Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,
A spokesperson assured the assembled media that the Fed Board was "deeply concerned" about the American people, inflation, and the unemployment rate, but he was heckled off the stage.
In an extraordinary admission, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve conceded that the Federal Reserve is "at heart a criminal conspiracy of bankers." The Board followed up this revelation with a breezy confession that the Fed "doesn't really give a rat's rear-end about the American people, and we're tired of having to claim we do."
The Fed's role was global, the Board explained; the American people played no part whatsoever in Fed policy or decisions. "Honestly, why would anyone think we waste a moment's thought on the American people?" one commented. "We're here to maintain the power and wealth of the banking sector on a global scale. We have zero interest in John Q. Citizen's travails or his income. Our only interest in Mr. Citizen is that he continue to keep his mouth shut and not make waves."
The unprecedented display of bare-knuckled honesty was in evidence throughout the meeting. Asked if the Fed was confident that its policies were appropriate for the nation, one board member snapped, "We don't really think about the nation, but yes, we are 99% confident that our policies are appropriate and correct. In fact, let's dispense with the false modesty: we're 100% confident we are correct."
When a reporter asked if the Board was familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect, a Board member snapped, "We don't concern ourselves wit ...
The cozy "relationship" between Goldman and the Fed has been documented on these pages and elsewhere for years. From our 2010 question "Why Does Brian Sack Interact With Goldman's FX Committee?", to the Carmen Segarra tapes, the fact that the Fed, and specifically the New York Fed, is merely a branch of Goldman has been firmly established. Of course, for a bank which has every other major global financial institution also firmly in its grasp, this is merely ordinary course of business.
The main reason why this two-way relationship is so very critical, is because in a Fed dominated by career economists who are clueless about practical policies, the entity that comes up with said policies is none other than Goldman Sachs, and specifically head economist Jan Haztius. Conveniently, at this critical time to the Fed's rate hike decision, it was none other than Hatzius who moments ago schooled the Fed during the "20th Annual Financial Markets Conference: Central Banking in the Shadows: Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Postcrisis."
Reuters reported the big picture: Jan Hatzius said on Wednesday he believed the Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates late this year or early next year, given the amount of slack still present in the labor market.
(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is looking at how it sources its products, especially considering falling commodity prices globally, in an effort to reduce its prices, the head of the retailer's U.S. division said on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. private employers added the smallest number of workers in more than a year in March and factory activity hit a near two-year low, fresh signs that economic growth slowed significantly in the first quarter.
Following last night's pump'n'dump after API inventories exceeded expectations (5.2mm vs 4.2mm exp.), WTI crude prices have dropped to almost a $46 handle and recovered as chatter of "no deal" from Switzerland picks up. DOE reports a 4.766mm barrel build, greater than expected, for the 12th week in a row - the longest streak since records began in 1982. Crude prices are however surging as production dropped wekk-over-week for only the 2nd time this year...
Inventories hit a new record high and are up 12 weeks in a row - a 33 year record high...
But crude production fell WoW for only the 2nd time this year...
The headlines say construction spending declined this month - the data is volatile and backward revisions distort the picture. However, the rate of growth looking at the unadjusted rolling averages improved this month following a persistent decline in the rate of growth for the previous 12 months. This month private construction improved which has been the drag on new construction growth.
As we already explained in numerous columns and articles over the past few weeks and months, we had serious doubts whether or not the Quantitative Easing program whereby the European Central Bank would pump 60B EUR per month in the â€'economy' would trickle down to the â€'real' economy. We expected the majority of the liquidity to stay in the â€'system' as the sticky fingers of the banks would very likely use the funds for their own benefit instead of effectively taking care of their task as middle man to use the funds to re-start the economy in the Eurozone.
And the banks will very likely win on several fronts. As the additional liquidity injection on the markets will cause the volatility to increase, investment banks stand to profit from this as their clients will very likely try to anticipate further liquidity injections.
According to Citigroup , the revenues from trading fixed income securities has been decreasing since the end of the global financial crisis, but this trend might very well be reverted soon as invest
The ISM Manufacturing survey continues to indicate manufacturing growth expansion - however this index has been declining since November 2014. The key internal new orders also modestly declined (but still remains slightly in expansion). Backlog of orders returned to contraction.
US Manufacturing PMI beat expectations, printing 55.7 up from 55.3 prior to its highest since Oct 2014, once again flying in the face of the collapse in US hard-data-base macro. More in line with the underlying reality, Feb Construction Spending dropped for the 3rd month of the last 4 and March ISM Manufacturing tumbled to 51.5, missing expectations of 52.5, to its lowest since May 2013. Under the covers, it is even uglier with the lowest New Orders since Jan 2014 as US Manufacturing data has missed 5 of the last 7 months and dropped for 5 months in a row - which hasn't happened since 2008.
Everything is awesome...
Everything is NOT awesome...
The leading New Orders less Inventories indicator hinting that there is much more ISM pain to come: from @Not_Jim_Cramer
Respondents do not sound unequivocally happy...
"Falling energies have helped on the cost side while sales are getting a boost through improvements in consumer disposable income.& ...
U.S. construction spending unexpectedly fell in February and the prior month's outlays were revised to show a steeper decline than previously estimated, which could see economists further mark down their first-quarter growth forecasts.
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Economist Jan Hatzius said on Wednesday he believed the Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates late this year or early next year, given the amount of slack still present in the labor market.
Update: GREECE GOVT DENIES PLAN TO DELAY APRIL 9 IMF PAYMENT: REUTERS
For now the algos can't decide if Greece is joking about making the payment or joking about not making the payment.
The hints are growing louder that the Troika-Greece standoff will not end well for either side. Spiegel is reporting that Greek Interior Minister Nikos Voutzis has stated:
"If no money is flowing to 9 April, we will first determine the salaries, pensions pay here in Greece and then ask our partners abroad to achieve consensus and understanding that we will pay 450 million euros to the IMF not on time,"
In other words...
*GREECE DOESN'T WANT TO RESPECT IMF APRIL 9 DEADLINE: SPIEGEL
As of June or July, Russia and China are "complementary to an agreement with the European partners" fixed part of a new Greek "Plan A are" as Voutzis calls him.
This plan close "with a debt reduction, the end of the austerity measures and a new agreement with a growth clause".
"We want Russia is helping us rebuild the Greek economy. Both tr ...
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