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  • Corporate Profit Pattern Emerges: OK Earnings, Sales ...
    By on April 23, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    CNBC has a daily feature called after-hours buzz that, it being earnings season, is full of corporate quarterly reports. And lately the same story has been repeated: decent earnings but weak sales and/or disappointing guidance. Here’s today’s list: AT&T topped analysts’ profit estimates by...
  • China, Japan, and the US Treasury Bond Market
    By on April 21, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    The US Treasury reported last week that in February Japan moved ahead of China and resumed its position as the largest foreign creditor of the US government, a position last held by Japan in 2008. In February Japan owned $1.2244 trillion of US debt, slightly above China’s $1.2237 position, accordi...
  • OPEC Going Broke, Dumping Dollars. Is That Good Or Ba...
    By on April 17, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    When oil prices fell out of bed last winter there was much hand-wringing over the fate of the former beneficiaries of high-priced crude. Trillions of dollars of junk bonds issued by frackers, for instance, might default, oil field services companies could fail, and layoffs in the oil patch might swa...
  • Welcome To The Currency War: China Edition
    By on April 14, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    Here’s one for the “seriously, you’re surprised?” file: China pegs its currency, the yuan, to the dollar, the dollar soars, taking the yuan with it…and fewer foreigners buy suddenly-much-more-expensive Chinese products. Duh. China’s Export Engine Loses Steam, Adding to Growth Pressure C...
  • 5 Things To Ponder: Don’t Fight The Fed
    By on April 13, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    As I discussed earlier this week, the deterioration in both economic data and profitability data leave a good bit of cause for near-term concern for a Fed that is pushing to raise rates.  To wit: “However, with the economy currently growing at only slightly more than 2% annually, since the t...
  • What Gold’s Bull Market (That’s Right, Bull Marke...
    By on April 12, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    One of the oddities of floating exchange rates is that they cause people to view the world in terms of their own national currency. For Americans that means looking out through a window that is distorted by the dollar’s recent surge. A C$100-a-night Vancouver BC hotel room, for instance, cost abou...
  • EURUSD: Why Recent Ups and Downs Are NOT Random
    By on April 9, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    How do you know what “your” forex market will do tomorrow? You don’t. We don’t. Nobody does. All anyone can do is guess. But some guesses are more “educated” than others. In a recent interview, Elliott Wave International’s Senior Currency Strategist, Jim Mar...
  • We’re All Hedge Funds Now, Part 2: Tech Startups an...
    By on March 28, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    Watching formerly risk-averse investors adapt to a negative interest rate world is almost as much fun as watching Europe try to keep Greece and Germany in the same financial family. In each case, success depends on all the parties becoming something they really don’t want to be. On the negative in...
  • We’re All Hedge Funds Now
    By on March 26, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    As negative interest rates spread from Switzerland, Japan and Germany to the rest of the developed world, people with money to invest face some life-defining choices. Retirees who need to generate 6% to avoid dipping into principal can’t get there with bank CDs. Pension funds that have promised an...
  • Earnings And The Economy Slow As Dollar Surges
    By on March 25, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    The strong dollar increases the cost of U.S. exports, cutting into export sales, and the currency translation cuts into the profits of U.S. corporations with international operations. Currency-risk management consulting firm FiReapps reports that the surging dollar cost North American corporations ...
  • The Long-Term Dollar Index
    By on March 22, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    The words of wisdom often (mistakenly) attributed to Mark Twain – “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme” – come to mind when sizing up the possibilities for another financial crisis sooner-rather-than-later amid all the global hand-wringing about the rapidly rising U.S. dollar,...
  • The Euro-Dollar Riot!
    By on March 22, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    We open this commentary by trying to simplify a very complex trade.Think of yourself as the corporate treasurer of a midsized American company. You have your basic business activities in the United States, and you have several divisions in Europe. Over the years you have elected to avoid repatriatio...
  • How Low Can The Euro Go? (Or Is That The Wrong Questi...
    By on March 15, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    The euro is tanking again, as the ECB starts buying bonds for its long-promised “whatever it takes” QE program. Today’s exchange rate move is dramatic enough to generate headlines like this, from Forbes: Euro Nears Parity With U.S. Dollar And the decline is accelerating: What we’re seeing h...
  • Trading the Parabolic Dollar
    By on March 14, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    The mighty US dollar has been red-hot in March, rocketing higher on the incredible divergence of major central-bank policies.  While the Federal Reserve’s first rate-hike cycle in 9 years looms, the European Central Bank has started aggressively monetizing sovereign debt for the first time ever....
  • Aftershocks, Part 1: That Austrian Bank
    By on March 13, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    Sometimes little things are the start of much bigger things. Probably the most famous historical example of this is the June 1914 assassination of an Austrian archduke who, it’s safe to say, 99% of the world had neither heard of nor cared about. But the aftershocks of the deed produced the biggest...
  • Apple iWatch and Some Crazy Gold Numbers
    By on March 10, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    As Apple starts selling its new smart watch there are some, well, crazy-sounding predictionscirculating about the amounts of gold the company might soon be buying. The math goes like this: Each gold version of the watch will contain around two ounces, and the company might sell 10 million of them a ...

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